Archive for August, 2010

Gari jr. bringing small but important fixes

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

You’ve been waiting on this release for a while (and again it took longer than expected, partly because the orange page turned out to be hard to debug, partly because the method of building the firmware was made a bit more reliable, partly because of the holiday season), but it’s finally here: Gari jr. (or, less poetically, 2.3.6.1). It fixes the most important bugs that had snuck into 2.3.6.0 (so this release is still just for the 2.0n).

Here’s the (exhaustive) list of changes:

  • The “Your internet is misconfigured” page will not show up so quickly anymore. With 2.3.6.0 a lot of people were seeing this “orange page”, even when their internet was configured just fine. This happened in particular when their internet connection was loaded and some packets got lost. Now, the Fonera rechecks a few times if the connection is really broken before showing the orange page (so it might still show up when (over)loading the internet connection occasionally. In the future, we might remove the orange page altogether. See ticket #669 for more details.
  • Friends & Family accounts and configuration on fon.com has been fixed. To get existing F&F accounts working again, you’ll have to go to the F&F page on fon.com and click the save button (no need to make actual changes, but it could take a bit more than 2 minutes to take effect). See ticket #620 for details.
  • Registration should work again. In 2.3.6.0, the registration link on the dashboard was wrong, but this has been corrected. If you have bought your new Fonera and updated the firmware before registering, you should now update it again so you can register it. See ticket #830 for details.
  • WPS was disabled. It seems it got broken in 2.3.6.0, and in its broken state it caused problems with some Android and Blackberry phones not detecting the private signal. See ticket #540 for details.
  • Rapidshare premium accounts are working again in the download manager. Rapidshare had changed their login procedure, so the downloadmanager needed an update as well. Note that the firmware upgrade (still) does not preserve your login details, so you’ll have to re-add both your Megaupload and Rapidshare account after the upgrade. See ticket #872 for details.
  • The default (and only) SSL library is now openssl. Previously, some parts of luci still used cyassl, but having both caused build failures. This shouldn’t have any visible changes, though.
  • In DEV mode, the Fonera no longer forgets the password strength on upgrades. Previously, this would cause SSH WAN access to become disabled in an undetectable way. Note that the upgrade still forgets the application firewall settings, so you’ll still have to re-enable all services to allow access on the WAN side. See ticket #633 for details.

Note that this update does not fix ticket #874, which causes the public signal to flicker off and on for some people. This issue can also prevent registration from working! If our diagnosis about this issue is correct, we should be able to fix this on the server side somewhere in the coming week.

Due to changes in the buildprocess, most of the lua code has been precompiled as well (which somehow didn’t happen with 2.3.6.0). This might cause the web interface to respond a bit faster as well.

Overall, we recommend all users to install this update.

To install the new firmware, download the web upgrade tarball here (NO NEED to extract them, just upload them to the Settings->System page). If you don’t know which version to pick, you’ll want the Enduser version.

For me personally, preparing this release has allowed me to find out how things work exactly at Fon and in the firmware itself. Turns out things are pretty complicated ;-) Anyway, the firmware release process has been improved a bit already and documented, but we will probably automate it even further for the next release. Hopefully all of this means the next firmware release will be smoother than this one.

Speaking about that next release, it will be versioned 2.3.7.0. The major release goal for that release is to support 2.0g again: In the past we’ve been hard pressed to get the 2.0n firmware stable (especially the wifi driver side), but we hadn’t got the time to give 2.0g the proper attention. Now we’ll try to make up for that and have a release for both 2.0g and 2.0n again, which should include some extra updates and bugfixes as well. I’ll try to publish a bit more detailed post about this in the coming weeks.

Update: We’ve found the first minor regression in 2.3.6.1. When you do a factory reset and go through the welcome wizard, you’ll get a lua error: “attempt to index field ‘spot’ (a nil value)”. For more info and a workaround, see ticket #894. We’ll probably not release a separate fix for this, but instead make sure this is fixed in 2.3.7.0.

Update: There’s a second minor regression in 2.3.6.1. Again in the wizard, you can enter your Rapidshare account details. However, the code that processes those details has not been updated to reflect the new Rapidshare login method, so entering your details in the wizard will (silently) fail. Entering your details in the download manager settings normally should work.