How to install Openwrt on a TL-WR703N

Thu, 29/11/2012 - 11:59 -- Remiguel

This small router TL-WR703N allows to have a WiFi hotspot at home, on vacation without spending a lot of money (20€). This router was build for the Chinese market, therefore the GUI is in perfect Chinese. We can find a linux build "Openwrt" especially tailored for this router. Flashing the TL-WR703N with Openwrt firmware let us to configure the router with more option and with less barrier. Additional we can get a GUI in our own language.

 


First steps:

  • Download the firmware squashfs-factory.bin (this one squashfs-sysupgrade.bin no) from this page.
  • Power the WR703N on a USB port from our pc or with its own power supply.
  • Lookup in your pc o Mac network "TL-WR703N" and join it.
  • In your browser enter the IP 192.168.1.1. A login window will show up.
  • Connect with user admin and password admin.
  • You will be redirected to a nice Chinese page (see below).
  • In the left column, click on the last menu (1), to get access to submenu.
  • Click on the third submenu (2) to access to the page (3), to select the new firmware.
  • Click on the right button (4) and choose the firmware.
  • Accept with the grey button at the bottom of the window, to the left side (5).
  • A window with a progress-bar will show up. Please do not disconnect the router.
  • While the router WR703N is reflashing, the blue LED is blinking. You will loose the WiFi connection at the end of the flashing process. At the end of the process the blue LED will stop flashing.

Router configuration:

Once Openwrt is installed on the WR703N, we have no WiFi. We have to connect a PC or Mac to WR703N with an Ethernet cable and proceed to the setup. It is time to change its IP address as well.

Step to follow

  • Plug an Ethernet cable from the computer to the WR703N.
  • With Windows download PuTTY (allow connection with both Telnet and SSH). With Mac we can do it with the terminal.
  • On your computer, turn off your WiFi or Internet connection (to avoid to modify your home router by accident)
  • Open PuTTY choose Telnet, enter IP 192.168.1.1 and click on Open

This window will show up.

 

To edit the network file;

We take the opportunity that we are already connected to the router, to edit the /etc/config/network file. We can do that with the vi editor (already installed). Once vi editor invoked, we have to remember that pressing i, we will go in insert mode, dd allows to erase the line where the cursor is, esc will exit both function i or dd, :w following by enter will save the file. With Ctrl z we will exit of the vi editor.

vi /etc/config/network

  • Below the lan interface, change the IP address 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.111. Add the Google dns 8.8.8.8 and the gateway. The gateway must be the IP address of your home router (it should be 192.168.1.1).

  • Set a password with the command passwd. Once done the telnet will be automatically deactivated, we have to connect now, with Secure Shell ssh.

passwd

  • Write down a new root password.
  • Shut down the router WR703N.

Now we are finished. We can proceed to the LuCI installation (GUI for the router WR703N)

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