After a lot of work on the 3G support in the Fonera firmware, it’s finally time to share some of this work with you in the form of this beta release. As the name suggests, this release should be considered a testing release – it’ll probably not eat your data, but don’t be surprised if your internet connection breaks at some point. Having said that, we welcome you to try this release and provide feedback about any issues you encounter. You can always downgrade back to the latest stable firmware if there is a problem that is a showstopper for you.
As mentioned, improved 3G support is the biggest change in this release. By itself, this release does not magically add support for more 3G devices (though it’s likely that some devices that didn’t work before now do due to usb-modeswitch updates and kernel fixes), but it mostly cleans up the 3G support and makes it easier to debug issues with 3G devices.
For some more details about how the new 3G interface works and how to go about getting your device working, a separate blogpost is available. Please carefully read that post if you run into 3G problems.
Note that 3G devices no longer automatically connect when plugged in. By default, you’ll have to connect by clicking a button in the webinterface, though you can still configure the old behaviour of automatically connecting on device insertion by going to 3G -> Configure and then select “On device insertion: connect automatically”.
3G dongles and hubs
One change to point out specifically is that 3G devices in combination with USB hubs should not cause any problems anymore. Previously, using an USB hub would break connectivity for some 3G dongles. It turned out there were two unrelated bugs in the kernel USB driver that both caused problems with hubs under different circumstances. After extensive debugging, these issues have been found and fixed.
If you still find an issue with a hub (i.e., your dongle works without a hub, but doesn’t when connected through a hub) please report it.
Another new addition in this release is the debug application. It’s not very powerful yet, but allows collecting some debugging information through the webinterface, as well as increasing the log buffer size. This should help us to collect debug information from users that are not comfortable with using the SSH interface.
To install this application, just head over to the “Applications” page on your dashboard – it should be listed there.
So, how do I upgrade?
Download the web upgrade tarball below, navigate to your Fonera’s dashboard through “Settings” and then “System” and upload the tarball there (under “Firmware update”). Note that you should not unpack the file you download (and make sure your browser doesn’t automatically unzip the file either, it should remain a .tgz file).
Note: On 2.0g, the firmware update might fail due to insufficient memory. If you upload the firmware through the webinterface, but that page keeps loading indefinitely (and you do not get the updating countdown), you’re probably seeing this issue as well. As a workaround, you can disable windows file sharing (“Settings” -> “Fileserver” -> “Windows Network Shares”) and/or the public Fonspot (“Settings” -> “FONSpot”) to free up some memory. This should allow the 2.0g to successfully unpack the firmware and start flashing it.
This firmware is available for the following hardware. Be sure to pick the version for your hardware. If you pick the wrong one, the firmware update will silently bail out and no upgrade will happen (no error will appear either).
Since this is a beta release, only developer’s versions are available. For the .img version (which can be installed through SSH), you can look in the 184.108.40.206_beta1 directory on the download server.