Asus RT-AC66U: How to Configure DHCP Static IP Reservations for IOT/Smart Home Devices

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I’ve never been a fan of using DHCP reservations to reserve an IP address for a device. However, there are a few situations where a static reservation is the best route to take.

Try your hand with Home Automation via devices like the Wink Hub,  IP cameras,  smart plugs,  satellite receivers, or even the Raspberry Pi and you will know full well the right time to use a static IP reservation.

In this post, I am going to walk you through that process on the Asus RT-AC66u.

First, log into your Routers webUI, select “LAN” in the left-hand menu. Then select the “DHCP Server” tab. Scroll midway down the page. Locate “Enable Manual Assignment” and select the “Yes” radio button.

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Just below the section above, you will see a drop down box that you can use to select your device using the MAC or currently assigned IP. Enter the “Hostname” for the device. Select “Add/Delete“. This will add your device to the list.

 

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Scroll down and find your device in the list. Select the icon to the left.  Change the “Name” of the device if you so desire. The only really important information here is the “IP” and the “MAC”. 

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Here you also can change the default icon for the device, or add your own custom icons. Here, I am using a camera icon that I downloaded.

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Below you can see some of the custom icons and names that I have set to help me keep track of my devices.

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Asus RT-AC66: Cannot Login Unless Logout Another User First

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When attempting to login to your router’s webUI, you may have run into the error below.

cannot Login unless logout another user first.

This error is usually caused by improperly closing router’s WebUI. This can occur if you are logged in and lose connectivity, or if your browser crashed.

Fortunately, the fix is simple… Assuming you have SSH enabled.

First, SSH into your router and run the two commands shown below.

admin@RT-AC66U:/tmp/home/root# nvram unset login_ip
admin@RT-AC66U:/tmp/home/root# nvram commit

See screenshot below

login-cleanup

Now, attempt to login via the webUI. You should be able to log in without issue.

If you do not have SSH or telnet enabled, you can just power cycle your router.

 

 

Asus RT-AC66U – Installing the ipkg Command

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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”

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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.

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

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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”.

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Ipkg installs to the path shown below.

# which ipkg
/opt/bin/ipkg

A guide to using ipkg can be found here.

 

 

Introduction to Managing OVS Bridges

London Bridge

Open Vswitch is an Open Source software switch designed specifically to be used in virtualized environments such as OpenStack or RHEV-H.  OVS (Open Vswitch) was designed to make it easier to manage, configure, and monitor virtual traffic within a virtualized environment.

Below, is Part 1 in what I suspect will be a multiple part series on configuring, viewing, and managing your virtualized network via OVS.

Viewing OVS Bridges

To view OVS Bridges configured on a system, use the command ovs-vsctl as shown below. On my test system, we have three configured bridges; br-ex, br-int, and br-tun.

# ovs-vsctl show
b5aa3cf4-d962-4cb2-b3b6-20f0b4858f59
Bridge br-ex
Port br-ex
Interface br-ex
type: internal
Port “eth0”
Interface “eth0”
Port phy-br-ex
Interface phy-br-ex
type: patch
options: {peer=int-br-ex}

Bridge br-int
fail_mode: secure
Port int-br-ex
Interface int-br-ex
type: patch
options: {peer=phy-br-ex}
Port patch-tun
Interface patch-tun
type: patch
options: {peer=patch-int}
Port br-int
Interface br-int
type: internal

Bridge br-tun
fail_mode: secure
Port br-tun
Interface br-tun
type: internal
Port patch-int
Interface patch-int
type: patch
options: {peer=patch-tun}
ovs_version: “2.4.0”

The output from the command above is rather verbose. If you prefer a more terse output you best try the command below. In this instance the only output is the name of our bridges.

Continue reading

Configure Syslog Logging Levels on the Asus RT-AC66U Router


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So here is a quick little one that I figured out the other day. Having just setup a Splunk server at home I wanted to make sure that I was not going to hit the data limit of 500mb a day for the free version of Splunk. I figured out pretty fast that my ASUS RT-AC66U was a very chatty-cathy when it came to syslog… sending me all sorts of very raw data that I was, at least at first, not so sure I was interested in indexing. So I hit the cli and started poking around.

