D-Link DIR-615 E3 firmware


#1

I have looked for the firmware for this device and it seems there is some reason that it is not supported. I have about 10 of these in my house running DD-WRT in bridge mode. I wanted to setup a mesh network using WISP but I can't tell if this is supported with DD-WRT. Is there a reason that the firmware for this model is not posted? If someone can walk me through creating it, I can share/post it to this site for others.


#2

See https://openwrt.org/toh/d-link/dir-615 including the "4/32 warning"

D-Link has far too many models with the DIR-615 name, many of which are completely different devices.

openwrt/target/linux$ fgrep -r dir-615 . | less shows some evidence of the E1 and E4 variants, but I didn't see the E2 or E3 variants in that check.

The E1 and E4 variants are available on the "ar71xx/tiny" target in the build system, though I don't see pre-made images at http://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/18.06.2/targets/ar71xx/tiny/.

Guessing, the device can no longer support a current, secure Linux kernel and the "standard" package complement due to insufficient flash. (I don't know how to find the configuration that determines which images the OpenWrt buildbot has permanently given up on.)

You might have luck with a custom build of your own, without LuCI. However a device so limited in resources and with ancient wireless chips (c. 2009 or before) is not a "first choice" for modern wireless approaches, such as mesh.


#3

Thanks for the reply, Not looking to setup any Enterprise networking here, just want to get a feel for how things COULD work. Don't really care if the firmware is a decade out of date, as long as I can try out the OpenWISP2 controller software.

After looking into Tomato and OpenWRT and DD-WRT, I found that there was an image for DD-WRT so that was where it landed.

How difficult is it for a user to create a bin from source code for this device, again, don't care what version at this point.?


#4

wikidevi lists E3 and E4 together on one page:
https://wikidevi.com/wiki/D-Link_DIR-615_rev_E3_/_E4

Maybe E3 works with the E4 image?

E4 image is available only until 15.05.1; no newer image for E4 found.
http://archive.openwrt.org/chaos_calmer/15.05.1/ar71xx/generic/

As jeff mentioned: the 432 warning applies to this device, and it should be taken seriously. Those devices are no fun to work with.

15.05.1 should not be used in any productive environment. It is old, unmaintained (i.e. doesn't get any security fixes any more), and hence is insecure.


#5

I have seen that AND E2/E3 are the same elsewhere. I have a bunch of these devices so if I brick one, oh well.

Loads of mention of the E1 being the same as well. (older posts from LEDE website.)

I am guessing that I need dir-615-e4-squashfs-factory.bin and I need to install it from the d-link firmware recovery site after a 30-30-30 reboot?

Also, I have been trying to figure out how to build an image for this device (newer version if possible) but, I can figure out what version works based upon trial and error installs. (so overwhelming, too many choices)


#6

30-30-30 is, at this point, as mythical as the Knights of the Roundtable. There probably was some basis for the legends in the past, but certainly not a current thing.

Before talking about how to build your own image, it's likely that you may soft-brick the device. Even with several of them, I'd strongly suggest getting serial access to one of them to test on, and/or determining how to use TFTP to re-flash the unit (if at all possible).

Building one's own image from source is reasonably straightforward. A Linux-based distro is "required", either on a stand-alone machine or in a VM. I prefer Debian at this time, but any of the major "desktop" distros should be usable. https://openwrt.org/docs/guide-developer/build-system/start

I have found it valuable to install and enable ccache (Developer Options in make menuconfig, as I recall) to speed subsequent builds. On a AMD Ryzen 5 2600X I can build the tool chain and an image in about 16 minutes from a "bare" checkout. Subsequent make -j12 clean download world for image generation take me about 5 min. A slower processor would take longer.

The biggest challenge will likely be getting what you need to fit in 4 MB of flash. Stripping out LuCI should help. There have been several "what packages can I remove" pages created on the wiki, though I don't have the full list. https://openwrt.org/playground/faq/which_packages_can_i_safely_remove_to_save_space is one.

Once you get the device up, checking the output of iw phy for mesh and/or IBSS support will be important. If you don't have at least one of those showing, mesh of any sort is going to be challenging, at best.


#7

That's a nice one :slight_smile:

https://openwrt.org/faq/303030_reset


#8

There is some good info there. ( umount /overlay && jffs2reset && reboot now) I have been wondering how to wipe the partition. I think the partition got corrupted on one device. This may fix that issue. The 30-30-30 reboot is truly mythical. from my personal perspective, it equates much closer to 21-21-21. Any longer on the last one fails to boot the D-Link failsafe firmware and thus, no web interface.


#9

Ah, The advice is sound, but the practice isn't worth the effort. This device cost me about $12 each 7 years ago. I don't really care if I brick the lot of them


#10

Doesn't look to bad, if you've got a 3.3 V adapter. https://openwrt.org/toh/d-link/dir-615#serial (only connect TX, RX, and ground)

Being able to see boot failures can provide insight, especially with a system that doesn't get the network and SSH up and running.


#11

Flashing a new image will wipe (overwrite) the partition.

firstboot on a running device will reset the overlay (changed-files) file system


#12

Sounds good in theory. Though, I believe some remnants are still there (configurations from the original d-link firmware being passed to the dd-wrt settings. Even after a reset to factory settings) . The file system isn't a hard drive so, it might just have gone bad in spots and is just unusable at this point, worth a shot though. Nothing left to loose.

I want to give a big thank you to @jeff and @tmomas for their support. I will try the 15.05 firmware for the E4. It is listed as a working version for the E3 https://openwrt.org/toh/d-link/dir-615#serial under Supported versions. Though I can't find an E3 version. Wish me luck!


#13

The boot loader might be passing MTD information to the kernel.

DD-WRT might be reading information from other partitions than the "root" file system.

Both of these should be "manageable" with a current OpenWrt build.


#14

Well, I didn't have any luck with two different (same model) routers.One had DD-WRT v3.0 and was file locked. I had to wipe it but it still is file locked. so, that one is a brick. The other one has DD-WRT 2.4 on it. I can make changes but again, it is locked. Can't change firmware to D-Link or another version of DD-WRT or OpenWRT.