# OpenWrt on Actiontec GT701-WG

November 21, 2009 | 4 Minute Read

Couldn’t put OpenWrt on my Goodwill Linksys WRT54G v8, but it turns out it will run on my old Qwest DSL modem, an Actiontec GT701-WG.

OpenWrt holds a lot of promise, so it was worth it to me to try to get it working, especially since I had a good candidate target device sitting in a drawer wasting space. Since this was my first experience with OpenWrt, I hit a few rough edges on the sites—both of them: there are “old” and “new” wikis, and both have grown organically, shall we say—and deduced a lot through trial and error.

The biggest difficulty was in connecting to the GT701-WG via FTP. Two seconds after power-up, there’s a brief 5-second window when the device accepts connections at 192.168.0.1, regardless of whatever IP address may normally be configured. This was important, because I kept trying to connect to the “new” address I gave it ages ago. A Google search turned up lots of conflicting information, so I spent about two hours trying various suggestions and cockamamie sequences before hitting the right one:

1. Connect via Ethernet, NOT the USB port.
2. Power cycle the device, WITHOUT pressing the RESET button.
3. Wait 3 seconds, then ftp 192.168.0.1 from a terminal, even if the device is normally configured for some other address.

At this point, I was finally able to get an ADAM2 prompt and follow the GT701-WG-specific instructions on the OpenWrt site.

NOTE: I chose to install the latest Kamikaze build (8.09.1), selecting openwrt-ar7-squashfs.bin since the alternatives appeared to be custom builds for other devices. The OpenWrt documentation advises selecting a firmware image based on processor type and speed, as described on their hardware list, but their own list of AR7-based routers (like the GT701-WG) was blank. My router did turn up in a search by manufacturer, but it turns out the images aren’t actually listed by processor type and speed—just type—and nowhere does it say, “Use image X if your processor isn’t listed.” Not the end of the world, but all the little inconsistencies and fuzzy details do add up.

Anyway, here’s how the firmware upgrade went down for me:

After I issued the put command, there was a substantial delay between the 200 Port command successful message and the start of the transfer—maybe 20 seconds (the transfer itself took about the same). Following the reboot, the device’s IP address was now officially 192.168.1.1, which I verified:

Now on to the next step!