Asus RT-AC66U – Installing the ipkg Command

asus-rt-ac66u

Note: The RT-AC66U and the RT-AC66R are identical other than their product number. The RT-AC66R is the product sold through Best Buy and RT-AC66U is the product sold directly from ASUS.

IPKG is a cli utility used for package management. It is required to have ipkg installed if you want to configure your router for SNMP,  install BIND, or view I/O to a usb disk as you will need to install software packages that are not included in the stock firmware.

Note: I am running the ASUSWRT-Merlin firmware, you can find it here. The stock firmware may be a bit different, so you might not see the exact screens as shown below.

Prerequisite : USB Drive

To install ipkg you will need to install Download Master.  To Install Download Master you will need to have a USB drive plugged into the router and mounted. In the image below you can see my USB disk, labeled as “SMI USB DISK”

asus-0

Troubleshooting USB Drives

I had a bit of an issue here as I was trying to mount a drive that was formatted as EXT4. Apparently this was not supported. See error below.

EXT3-fs: sda1: couldn’t mount because of unsupported optional features (240).
EXT2-fs: sda1: couldn’t mount because of unsupported optional features (240).

I pulled the drive, reformatted as EXT3 and was off and running.

usb 1-1.1: USB disconnect, address 4
usb 1-1.2: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 5
usb 1-1.2: configuration #1 chosen from 1 choice
scsi2 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
scsi 2:0:0:0: Direct-Access SMI USB DISK 1100 PQ: 0 ANSI: 4
sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] 8196096 512-byte hardware sectors (4196 MB)
sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Write Protect is off
sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Mode Sense: 43 00 00 00
sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Assuming drive cache: write through
sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Assuming drive cache: write through
sda: sda1
sd 2:0:0:0: [sda] Attached SCSI removable disk
sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg0 type 0

You can find the list of supported formats and partition sizes here. I would suggest EXT3. NTFS and FAT32 are supported, but I have heard that you might run into issues.

Installing Download Master

Now that you have your USB disk mounted you can install Download Master.

Select USB Applications on the left pane. Then click on Download Master. In the example below, you can see that I have already performed the install.

asus-2

You should see the screen below once Download Master is installed.

asus1

Accessing the Router via the CLI

Now you can either telnet or SSH to your router using its LAN IP address.  Note that telnet is the default protocol, however you can enable SSH by clicking on “Administration” in the lower left pane, and then clicking the “System” tab. Under “SSH Daemon” select “Enable SSH”.

asus-3

Ipkg installs to the path shown below.

# which ipkg
/opt/bin/ipkg

A guide to using ipkg can be found here.

 

 

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