Compatible Hardware

It is recommended that the router has at least 8 MB of flash memory. For 4 MB routers use the special firmware named -mini.

These wireless routers have been tested with LibreMesh and have 8 MB of flash memory:

  • TP-Link WR842ND

  • TP-Link WR1043ND

  • TP-Link WDR3500

  • TP-Link WDR3600

  • TP-Link WDR4300

  • Dragino MS14

  • Alix 2d2

  • Ubiquiti Unifi AP

  • Ubiquiti AirRouter

  • Ubiquiti AirGateway

  • Ubiquiti NanoStation M5 XW

  • Ubiquiti NanoStation M5 XM

  • Ubiquiti NanoBridge M5

  • Ubiquiti NanoStation LoCo M2

  • Ubiquiti PicoStation M2

  • Ubiquiti Bullet M2

Also models with 4 MB have been tested, using the -mini images:

  • TP-Link WR740N

  • TP-Link WR741ND

  • TP-Link WR841ND

For detailed information on these routers check out our hardware page.

Many other models are supported even if not tested yet (as far as we know), see through our firmware images at download site.

Get the Firmware

Choose a source for your firmware

  • For a precompiled firmware with default configuration (e.g. wireless AP name LibreMesh.org) you can use our downloads site;

  • for customizing just the main parameters (e.g. the wireless AP name, adding packages, changing IP ranges) you can use our Chef platform. It will compile and host a firmware image with your customization;

for more options check the Get It page.

Download the correct firmware image

Find the download for your router by name or model number. You may need to search different variations or aliases. You can find more detailed router model instructions here.

If you are installing for the first time (a router with stock firmware), choose the link ending with -factory.bin. If you are upgrading an existing install of LibreMesh, OpenWrt or LEDE, choose the link ending with -sysupgrade.bin.

Installation Procedure

Open your router web interface

Using an ethernet cable connect to a LAN port on your router. Make sure that the ethernet cable is the only active network interface on your computer (e.g. disable the wireless interface).

If the router is running stock firmware, follow manufacturer instructions to connect to the router. Its IP should be written on the original box or under the router. Usually just opening 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 in a web browser lets you reach the router web interface. If you can’t connect to the router because you can’t find its IP, you can try the IP address of your gateway. For getting it go to the terminal and use netstat -rn (mac), or ip route show default (Linux). More details on finding your router’s IP can be found here and here.

If the router is running OpenWrt or LEDE the instructions in the previous paragraph should apply.

If the router is running LibreMesh just opening http://thisnode.info should get you to the web interface.

Then you can log in as admin (if unchanged, the username and password will be on the router’s box, on OpenWrt by default there’s no admin password, on LEDE by default it’s an empty password).

For more connection options see How to connect to nodes page.

If you suspect you can’t connect to your router because of a damaged configuration, follow the Troubleshooting guide.

Flashing

For Ubiquiti AirMax serie routers, flashing on top of AirOS versions 5.6.x will brick your device (the recovery procedure requires opening the router chassis and connecting directly to its serial port). If your router has AirOS 5.6.x, you will have to find and download an AirOS 5.5.x version and use it to downgrade your router.

Once you’ve logged in as root or admin in your router, reach the firmware upgrade page.

If there’s a Keep Settings option, take care to UNCHECK it. It is checked by default on OpenWrt/LEDE.

Upload the firmware image file you’ve downloaded and click Flash Image. Wait a couple of minutes for the process to complete. Reconnect to the ethernet interface (for getting the new IP) and open http://thisnode.info.

Congratulations, you have a working LibreMesh router!

Connect to Your LibreMesh Router

Just connect to the router via its wireless AP interface or via ethernet cable on its LAN port and open http://thisnode.info in the web browser.

If is the first time you connect to the router, you will have to set an admin/root password. Leaving a LibreMesh router with no admin password is a huge security risk.

For more connection options see How to connect to nodes page.

If you suspect you can’t connect to your router because of a damaged configuration, follow the Troubleshooting guide.

Share the Internet Connection with the LibreMesh Network

LibreMesh is automatically sharing with the rest of the mesh network any internet connection is connected to the router WAN port. There’s no problem if more than one internet gateway is connected to the LiMe network, likely the one closest to the client will be used.

If the LiMe router has no WAN port (just LAN ports, or just one ethernet port), one of the ethernet ports has to be configured as WAN port in order to share the internet connection. Refer to next section for configuration.

Configuration

WORK IN PROGRESS

Refer to the LiMe config file page for detailed information.




Using the Console Interface (optional)

Until here we went through the installation, connection and configuration procedures using the LibreMesh web interface.

As in every Linux-based system there’s the availability of a textual console interface for advanced configuration and hardcore users.

This part of the guide should not be needed for normal LibreMesh use.

Flashing Via the Console Interface (optional)

This is possible just if you’re upgrading an existing OpenWrt, LEDE or LibreMesh installation, not from stock firmware.

Copy the downloaded firmware image to the /tmp directory on your target router using the scp command.

Do not try to copy the firmware image to directories different from /tmp. They have limited memory access.

In case the router already has LibreMesh you can do this with

scp /LOCAL/PATH/TO/BUILD.bin root@thisnode.info:/tmp/

Otherwise (upgrading from OpenWrt or LEDE) you will need to insert the router IP address in

scp /LOCAL/PATH/TO/BUILD.bin root@ROUTERIPADDRESS:/tmp/

When upgrading from OpenWrt, in order to connect via ssh/scp you will need to have an admin/root password set via the web interface or via telnet and the passwd command. Check out Connecting to your own node for help on this.

Now connect to the console interface using ssh, if LibreMesh is already running with ssh root@thisnode.info or with ssh root@ROUTERIPADDRESS if OpenWrt or LEDE are running.

Then enter the /tmp directory where the firmware is present with cd /tmp, check the presence of the file with ls and install it with

sysupgrade -n lede-ROUTERMODEL-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin

The -n option for sysupgrade command is needed for discarding the previous configuration files. Omitting the -n option is never a good idea when flashing LibreMesh.

For more information on the sysupgrade process, see these OpenWRT instructions.

Configuring Via the Console Interface (optional)

Rather than using the web interface, modifying directly /etc/config/lime file allows to access more advanced options but increases the risk of writing broken configuration.

You can use the vi or vim text editor for editing /etc/config/lime, the settings in this file will override the default ones in /etc/config/lime-defaults.

You can find examples and documentation in the /etc/config/lime-example file as well as in LiMe config file page on this website.

After saving the edits to the lime file, apply the changes to system configuration files launching the lime-config command. Next reboot the router with reboot && exit to apply the new settings.