Linksys EA 6900 Install Guide

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raximus21
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 30 Dec 2017
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:48    Post subject: Reply with quote
egc wrote:
to see if you have bot linux and linux2 partitons telnet to your router and issue:
Code:
cat /proc/mtd

This will show all partitions.

To see which partition is used issue:
Code:
ubootenv get boot_part
This will get either 1 or 2.
DDWRT usually writes to Linux2

To set t0 boot partition 1:
Code:
ubootenv set boot_part 1


If you interrupt the boot process by swithcing off 3 times during booting then the alternative bootpartition is also used.

You can also write a build manually from command prompt:
Code:
cd /tmp
wget http://www.desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/dd-wrt.v24-K3_AC_ARM_STD.bin
mtd write fw.bin linux (or linux2 if that is where you want to write)
reboot


Reset from the gui, erase nvram from the command prompt is not safe if you are not on XVortex's CFE (which is btw recommended)


@egc

Thanks so much I was finally able to update to latest BS build using
Code:
mtd write fw.bin linux


But...

I would very much like to see my active boot partition and switch between them using the
Code:
ubootenv get boot_part
and
Code:
ubootenv set boot_part 1
commands.

They do not work when I telnet in on busybox v1.27.2 I get -sh: ubootenv: not found ?

One last thing can you tell me why I have a ddwrt partition on mtd6 and what it does?

dev: size erasesize name
mtd0: 00080000 00020000 "boot"
mtd1: 00100000 00020000 "nvram"
mtd2: 01d00000 00020000 "linux"
mtd3: 01b60000 00020000 "rootfs"
mtd4: 02100000 00020000 "linux2"
mtd5: 01f60000 00020000 "rootfs2"
mtd6: 06000000 00020000 "ddwrt

Any advice? Thanks.
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egc
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 18 Mar 2014
Posts: 1484
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:14    Post subject: Reply with quote
ubootenv is probably not present any longer in linksys firmware because they try to lock everything down

The DDWRT partition is present on all DDWRT builds probably to keep some variables. The only thing that is different is that you have 2 Linux partitions (hence the dual boot)

_________________
Router Netgear R6400, Linksys EA6900 (XvortexCFE), Linksys E2000 (converted WRT320N), WRT54GS v1.
Install guide see Linksys EA6900: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=291230
raximus21
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 30 Dec 2017
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:42    Post subject: Reply with quote
egc wrote:
ubootenv is probably not present any longer in linksys firmware because they try to lock everything down

The DDWRT partition is present on all DDWRT builds probably to keep some variables. The only thing that is different is that you have 2 Linux partitions (hence the dual boot)


Thanks so much for the reply. Cool

Currently I am flashed to the latest BS build and ubootenv is not found.

Do I need to install uboot-envtools from OpenWRT in order to set my boot partition?
egc
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 18 Mar 2014
Posts: 1484
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:58    Post subject: Reply with quote
You can try to install uboot-envtools from OpenWRT, but it is not necessary, you can flash to any partiton you like with the command line.

Flashing from the GUI will always flash to linux2 partition, you can leave the linux partition alone or also flash a DDWRT build to that partition with the command line.

What you can do is flash from the GUI and if that build is working and stable then flash that same build to linux partition, and then just flash the newer build from the GUI which then sits again on linux2.

In the old days the linksys CFE switches to the alternate partition after 3 times failing to boot, so if you interrupt the boot process 3 times (by switching the router off) it should revert to booting from the other partition (at least that is how it used to work)

_________________
Router Netgear R6400, Linksys EA6900 (XvortexCFE), Linksys E2000 (converted WRT320N), WRT54GS v1.
Install guide see Linksys EA6900: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=291230
raximus21
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 30 Dec 2017
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 2:37    Post subject: Reply with quote
@egc

Thanks for all you input I really appreciate it. Cool

What I was hoping to do was have two different firmware builds on the EA6900 and switch between them using:

Code:
ubootenv set boot_part 1


For instance:
1 - linux: Kong
2 - linux2: BS

or

1 - linux: Tomato
2 - linux2: Kong

I might try to get openwrt package manager installed if I ever get wds working with security enabled between my EA6900 and my E3200.
raximus21
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 30 Dec 2017
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:53    Post subject: Reply with quote
@egc @cybrnook

Does anyone have a copy of the original stock EA6900 CFE file? I've somehow deleted my linux2 partition trying to install uboot-envtools. Thanks. Confused
egc
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 18 Mar 2014
Posts: 1484
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:17    Post subject: Reply with quote
Partitions should be recreated when you boot by the CFE, so if you have not altered the CFE the partitons should be recreated.

