Archive for the 'Announcement' Category

2.3.8.0 beta 1 testing release

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

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.

3G improvements
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.

Debug application
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 2.3.8.0_beta1 directory on the download server.

If the upgrade somehow fails and you need to recover, the FAQ section has recovery instructions.

Have fun!

Hotfix to make Flickr work again

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

A while ago, Flickr changed their API to require HTTPS connections to be made. This causes the Flickr uploader in the Fonera firmware to break.

As of today, there is a hotfix available for firmware 2.3.7.1 that fixes this problem and makes the Flickr uploader work again. Installing it is simple: Just head over to the “Applications” page on the Fonera dashboard and install the hotfix that’s listed there. It should work right away.

Note that this fix is only available for the latest released stable firmware version, 2.3.7.1. If you’re running an older version, you’ll have to upgrade first. Furthermore, if you ever do a factory reset, you’ll have to reinstall the hotfix (which is also the only way to uninstall the hotfix).

New stable firmware release: 2.3.7.0 Paco the alpaca

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Paco is finally here, loaded with fixes, new features and improvements! Just in time to have some holiday time to play with this new firmware.

What changed?
Comparing this release with the previous stable, 2.3.6.2, here’s a summary of the most important changes:

  • 2.0g now supports bridge mode (but not wifi-bridge mode, due to technical limitations).
  • 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.
  • Various networking and wifi fixes and improvements that can make the network more stable and a bit faster in some circumstances.
  • Wifi scans can now be performed from the web interface.
  • Status display in the dashboard is improved.
  • Large USB disks (>2TiB) are now supported.
  • Multiple Dynamic DNS providers are supported now.
  • Various software and drivers have been updated.
  • OpenVPN was made a lot more configurable.

There are dozens and dozens of smaller changes, which are listed in detail in the changelog.

So, how do I upgrade?

The easy way:

  • This method works if you’re currently running firmware 2.2.5.0 (Flipper) or 2.3.6.x (Gari).
  • Go to the “Applications” page in your Fonera’s webinterface.
  • You should see the firmware upgrade listed.
    Screenshot of the firmware upgrade part of the Applications page
  • Click the “plus” icon to install the firmware. It might take a few minutes for the page to load, it should show a countdown as soon as the actual upgrade started.
  • Done!

The manual way:

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).

The above links point to the end user’s versions of the firmware. For different versions, like the developer’s version (which allows SSH access and custom plugins) and the .img version (which can be installed through SSH), you can look in the Paco directory on the download server.

If the upgrade somehow fails and you need to recover, the FAQ section has recovery instructions.

Are there any known problems with this version?
Yes, this release is still not perfect, but we’re getting closer at every step. In any case, here’s two things that used to work, but are now broken in this release. If you depend on them, you might want to reconsider the upgrade:

  • The music plugin is no longer available on the Fonera 2.0g, due to its limited available flash memory. The firmware has grown a bit since Flipper, so now there is no longer enough free space to install the music plugin.
  • The “Media” file share stopped working. In this release, a small security / stability fix was applied, which had the unintended side-effect of breaking the “Media” share. The shares for the individual partitions still work as expected. See ticket #1243 for details.

Special thanks go out to all of our users who have been testing the testing releases and have been providing excellent feedback and even contributed back some code and improvements!

Have fun!

Update 2013.03.13: The firmware can now be upgraded through the webinterface, the Wake-on-LAN plugin can now be installed through the webinterface and some known bugs were documented in this post.

New official plugin: Wake-on-LAN

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

As of this week, the Fonosfera repository contains an brand new plugin: The Wake-on-LAN plugin, which can be used to remotely power on Wake-on-LAN capable machines on your local network, using the Fonera webinterface.

This plugin was inspired by a previous Wake-on-LAN plugin, created by one of our users and amended by a few others. Due to technical reasons (the user interface code did not use cbi), this plugin does not share any code with the original plugin, but it did inspire us to create this new plugin.

Wake-on-LAN interface

This is still a first version of this plugin, so we welcome people testing it and providing feedback. The plugin can be installed by downloading it from our firmware autobuilder and uploading it again through the Applications page of the Fonera webinterface. The plugin can be downloaded here:

Installing an application like this requires a DEV firmware. This plugin has been tested on 2.3.7.0 rc2, but I expect it will work on 2.3.6.x as well. After the 2.3.7.0 final release is out and this plugin is tested well enough, it will become available on the Applications page for a one-click install, just like the other official plugins.

Note that the plugin is still missing a proper icon, so it now has a temporary (ugly) icon instead.

Update 2013.03.13: Version 1.0.2 adds a proper icon and is now listed in the “Applications” page of the Fonera 2.0 dashboard and can be installed automatically by just clicking the “plus” icon. You’ll need at least firmware 2.3.7.0 for this, but it should work both in DEV and normal mode.

