Compatible Hardware

It is recommended that the router has at least 8 MB of flash memory and 64 MB of RAM. For routers with 4 MB flash memory or 32 MB of RAM, use the special firmware named -mini or compile one yourself excluding some heavy packages (e.g. opkg or the LuCI and lime-app web interfaces).

Not all the OpenWrt supported routers work with LibreMesh (at least, not with its default configuration), for a list of the tested hardware, see our hardware page.

Get the Firmware

Choose a source for your firmware

  • For the latest stable release with default configuration (e.g. wireless AP name LibreMesh.org) you can use our downloads site (recommended);

  • For using the latest LibreMesh code, you can compile the firmware on your GNU/Linux computer (or virtual machine) using OpenWrt buildroot as described in the Development page (advanced);

For more options check the Get It page.

Download the correct firmware image

Find the download for your router by name or model. 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 there’s no -factory.bin image or you are upgrading an existing install of LibreMesh or OpenWrt, 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 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 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 download an AirOS 5.5.x version (for XM hardware here, for XW hardware here and for TI hardware here) 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.

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 LibreMesh network, likely the one closest to the client will be used.

If the LibreMesh 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

Refer to the LibreMesh config file page and to /docs/lime-example file 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 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) you will need to insert the router IP address (often 192.168.1.1) in

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

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 is 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 openwrt-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 vim text editor (a short vim guide here) 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 /docs/lime-example file (you can find it online here) as well as in LibreMesh 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.