The Xvortex CFE (which I am using) does not make a linux2 partition.

I have an orginal CFE, from backup when I started using the Xvortex CFE but you have to hack your own MAC address into it. I am not sure if the CFEedit tool from XVortex also works on stock CFE, and if you do anything wrong you will brick your router.
My advice in this stage: follow instructions from Cybernook/Xvortex to use the Xvortex CFE (but set MAC addresses according to my instructions if you want to use DDWRT)

But I can send you the original CFE if you want

_________________
Router Netgear R6400, Linksys EA6900 (XvortexCFE), Linksys E2000 (converted WRT320N), WRT54GS v1.
Install guide see Linksys EA6900: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=291230
ghoffman
DD-WRT User


Joined: 03 Jan 2010
Posts: 417

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:49    Post subject: Reply with quote
@raximus:
i did not think that the EA6900 uses a u-boot scheme. broadcom CFE is a different bootloader.
i think you want to use the nvram set / commit to alter the
bootpartition variable before rebooting.

see:
https://forum.lede-project.org/t/build-for-linksys-ea9500/1817

https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/techref/bootloader/cfe
raximus21
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 30 Dec 2017
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 19:29    Post subject: Reply with quote
ghoffman wrote:
@raximus:
i did not think that the EA6900 uses a u-boot scheme. broadcom CFE is a different bootloader.
i think you want to use the nvram set / commit to alter the
bootpartition variable before rebooting.

see:
https://forum.lede-project.org/t/build-for-linksys-ea9500/1817

https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/techref/bootloader/cfe


Thanks for the information, that would have been good to know yesterday. Sadly I no longer have a linux2 to switch to... Sad
raximus21
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 30 Dec 2017
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 19:45    Post subject: Reply with quote
egc wrote:
Partitions should be recreated when you boot by the CFE, so if you have not altered the CFE the partitons should be recreated.

The Xvortex CFE (which I am using) does not make a linux2 partition.

I have an orginal CFE, from backup when I started using the Xvortex CFE but you have to hack your own MAC address into it. I am not sure if the CFEedit tool from XVortex also works on stock CFE, and if you do anything wrong you will brick your router.
My advice in this stage: follow instructions from Cybernook/Xvortex to use the Xvortex CFE (but set MAC addresses according to my instructions if you want to use DDWRT)

But I can send you the original CFE if you want


@egc

Thanks for all your help.

This was the output of:

Code:
cat /proc/mtd
before:

Quote:
dev: size erasesize name
mtd0: 00080000 00020000 "boot"
mtd1: 00100000 00020000 "nvram"
mtd2: 01d00000 00020000 "linux"
mtd3: 01b60000 00020000 "rootfs"
mtd4: 02100000 00020000 "linux2"
mtd5: 01f60000 00020000 "rootfs2"
mtd6: 06000000 00020000 "ddwrt


This is the output now:

Quote:
dev: size erasesize name
mtd0: 00080000 00020000 "boot"
mtd1: 00100000 00020000 "nvram"
mtd2: 03e00000 00020000 "linux"
mtd3: 03c60000 00020000 "rootfs"
mtd4: 06000000 00020000 "ddwrt"


Sad

This is what I did.

I prepared a USB /opt drive as instructed in the wiki.

I have the latest Kong build installed and I ran the bootstrap script and installed opkg. From there I used these commands:

Code:
cd /opt

wget https://downloads.openwrt.org/chaos_calmer/15.05.1/bcm53xx/generic/packages/base/uboot-envtools_2014.10-2_bcm53xx.ipk

opkg install uboot-envtools_2014.10-2_bcm53xx.ipk


Of course after that I still didn't have ubootenv commands but my linux2 is gone.

