Archive for August, 2011 Beta 1 available for testing

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

It has been a while until we started work on the firmware release, and things took considerably longer than anticipated, but we’re getting there! In any case, the beta1 firmware is now available for download and contains tons of changes, features and fixes!

Since this a beta release, some problems should be expected. It’s highly unlikely that this release will actually damage any of your data, but there’s a realistic chance for networking problems in particular environments, losing settings on the upgrade (though that’s much improved!) or other small problems. However, don’t expect anything a factory reset or downgrade won’t fix. If this is ok for you, read on for the new goods.

So, what changed?

  • 2.0g is supported again.
  • 2.0g now supports bridge mode.
  • All settings should be properly preserved on an upgrade or settings backup. This includes upgrades to this release, not just from.
  • libevent, Transmission, fuse, ntfs-3, usb-modeswitch, OpenVPN, the 2.0n usb and 2.0n wifi driver have been updated.
  • Networking code was restructured. Problems with networking after changing the configuration (previously needing a reboot to fix) should no longer occur.
  • Anonymous access to the “Windows file shares” can now be enabled in the “Fileserver” settings.
  • Various problems with OpenVPN have been fixed.
  • The “Orange page” with the “Your internet is misconfigured” message was removed. It caused more problems than it solved, due to onlined incorrectly detecting a broken connection when it was still working.
  • After unplugging a 3G modem, the previous internet configuration is restored (instead of always reverting to DHCP).
  • Twitter notifications are working again. Visit the Twitter page in your dashboard to set this up again.
  • The Fonera can act as a wifi client (“wifi wan mode”) again, now on both 2.0g and 2.0n. Additionally, wifi wan mode can be combined with bridge mode, to bridge two networks together using a wifi link. Note that wifi-bridge mode turned out to be broken on 2.0g. Only use it on 2.0n with this release!
  • WPS is fixed and enabled again on 2.0n.
  • opkg works out-of-the-box on the commandline now.
  • The music plugin is working again on 2.0n. Unfortunately, 2.0g does not have enough free space for the music plugin (because of OpenSSL being included for OpenVPN and the twitter app), perhaps we can find some way to free up some space for the final release.

Above, the most important changes are shown. There is also a complete list of changes since available.

This beta version already contains most of the stuff that will be in the final release, so don’t expect any major changes until then. The reason we do release a beta now, instead of going straight ahead and release the final version is so the firmware can get some additional testing and we can get some feedback. This is particularly needed on the 2.0g hardware, where the amount of changes since the last stable release is massive.

How to install?

To install this beta firmware, download the web upgrade tarball here, navigate to your Fonera’s dashboard through “Settings” and then “System” and upload the downloaded file 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).

The following versions are available. Note that because this is beta version, only the developer’s version is available, not the end user’s version (but you can freely switch between versions without problems). 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).

After upgrading, all of your settings should be preserved. If you still find a setting that got lost during the upgrade, please report it as a bug!

What to do with feedback?
If you install this beta firmware, we appreciate all the feedback on the firmware you can spare. This does not just mean issues or problems: If you test a new or fixed feature and it works for you, we’d like to know as well. Feedback is welcome through various channels: comments on this blogpost, the development mailing list, IRC or by creating a ticket on our trac. If you have found an actual problem you’d like to see fixed, a ticket on the trac is probably the best way to report it. For other feedback, any of the channels will do.

And what’s next?
So, where do we go from here? Next up is a period of testing, both for us internally and for you, if you feel up to it. I expect this testing to last at least one, possibly two months, depending on how much things still turn out to be broken. After we’ve collected enough feedback and fixed any problems reported, we’ll probably release a Release Candidate for some final testing and then the final release shortly after.

As a last note: when leaving comments here on the blog, please remember the comment policy. Offensive, inappropriate and cynical comments will be deleted as usual.