Setting up computers
To wake up a computer, it needs to support Wake-on-LAN (also known as “Magic Packet”) and have it enabled as well. Most modern computers support WOL, but it is often disabled by default. Often, a BIOS option named “Wake-on-LAN”, “Magic Packet”, or “PCI device wakeup” needs to be enabled, but usually you’ll also need to change some settings within your operating system. See this posting for some details on what to change. Rumour has it that Windows 7 needs some additional changes, see this posting for details.

Setting up the Fonera
After installing the application through the Applications page, you can access the WOL interface through the icon on the dashboard. To power on a computer, you’ll need to know its MAC address. You can add the MAC address to the top list, choose an arbitrary name so you can keep the various MAC addresses apart and click “Power On” to send the Magic Packet. If you already set up a static (DHCP) address assignment for the computer, you can directly click “Power on” in the bottom list (go to Settings -> Network to edit the bottom list).

If you test this plugin, let me know if it works for you, or if you have problems!

Update: I’ve updated the links above to point to version 1.0.1 of this plugin. This version should now also work on 2.0g and fixes a bug where your list of MAC addresses would be deleted when uninstalling the plugin or overwritten during plugin install. If you have the first version (1.0) installed and have a big list of MAC addresses that you want to preserve, you should make a backup of the /etc/config/luci_wol file manually before upgrading to this new version.

2.3.7.0 release candidate 2 released!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

A small update: This second release candidate fixes two serious bugs which prevented the PPPoE and 3G/UMTS internet connection types from being useful for most people. Additionally, two small bugs were fixed as well, see the changelog for details.

Here’s the firmware files:

See the previous post for instructions on installing these images and what to do with any feedback you might have.

Have fun!

SIMPL GPL sources now available

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Hi,

The SIMPL GPL source tarballs for version 4.0.2.3 are now online:

SIMPL GPL Fon source
SIMPL GPL Third party sources

FON

Fonera big disk support, testers needed

Monday, August 27th, 2012

The current SVN version of the Fonera 2.0n and 2.0g firmware should support big disks (more than 2TiB / 2.20 TB) connected through USB, which is great combined with the Transmission torrent client.. But since we can only test with so many different types of disks, we’d like to get some feedback about whether this support works with your disk.

In addition to supporting bigger disks, the mountd sofware (which takes care of making external USB disks available on your Fonera), has received a number of updates. It should be a bit more stable now and it offers more information about the different partitions on your disk through the WebGUI (in particular, information about partitions with an unsupported filesystem or partitions that could not be enabled for whatever reason is now shown).

So, if you have a big disk lying around and/or use the USB disk support a lot, you can help by upgrading to the latest SVN build and see if your disks (still) work with your Fonera. If they do, or don’t, or you’re having other disk-related problems, just leave a comment here (preferably including the disk brand and size).

How to install?
To test this SVN version, you can download it from our auto-builder here (pick fonera2 for 2.0g and fonera2n for 2.0n):

http://download.fonosfera.org/auto-builds/fon-ng/fon-ng-r2165/

The easiest way to install this firmware version is to download the tgz file and simply upload it through your WebGUI (you should be running 2.3.7.0 beta1 or above already). You can always downgrade to a stable or beta firmware again if you want.

Why aren’t these big disks supported by default, anyway
These limits come from the fact that 32-bit numbers were originally used to describe disk and partition sizes and addresses. Because, given the sizes of modern disks, 32-bit numbers cannot count very far (“only” up to 4.2 billion), we run into size limits when using them. To fix this, all parts of the Linux kernel as well as the partition table should be using 64-bit values, which can count over a billion times farther. Where the disk size limit lies exactly, depends a bit on the partition table and sector size in use.

Each disk uses a partition table to describe the partitions that are present on the disk. The standard partition table format is MSDOS/MBR, which uses 32-bit sector numbers, limiting the usable disk size to 2 TiB (232 * 512). To solve this, the GUID partition table (GPT/EFI) was created, which uses 64-bit sector numbers, practically removing the disk size limit altogether.

As a separate development, hard disks are switching from using 512-byte sectors to 4096-byte sectors. A sector is the smallest piece of the disk that can be separately addressed and using bigger sectors allows disks to more efficiently store and retrieve data. Using bigger sectors has the side effect that partition tables (which count sectors, not bytes) can address bigger disks.

Note that there are also disks that internally use 4096-byte sectors, but appear to use 512-byte sectors through some internal translation mechanism. The Fonera treats these disks as normal 512-byte disks.

To find out the sector size of your disk, look in the file “/var/state/mountd” on your Fonera or run the command “wmic DISKDRIVE get bytespersector,caption” on a command promt on a Windows machine.

Combining the partition table and sector size in use, we get:

  • Disks with normal sized sectors (512 bytes), using a standard (MSDOS/MBR) type partition table support only disks up to 2 TiB (2.20 TB, possibly more if all partitions are 2 TiB or smaller and start before the 2 TiB limit, but I haven’t tested this). These disks were supported on previous firmware releases as well.
  • Disks with normal sized sectors, using a GUID (GPT/EFI) type partition table, support disks over a billion TB in size. These disks should be supported on 2.0n since beta2, and on 2.0g in the current SVN version.
  • Disks with big sectors (4096 bytes), using a standard (MSDOS/MBR) type partition support disks up to 16 TiB (17.6 TB). These disks should be supported in the current SVN version.
  • Disks with big sectors (4096 bytes), using a GUID (GPT/EFI) type partition support disks over a trillian TB in size. These disks should be supported in the current SVN version.