Is there some way I can recover my CFE or re-create my linux2 partition?

I was also thinking maybe I could use the CFEtool as you suggested to fix it somehow.

I would have backed up my CFE had I known just running those commands would alter my CFE or do you think something else is going on?

I have tried to 30 30 30 and it's still gone.

I would very much like to have a copy of that stock CFE if there is no other way to repair mine now.

Any further advice would be greatly appreciated.


Last edited by raximus21 on Tue Jan 02, 2018 23:35; edited 1 time in total
raximus21
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 30 Dec 2017
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 22:01    Post subject: Reply with quote
@egc

On the first page of the Merlin/XVortex post Xvortex posts a link to a stock CFE file and says that it does not matter about the MAC for recovery. So any stock CFE file should resolve my issue. However I downloaded his stock CFE and compared it with my (broken) backup and there was one difference in the CFEedit tool.

XVortex - sw_version=3.1.12
Mine - sw_version=3.1.13

I'm assuming his CFE is from v1.0 and mine is from v1.1.

Do you know where I can get a stock CFE from v1.1?

Please and thank you! Cool
egc
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 18 Mar 2014
Posts: 1484
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:49    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here is a CFE for 1.1 I do not think there is a difference on the hardware level.
As you are going to swap CFE why don't you use the Xvortex CFE?

Note use a hex editor to see if the CFE resembles the CFE you have to make a quick assessment if it looks OK



cfe1.1.zip
 Description:

Download
 Filename:  cfe1.1.zip
 Filesize:  121.06 KB
 Downloaded:  29 Time(s)


_________________
Router Netgear R6400, Linksys EA6900 (XvortexCFE), Linksys E2000 (converted WRT320N), WRT54GS v1.
Install guide see Linksys EA6900: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=291230
raximus21
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 30 Dec 2017
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 23:21    Post subject: Reply with quote
egc wrote:
Here is a CFE for 1.1 I do not think there is a difference on the hardware level.
As you are going to swap CFE why don't you use the Xvortex CFE?

Note use a hex editor to see if the CFE resembles the CFE you have to make a quick assessment if it looks OK


Thanks so much! I'm sorry for the late reply I had some computer issues and couldn't get online.

I might try XVortex CFE at some point I have it downloaded but I really wanted to be able to dual boot different firmwares is the reason.

Thank you @egc for everything! Cool
raximus21
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 30 Dec 2017
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 19:19    Post subject: Reply with quote
@egc

I compared my CFE backup to your CFE 1.1 using Beyond Compare hex mode and they were different. I found another CFE 1.1 from another EA6900 thread on here and that CFE and your CFE were identical.

I am assuming that something went wrong with my CFE and I flashed the CFE you provided to my router. After I cleared NVRAM and did a 30 30 30 I still didn't have my partition structure restored. I made a CFE backup from my EA6900 to compare with the one you provided and those were identical so I know the CFE flash worked.

I wanted to share this next information so that it might help someone else.

At this point I decided to flash the original stock firmware to my only linux partition. I did a mtd write stock.bin linux and it bricked the router.

I couldn't see any way back to the partition structure that I wanted without going back to the original firmware so I had to go for it. I tried for some time to reset, reboot blah blah nothing worked.

However if I ping 192.168.1.1 w 2 I got a TLS=100 reply. I tried a few different tftp methods and then I found this from the official Linksys site which I have never seen posted anywhere before:

https://www.linksys.com/us/support-article?articleNum=137928

I STRONGLY recommend this little tftp recovery program. I turned my router off. I got the original firmware file ready in the program. I turned the router on, waited 5 seconds, and hit the upload button in the tftp program. After a little bit it uploaded the original firmware to the EA6900 and after I did a reboot and NVRAM clear my original partition structure both linux and linux2 was recovered.

The trick to getting the dual boot back is to flash the router back to the original firmware. I have learned that the partition structure is based on the firmware that you flash and not on the CFE file.

Thanks for all of the help everyone and I hope this little bit of info helps someone else in the future. Cool
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