Sunday, August 26, 2007

GaTi - DG834GT Custom Firmware

I have give a name to the custom firmware I am producing for Netgear DG834GT. This helps in managing things. I am going call my custom firmware as GaTi (means speed). This is going to be GaTi-V0.1 release which is basically a bug fix release to the earlier.

  • GaTi-V0.1
    • Based on official V1.02.09 firmware
    • Includes UberGT ADSL Mod
    • Uses Squashfs 3.2r2 for the root file system (with ZLIB compression)
    • Only English web interface
    • Fixes in web interface for wrong Time Zone configuration
      • GMT+05:30
      • GMT-03:30
    • Usual DISCLAIMERS apply i.e use it on your own risk
UberGT mod has been tested on my modem so if in case it doesn't work for you let me know.

Update 9/6/2007: Use this Forum for comments
Update 10/4/2008: Check New Releases here

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Netgear DG834GT Hacking

Some time back I have replace my ADSL modem provided by BSNL with Netgear DG834GT There are several reasons for this
  • BSNL provided Huawei SmartX MT880 is a poor performer
  • Has got a laptop which needs wireless access which MT880 does not provide
DG834GT is a good performer however it suffers from poor firmware provided by the Netgear. The firmaware is based on opensource software so it provides opportunity to hack around things yourself to fix problems improves performance.

Bracco has done excellent job with providing ADSL parameters control interface with a stable older firmware version V1.01.32 (which he calls Ubergt) which was not officially release by Netgear Support.

I have been using this firmware for some time now and able tune to extract very good speeds from my DataOne connection. BSNL making all home plans to up to 2Mbps I could reach maximum download rate of 260 KBPS (Kilo Bytes Per Second).

Recently Netgear has release new firmware V1.02.09 which claims improved ADSL line stability and performance, which also been confirmed by several users in various forums.

I have been playing with V1.02.04 firmware source for some time but couldn't make much use of it as it seems to be broke (Linux kernel image never gets compiled properly). With new release out and people saying stability improved I wanted to see whether the new source is any good. I tried to build the kernel and re-created the image which seems to work fine. Now I wanted to do few things which are planed for long time
  1. Enable Squashfs with LZMA compression as root file system - Currently Netgear firmware uses only Cramfs with ZLIB compression and Squashfs is superior to Cramfs in performance & Compressed size. This should give more room on the Flash to put more useful applications.
  2. Fix a bug I found for my time zone GMT +5.30, i.e time is always off with this time zone setting.
  3. Modify the DynDNS client to support SSL to communicate with OpenDNS and other services which require SSL, probably by replacing the existing old client ez-ipupdate with ndyndns (I have not evaluated it yet).
  4. More things to come!
As a first step I wanted to import Bracco's changes to this firmware (I believe Bracco is already working on that with more improvements) and then try to putting latest version of Squashfs with only ZLIB compression (i.e Squashfs 3.2-r2) . This experiment has been successful and I have the new firamware and its source (patch) for you to try out. Currently I am using this firmware and max download rate reached with this is 350KBPS (Kilo Bytes Per Second), with a good server (ex: it hovers around 230-270KBPS.

  • DG834GT_V1.02.09_squash3.2_ubergt.img
    • Base is V1.02.09 firmware
    • Only English web interface
    • Includes Ubergt changes
    • Uses Squashfs 3.2r2 for the root filesystem (with ZLIB compression)
    • Usual DISCLAIMERS apply i.e use it on your own risk
  • DG834GT_V1.02.09_squash3.2_ubergt_src.tar.bz2
    • Source i.e tools, rootfs folder & kernel patch
    • Instructions are present in the file README-SQUASH-UBERGT
    • Usual DISCLAIMERS apply i.e use it on your own risk
  • Next to follow
    • Squashfs 3.2r2 with LZMA compression
If you have any comments, feedback etc. please do let me know.

Update 8/24/2007:
As nick (see comments) observed the UberGT settings are not taking effect after reboot also, I could find the reason I will be releasing the updated firmware soon.

Update 8/26/2007:
Updated firmware is available now which fixes UberGT mod issue.

Update 10/4/2008:
Check New Releases here

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Saturday, August 04, 2007


Well for sure no one is checking this blog as it is dead a long time. I don't really get time to post regularly now days. However I am trying to post few things related to hacking and information about new projects I am trying to do at home. Will post the details soon!