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LinkSys WRT54G Firmware DD-WRT Upgrade

Linksys WRT54GI’ve had a home network for some time with the main firewall/router being a LinkSys WRT54G that offers 802.11b/g and a four port 10/100 Ethernet switch. The WRT54G has provided excellent service, but I was wanted a few new capabilities such as better Quality of Service (QOS) control, DHCP with static IP Address, and simple VPN functions. Luckily before spending the bucks for a new router I did some research on the Internet and came across the DD-WRT Project.

The DD-WRT Project is a free rewrite of the firmware for Versions 1-4 of the LinkSys WRT54G/GS routers. These older versions of the WRT54G/GS run Linux. The newer Version 5 devices use a non-Linux proprietary firmware that cannot be replaced. As a note, these newer versions are receiving much worse reviews from users then the older Linux devices did.

For the firmware upgrade, I downloaded the proper versions of DD-WRT from the DD-WRT site. There’s a generic version of the firmware that must be install first. This is required due to firmware upgrade size restrictions imposed by the original Linksys firmware. Once I had download and unzipped these files, I used the web interface from for the WRT54G from a computer that was attached to one of the Ethernet ports. Never try this using a wireless connection to the device. You will “brick” your device. I first reset the device to Linksys factory defaults. Then I used the web update firmware options to load and apply the generic version of DD-WRT following the instructions provided with the DD-WRT firmware. Once this version was in place, I again used the web interface to upgrade from the generic version to the VPN version.

My experience with the DD-WRT replacement firmware for Linksys WRT54G/GS has been excellent. It has provided me the extra functionality that I was looking for plus many more features that I am still exploring. Version 23 of DD-WRT has been stable with no bugs that I have found as of this time.

This is not for the faint of heart. You can turn you router into a nonfunctioning brick. If you don’t feel comfortable with this, then don’t do it.

As stated elsewhere on the Internet, it has turned the features of a $70 device into those of a $200 device. On functions and features it’s five stars, but there is a chance here of making your device nonfunctioning.

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6 Comments on LinkSys WRT54G Firmware DD-WRT Upgrade

  1. Brett Davis // 4 Nov ’08 at 1:08 pm // Reply

    would you be willing to flash my firmware on my wrt54g v6, I cannot get it to take the flash, I didnt brick it at all, just cannot get the firmware to work. Can you hlep me..

  2. Brett, I don’t believe that you will be able to update your router’s firmware to anything other than Linkys/Cisco “Official” versions.
    The older linksys routers in the WRT54 line (v1 to v4) used a Linux-based firmware/OS that allowed open-source, community-based development. The v5 and v6 WRT54’s use a proprietary OS that doesn’t allow for 3rd party development.

  3. I just flashed DD-WRT on both my v.5.0 and v.6 WRT54G’s. Everything seems to be working right now. I have been using my laptop on the internet, using the 2nd 54G as my access point. I turned off the wireless card for the very reason of testing everything. So yes, it can be done, actually. Just have to use the Micro version. You can’t have all the goodies of v.’s 1 – 4.

  4. Dear support
    can you help me
    i have a Wrt54g mistake firmware upgrade don’t writer flash
    power twinkling.

    thanks you !

    • Dear Son?
      From My experience, I think you should reset your Linksys Wrt54g .
      To reset Linksys WRT54G. Press the Reset button (small rounded button , it will likely be gray or red and may be sunk inside the plastic casing of the router) with a pen or anything for 30 seconds , and after that then you unplug the power of your Linksys WRT54G and you keep holding down on the reset button for an additional 30 seconds, after that you plug it back in then you wait for another 30 seconds and then you’re done.
      ( reset Linksys WRT54G (Linksys WRT54G)to factory defaults will remove all settings you have configured for the router, such as security settings and passwords)


2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Meandering Passage » Blog Archive » DD-WRT Router Firmware Upgrade Revisted
  2. Meandering Passage » Blog Archive » DD-WRT Firmware: v23 SP1 update

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