Jun 20, 2007

OpenWrt Kamikaze official

As you can see fomr previous posts I am very excited about wireless networks, and in particular like the OpenWrt firmware that is available as a third party package for many wireless routers. White Russian was the release that I have been previously using, while Kamikaze was for developers and testers that compile the firmware on their own.

That has now changed. Kamikaze is now available pre-built, which is fantastic news for those of you that get shivvers at the mention of compiling software.

This biggest practical difference between White Russian and Kamikaze is how the devices are configured. White Russian, as do standard firmwares, save settings in what is called NVRAM. Kamikaze now uses a file structure for saving configuration settings that is much easier to manipulate. This has the added advantage of leaving the NVRAM intact in case you decide to return to your boring and less challenging firmware.

Kamikaze also introduces Linux kernel 2.6, where 2.4 was previously used. This is said to be more robust and opens up for more powerful uses of the router. Unfortunately, I am unable to use a version with the 2.6 kernel since my router uses a Broadcom based wireless solution. Broadcom drivers are incompatible. The good news is that, if you are aware when making a purchase of your next router, you can investigate which use miniPCI slots. This will allow you to purchase an Atheros based wireless adapter, which has fantastic Linux support through the GPL'ed MadWiFi driver. It is also a better chipset in general and is prefered among the OpenWrt testers and developers.

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