Linksys EA 6900 Install Guide

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egc
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 18 Mar 2014
Posts: 3772
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:22    Post subject: Reply with quote
With the new CFE you can not install via the GUI, you have to install via the Command Line.

Via the command line you can see whether the new CFE is installed as the partition scheme is altered.

Open a CLI with putty and do
Code:
cat /proc/mtd


you should see:

Quote:
root@EA6900:~# cat /proc/mtd
dev: size erasesize name
mtd0: 00080000 00020000 "boot"
mtd1: 00100000 00020000 "nvram"
mtd2: 03e00000 00020000 "linux"
mtd3: 03c60000 00020000 "rootfs"
mtd4: 04000000 00020000 "ddwrt"
root@EA6900:~#

_________________
Routers:Netgear R7800, Netgear R6400v1, Netgear R6400v2, Linksys EA6900 (XvortexCFE), Linksys E2000 (converted WRT320N), WRT54GS v1.
Install guide Linksys EA6900: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=291230
Simple PBR (Policy Based Routing) script: https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=318662
Install guide R6400v2:http://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=316399
OpenVPN server setup guide:
https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=318795
Install guide R7800: https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=320614
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217R
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 19 Mar 2019
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 14:53    Post subject: Failed on Firmware 1.1.42.174776 Reply with quote
egc wrote:
Linksys EA 6900 Install Guide
The Linksys EA 6900 is a dual core Arm Cortex A9 based router clocked at 800 MHZ. Version 1.0 was introduced in 2013, version 1.1 in 2014. This Router is comparable with the likes of the ASUS RT-AC68U and sports 128 MB flash NAND and 256 MB Ram memory it has 3 external antennas for a 3x3 Wi-Fi mimo, gigabit Ethernet and a USB 3.0 port.

This router is supported by DD-WRT, but there are some caveats. This routers has a bug in the CFE (a CFE is comparable to the BIOS of a PC). Due to this bug NVRAM size cannot go over 32 KB.
Furthermore models with newer firmware, which are purchased after mid 2016, are possibly locked down and cannot be upgraded with 3rd party firmware like DDWRT.

If you have a very simple set up, NVRAM size will stay below 32 KB. There are however workarounds to beat or mitigate this bug which are described below.
If you intend to flash your router, first read the sticky threads in the forum: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=1&sid=83cfd9791ad751578e6c7705e33fc9ae especially the Peacock thread, this gives general information how to flash etc.

This guide is a summary of the Linksys EA6900 thread which has over 60 pages which you can find at: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=178138&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

If you have questions post these in our forum.

Initial Flashing
Warning: flashing your router can brick it, especially if you do not follow the correct procedures.

New routers after aprox. mid 2016, are reported to be locked!
So you have to take extra steps to upload 3rd party firmware see: http://www.linksysinfo.org/index.php?threads/asuswrt-merlin-xvortex-on-linksys-ea6900-supports-tomato-dd-wrt.71718/page-7#post-284060

This is from user @Whitewizard: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=309593

Quote:
For DD-wrt 1/2:
[browserofchoice] 192.168.1.1 for linksyssmartwifi.com, check both boxes.
password=admin (if it never loads one of the screens unplug router, reboot computer, plug back in)
Troubleshooting tab, diagnostics tab, restore previous firmware button
If it asks for a file, give it linksys-ea6900-webflash.bin and skip to the next paragraph
If not, hold off on clicking yes. Open two cmd prompts. In one type Ping 192.168.1.1 -t
press enter on this one to let it ping, at the end it should say ttl=64
In the other just type tftp -i 192.168.1.1 put "C:\linksys-ea6900-webflash.bin"
(linksys-ea6900-webflash.bin being the file which is used for initial flashing, see below))

Back to the router webui click yes and the router will reboot.
Wait until the 4th or 5th line of ttl=100 in the ping cmd window to press enter on the tftp cmd window
If the tftp window says success after 45s or so continue to cfe
Otherwise if ttl=64 unplug the router and replug to try to tftp again when ttl=100 in the ping window
(up arrow in the cmd window to retry old commands)


Another possible solution is to downgrade linksys firmware as reported by @Bronzemaxell at page 7 of this thread: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=291230&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=90
Timing is critical so you probably need a lot of retries but it is confirmed to work.
The linksys stock firmware for downgrading is attached to this post (FW_EA6900_1.1.42.161129_prod_DDWRT_upgrade.img). The procedure for downgrading is also covered in the attached DDWRT EA6900 Upgrade CFE instructions By Crashman and EGC.doc file

