SIMPL GPL sources now available

September 7th, 2012 by Fon

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

August 27th, 2012 by Matthijs

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

June 15th, 2012 by Matthijs

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

May 29th, 2012 by Matthijs

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

April 24th, 2012 by Matthijs

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).

2.3.7.0 Beta 2: Getting closer

September 27th, 2011 by Matthijs

After our recent 2.3.7.0 beta1 release, we’ve received a lot of feedback from you. After addressing most of the issues you raised, it seems appropriate to do a second beta release before heading on with the final release. So, here it is: 2.3.7.0 beta 2.

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

  • wifi-bridge mode was disabled on 2.0g. It turns out that there are fundamental problems with wifi-bridge mode which are hard to solve on 2.0g. wifi-bridge mode will continue to work on 2.0n as before. See ticket #1080 for the technical details.
  • You can now do a wifi scan from the webgui. There is a scanning interface under the “internet” settings when wifi or wifi-bridge mode is selected, to help connecting to another wifi network. There is also a scanning interface under “wireless” settings, to help picking a free (or not-so-crowded) channel.
  • Hopefully, big (>2TB) disks are now better supported. This is still untested, though, so feedback is welcome.
  • Transmission was updated to version 2.33, bringing a bunch of extra fixes and features.

For the complete list of changes, see the changelog. There’s still a few issues that still need to be fixed or at least looked into. These issues are collected in the trac 2.3.7.0 milestone. We can’t promise that all of these issues will be fixed before the final release, but at least they will be looked into.

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

I’ve tried to respond to every particular issue you’ve raised in response to the first beta, but it might be that some issue slipped my mind. So if you haven’t seen any response to your issue, the issue is not fixed and it is not in the list of pending tickets, feel free to raise it again.

So, where is this release?
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).

SIMPL GPL sources now available

September 1st, 2011 by Fon

Hi,

The SIMPL GPL source tarball is now online.

Sorry for the delay,

FON

2.3.7.0 Beta 1 available for testing

August 9th, 2011 by Matthijs

It has been a while until we started work on the 2.3.7.0 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 2.3.6.1 available.

This beta version already contains most of the stuff that will be in the final 2.3.7.0 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.

Fonera downloader 0.1.9

April 26th, 2011 by javiermon

Hi

I’ve just uploaded a new version of the plugin which fixes the authentication code with transmission which was not working.

If you cannot wait, you can download it from here

Javier

Edit: Link fixed.

Fonera downloader plugin updated for Firefox 4

March 22nd, 2011 by javiermon

Hi

Firefox 4 is out and the Fonera 2.0 downloader plugin for Firefox has been updated and submitted to mozilla addons website today. If everything goes fine, it should be available real soon here. This release (v0.1.8) only adds support for Firefox 4.0, no new features.

If you can’t wait, see the ticket in trac with links to the file and instructions to build it for the adventurous.

Javier.