First off, before we jump in, let’s make sure that we are all on the same page. First thing to note is that I am running the custom Merlin firmware, however that doubt that the stock firmware is much different. Second, let’s make sure that we all know how to configure syslog on our Asus.

To setup forwarding syslog to a remote syslog server, you first client on “Administration” in the “Advanced Settings” panel on the left. Then select the “System” tab near the top of the page. Scroll down to “Miscellaneous”. This section is shown below. Enter the IP address of your syslog server (or Splunk server in this case) in the “Remote Log Server” field.

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Now lets get down to the business of adjusting our logging level. First you need to ssh into your router.

Note that it appears that by default the log level is set to 7.

admin@RT-AC66U: # nvram show | grep log_level
log_level=7

Now before you get too excited, I am actually not sure that the main log level adheres to rfc5424. I have yet to find any published documentation from Asus to confirm this. However, according to this guy’s blog, this configuration might be a bit less chatty. Note that there are a few additional settings here which you can play around with. With these settings, I am assuming that 1 is on, and 0 if off. I am still experimenting.

admin@RT-AC66U: # nvram set log_level=2
admin@RT-AC66U: # nvram set log_enable=1
admin@RT-AC66U: # nvram set log_rejected=1
admin@RT-AC66U: # nvram set log_dropped=1
admin@RT-AC66U: # nvram set log_accepted=0

Now lets save our change and reboot

admin@RT-AC66U: # nvram commit
admin@RT-AC66U: # reboot

Note that there also is a vpn_loglevel=3 setting that can be configured via nvram. This setting might be useful to those running a VPN server on their router.

Disk I/O Monitoring on the Asus RT-AC66U Router

asus-rt-ac66uThe Asus RT-AC66U, like many home routers that are on the market today, allow you to connect a USB drive to one of its onboard USB ports and share this disk out to your network.  Via the RT-ACC66U, you can share your NAS disk via CIFS or NFS. My configuration has a 1TB unmirrored drive used for temporary scratch storage, and as a network landing area for files that I want to backup.

Note that this is my 4th article on hacking the RT-AC66U. You can check out my other articles below if you are interested.

As you must already know, the Asus RT-AC66U runs Busybox, which is a very small but powerful embedded Linux distro. Because of this there are a lot of familiar commands available via the CLI. However, don’t get to comfortable, as this is still a very foreign land.

Note that this article assumes that you have ssh or telnet working and can log into your RT-AC66U via the CLI.

As I have stated before, you can use the ipgk command to search for and install packages. In the example below I searched for iostat, but found dstat instead. Either one was fine for my purposes…. at least initially.

admin@RT-AC66U:/tmp/home/root# ipkg list | grep iostat
dstat – 0.7.0-1 – dstat is a versatile replacement for vmstat, iostat, netstat, nfsstat, and ifstat

Now that I know what to install, I need to install it.

admin@RT-AC66U:/tmp/home/root# ipkg install dstat
Installing dstat (0.7.0-1) to /opt/…
Downloading http://ipkg.nslu2-linux.org/feeds/optware/oleg/cross/stable/dstat_0.7.0-1_mipsel.ipk
Configuring dstat
Successfully terminated.

Now that dstat is installed lets run it. The switches “rad” enable i/o stats and enable disk stats. The “-D” option allows us to specify a disk by name.

admin@RT-AC66U:/tmp/home/root# dstat -rad -D sda

The command above output what you see below.

dstat-screen-shot

As I mentioned above, dstat is most definitely, a very useful command. However, so far I have not been able to figure out how to get it to display the percentage utilized for a drive, which is rather easy to do with iostat.

Visio Network Stencils for Cisco Routers and Switches

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Looking for Cisco Visio StencilsAccess the entire Cisco Visio template library via the links below. I have tossed in a couple of extra links that should pretty much meet any of your Visio needs.

Since my last post on Cisco UCS Stencils seems to get a good deal of traffic each day, I figured I would toss another post out into the ether that pertained to Cisco and Visio Stencils:

Cisco: Visio Stencils

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/visio-stencil-listing.html

Cisco: Network Topology Icons:

http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac50/ac47/2.html

Cisco: Visio Stencil How To Guide

http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/microsoft-visio-stencils-faq.html