Before you can use the latest DD-WRT firmware you have to flash an initial build.
This is necessary because current builds are too large, so you have to use a smaller build for initial flashing. For initial flashing see the supported devices page at: http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_Devices#Linksys_.28Wireless_a.2Fb.2Fg.2Fn.2Fac.29

You can find the recommended build 23194 from 22-12-2013 for the initial flashing at: ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2013/12-22-2013-r23194/linksys-ea6900/ .
Builds from early 2014, can also be used probably the latest build for initial flashing is build 23598 from 19-2-2014 which can be found at: ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2013/2014/02-19-2014-r23598/linksys-ea6900/

Before flashing always reset to factory defaults, do not use the 30-30-30 method for resetting or the "erase nvram" command, this can brick your router, use reset to factory defaults from the webGUI.

So Reset to factory defaults first via the Linksys webGUI and flash the initial DD WRT build from the Linksys webGUI.

As this router has a dual boot setup you should probably repeat this procedure so that both partitions have the DD-WRT firmware, otherwise the router will revert back to stock firmware if there is a lock up. (for further reading see: https://wiki.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linksys_EA6900)

If everything works you can flash the latest build, either the builds made by BrainSlayer which can be found at: ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2016/, go to the latest build and search for the Linksys EA 6900, or you can use the modified builds from Kong (recommended, Kong and Brainslayer use the same repository but Kong only supports a subset of routers see: http://www.desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/Supported%20Models).
Kong’s latest builds can be found at: http://www.desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/ you must use the dd-wrt.v24-K3_AC_ARM_STD.bin which is the large file at the bottom of that page.

Earlier version of Kong’s builds can be found at: http://ddwrt-kong.clonevince.fr/ thanks to CloneVince.

How to mitigate the 32KB bug
The first method is to try to stay under 32KB NVRAM size by disabling the services you do not need, on the services tab disable ttraf Daemon, do not use SSH (the generated key uses a lot of NVRAM, if you have to use SSH reset to factory defaults afterwards). Only keep Telnet enabled. If you do not use 5GHz disable this also.

The second method removes empty NVRAM variables. You can remove the empty NVRAM variables by telnetting into your router (the login username is always: root) and execute the following two commands:
for line in `nvram show | grep =$ `; do var=${line%*=}; nvram unset $var; done
nvram commit

You can set the first line: “for line in `nvram show | grep =$ `; do var=${line%*=}; nvram unset $var; done” without the quotes in your startup script at the Administration/Commands tab so that after a reboot your NVRAM size stays low.
(If you try to run it directly from the Administration/Commands tab then you will get an error, because the special characters must then be preceded with escape characters)

The third method is flashing an alternative CFE build by XVortex with this CFE you can use more than 32 KB for your NVRAM settings. There are some drawbacks though, flashing with this CFE alters your router considerably, among other things the partition scheme is altered, resembling an Asus RT-AC68U (partition scheme can be checked with the following command from telnet: cat /proc/mtd) so you lose the dual boot setup.
You also loose an USB 3.0 port (confirmation wanted).
There is also some controversy about the wireless MAC addresses there are reports that the wireless MAC addresses are the same for 2.4 and 5 GHZ (of course WAN and LAN have a different address). Although being the same both wireless LAN’s are reported to work, so perhaps it is not a problem (confirmation wanted, possible problems with throughput, AP isolation/Bridging, VLAN?).
By resetting with the WPS button (see below), the appropiate MAC addresses are restored and the WL0 and WL1 have different MAC addresses.

The original procedure for flashing the XVortex CFE (thanks to @Cybrnook) is no longer in operation (thanks to @wurts_leg on page 11 for pointing this out and finding alternative sources).
So attached you can find the procedure for upgrading the CFE: DDWRT EA6900 Upgrade CFE instructions By Crashman and EGC.doc
This procedure is a modification from the guide of @Crashman ( https://www.linksysinfo.org/index.php?threads/xvortex-or-advancedtomato-on-ea6900-v1-v1-1-without-32k-bug-renew.74084/ )

Stable builds
There is no such thing as a "stable" build, all builds are beta. Stability is also dependend on the configuration/settings you use, so what is rock solid for me can be unstable for you.
That said, some builds are more "stable" than others.
The last builds using linux Kernel 3 from Kong are regarded as very stable.
I have never had problems with Kong's build 29620M, so if you are looking for a "stable" build, that is the one I recommend, but 29300M is also regarded as very stable.
The first K4 build wich was stable for me was Kong's 30430M.
Further builds with good mileage (all kong's builds): Kong 30465M, Kong 30700M, 30840M, 30910M (openVPN 2.3), 31160M (openVPN 2.4), 31525M, 31870M, 32170M, 33435M, 33525M, 33770M (KRACK patch), 34320 (reset to default), 35030M, 35530M (03/25/2018), 35550M 03/28/2018

Miscellaneous
The USB port is not working, there is a possible workaround see: https://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=1109584#1109584

When using stock CFE with dual boot you can control which partition you want to boot from see page 9 of this thread.