Note: In this post TiB (Tebibyte) is used to mean 1024 * 1024 * 1024 * 1024 bytes, which is the conventoin used by computers to display disk sizes (and usually displayed as “TB” as well). Disk manufacturers usually use TB (Terabyte) to describe 1000,000,000,0000 bytes, which is why disks appear smaller than the manufacturer specifies them.

2.3.7.0 beta 3 released

Friday, June 15th, 2012

After some time with peaks and valleys in the development pace, we bring you the 2.3.7.0 beta3 release. This release contains most of the changes for the final release and should be the last beta release for 2.3.7.0. Read on for the goods.

What changed?
This release brings mostly bugfixes, but a few small features as well. Here’s a few highlights:

  • Instabilities in the wifi driver were fixed (broken since beta 1).
  • USB driver, ethernet driver, Transmission and OpenVPN were updated.
  • Various fixes to the downloader plugin and uploader plugins.
  • Rapidshare logins are working again.
  • Alternative dynamic DNS providers are now supported
  • Improve communication with the userzone on www.fon.com

For the complete list of changes, see the changelog.

What about my feedback?
We welcome more feedback from this new beta release, so go ahead and comment or post away. 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.

So, how do I upgrade?
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).

It seems that in some cases, the 2.0g fails to flash a new firmware through the webinterface due to insufficient free RAM. 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. Hopefully we can correct this issue before the final release.

If the upgrade somehow fails and you need to recover, the new FAQ section has recovery instructions.

Have fun!

Update: There is an issue with the web interface for the new DDNS scripts, making them effectively unusable. To fix this issue, run the following command through ssh:

root@Fonera:~# wget -O /lib/uci/schema/default/ddns

http://trac.fonosfera.org/fon-ng/export/2123/trunk/luci/applications/luci-ddns/root/lib/uci/schema/default/ddns

(note that the command should be on a single line, it is wrapped here for readability)

Transmission updated to 2.52 for 2.3.7.0 beta

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

I’ve just committed an update for Transmission, the Foneras torrent software, to the SVN repository, it now includes the latest version, 2.52. But since the Transmission plugin isn’t really part of the firmware itself, but downloaded from the Fon servers upon installation and because all the 2.3.7.0 (beta) versions use the same version of the plugin on the server, it seemed like a nice plan to upload the new version right away, as a sneak preview of the upcoming beta3 release.

So, if you want to get started with Transmission 2.52, make sure you have a 2.3.7.0 beta1 or beta2 firmware, remove the Transmission plugin if you have it installed already (by removing the torrent.* files from the FoneraApps directory on the USB stick/disk) and then install the plugin normally, you should get the 2.52 version.

As always, if you have questions, feel free to comment here and if you find bugs, please open a ticket on our trac.

For a list of changes in this and previous versions of Transmission, check out their release notes.

Have fun!

Automated firmware builds from subversion available

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Fon has an internal firmware autobuilder, that builds a new firmware for every revision that is committed to the Fonosfera Subversion repository. During the past time, I’ve been spending some of my time improving this autobuilder, allowing it to publish each of the firmware images it builds to the fonosfera.org download server.

You can download these images here: http://download.fonosfera.org/auto-builds/fon-ng/

This means that, if you want to keep on top of the bleeding edge firmware, are troubled by a bug that just got fixed in the SVN repository, or just want to help us out by testing our latest bugfixes and features, you can download one of these firmware versions and flash it into your Fonera.

Some things to take into account:

  • This is only for the fon-ng/fonosfera firmware, which is for the 2.0g and 2.0n devices.
  • These are bleeding edge versions, so there’s always a chance of a firmware containing new bugs or not working at all. It is very unlikely that a bad firmware can really brick your Fonera, though (The firmware recovery methods will almost certainly still work).
  • Sometimes, a revision might be skipped if multiple commits happen shortly after each other or if building failed for that revision.
  • A firmware build usually takes two hours to complete (but this can be more if multiple builds run in parallel) and starts within a minute after a commit.
  • These firmware images are raw images that can be flashed through SSH. They cannot be flashed through the web interface (like .tar.gz images).

If you like this new service, have a question or problem, feel free to leave a comment!

Update: I just realized that using a Transmission version from the autobuilder is actually possible and easy: Just install the regular version of the plugin, download the fmg file (e.g. plugins/torrent_2.52-1_fonera2n.fmg) from auto-builds and then replace the .fmg file on your USB stick (e.g. FoneraApps/torrent.2.3.7.0.fmg) with it. You might need to delete the .var file (e.g., FoneraApps/torrent.2.3.7.0.var) file as well to reset the Transmission settings).