For best wireless throughput you have to use the following security settings: WPA2 personal with AES encryption.

Recovery procedure
If you have the Xvortex CFE and everything fails you can try to recover your router with the ASUS recovery tool: http://dlcdnet.asus.com/pub/ASUS/wireless/RT-AC3200/Rescue_2000.zip?_ga=1.34867747.34011434.1452269489. Basically this is a TFTP based method.
To recover:
1. Unplug the wireless router from the power source.
2. Hold the Reset button at the rear panel and simultaneously replug the wireless router into the power source. Release the Reset button when the Power LED at the front panel flashes slowly, which indicates that the wireless router is in the rescue mode.
3. Set a static IP on your computer and use the following to set up your TCP/IP settings:
IP address: 192.168.1.x
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
4. Execute Rescue.exe from the download
5. Specify a firmware file, then click Upload

Serial recovery is possible as a last resort see:
https://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Serial_Recovery
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Recover_from_a_Bad_Flash
https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/generic.debrick
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=302922&sid=ebb98963cc9d12f5a61bf781ac6e962b
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=278706&sid=78f6cda11927949b0f87fdc0682bf16c
https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=1150745#1150745

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iucWS71XvCo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t35Pei_eb6o

Going back to stock when not on the Xvortex CFE: https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=1152246#1152246

Note: you can only see and download the attached documents if you are logged in


It's Failed Flash from F/W 1.1.42.174776, anyone know how to flash F/W 1.1.42.174776 to DDWRT?
egc
DD-WRT Guru


Joined: 18 Mar 2014
Posts: 3772
Location: Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 15:24    Post subject: Reply with quote
It is in the quoted text:

Quote:
New routers after aprox. mid 2016, are reported to be locked!
So you have to take extra steps to upload 3rd party firmware see: http://www.linksysinfo.org/index.php?threads/asuswrt-merlin-xvortex-on-linksys-ea6900-supports-tomato-dd-wrt.71718/page-7#post-284060

This is from user @Whitewizard: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=309593

Quote:
For DD-wrt 1/2:
[browserofchoice] 192.168.1.1 for linksyssmartwifi.com, check both boxes.
password=admin (if it never loads one of the screens unplug router, reboot computer, plug back in)
Troubleshooting tab, diagnostics tab, restore previous firmware button
If it asks for a file, give it linksys-ea6900-webflash.bin and skip to the next paragraph
If not, hold off on clicking yes. Open two cmd prompts. In one type Ping 192.168.1.1 -t
press enter on this one to let it ping, at the end it should say ttl=64
In the other just type tftp -i 192.168.1.1 put "C:\linksys-ea6900-webflash.bin"
(linksys-ea6900-webflash.bin being the file which is used for initial flashing, see below))

Back to the router webui click yes and the router will reboot.
Wait until the 4th or 5th line of ttl=100 in the ping cmd window to press enter on the tftp cmd window
If the tftp window says success after 45s or so continue to cfe
Otherwise if ttl=64 unplug the router and replug to try to tftp again when ttl=100 in the ping window
(up arrow in the cmd window to retry old commands)


Another possible solution is to downgrade linksys firmware as reported by @Bronzemaxell at page 7 of this thread: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=291230&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=90
Timing is critical so you probably need a lot of retries but it is confirmed to work.
The linksys stock firmware for downgrading is attached to this post (FW_EA6900_1.1.42.161129_prod_DDWRT_upgrade.img). The procedure for downgrading is also covered in the attached DDWRT EA6900 Upgrade CFE instructions By Crashman and EGC.doc file

_________________
Routers:Netgear R7800, Netgear R6400v1, Netgear R6400v2, Linksys EA6900 (XvortexCFE), Linksys E2000 (converted WRT320N), WRT54GS v1.
Install guide Linksys EA6900: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=291230
Simple PBR (Policy Based Routing) script: https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=318662
Install guide R6400v2:http://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=316399
OpenVPN server setup guide:
https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=318795
Install guide R7800: https://forum.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=320614
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