qwest linux dsl routers

actiontec hack

after having problems with my old dsl router, i finally ordered and received the actiontec gt701-wg from qwest.  i believe this is what they are starting to distribute by default in my area, and i wouldn’t be surprised if these were to be found elsewhere as well.

the interesting thing about these new actiontec routers is that they run linux.  seatllewireless has a nice page describing the system, and people have already figured out how to build and install custom firmware on the device.

most people have a single static ip, so it would be sort of neat to have your dsl router run a small static web site.  you could always port forward, but it’s one less machine to worry about.  better yet, install ssh and use it as a tunneling server.  then you can open up your wireless network for your neighbors, but not broadcast your email in the clear.

have you done anything neat with your 701 or a different embedded linux router?  do you have any great ideas for what could be done with this system?  tell us about it in the comments area.

Comments

  1. The Hardware Recycling Initiative (http://hri.sourceforge.net) is a project to get Linux working on cable, DSL and wireless routers. It seems to be rather quiet lately, but the site has lots of information about hacking different routers.

    I’m trying to get Linux working on the Network Everywhere NWR04B 802.11b router (http://saintaardvarkthecarpeted.com/nwr04b) after picking up three for $20 each. I’m still working on it, but I can at least get it to crash in interesting ways. :-)

    I’d love to have a proper Linux firewall on these things, but my *real* goal is to make the world’s first Beowulf cluster out of wireless routers. Slashdot, here I come!

  2. I have one of these, and I find the native features to be pretty nice – no hacking needed. Its very robust, and I do not need an additional router, NAT or firewall, as the modem has all these built in. The only thing I could ask for was more ethernet ports (there is only one) but the built in wireless has uncouraged me to cut the cord in my home.

    I was running the wireless open, since on of my Wi-Fi cards was an ancient 16 bit PC-card in an OLD Mac powerbook, until I caught a neighbor leeching. I don’t mind lending bandwidth, but downloading gobs of stuff is leeching, and rude.

    I will still share with polite folk, and the SSID on the router is “In_302_Knock_On_Door_4_WEP_Key”

    The one thing I would like to change in the firmware is port-fowarding. I can knock a hole in the firewall to be “more” friendly to P2P apps like BitTorrent, but the forwarding is bound to specific IPs, yet they are assigned via DHCP, so… its a chicken and egg situation, you don’t know which PC is going to get which IP (though you can make a good guess). If I could have a network wide open port that would be great.

  3. michael bloom says:

    You can run Linux on a lot of Linksys routers. Like on the WRT54G/S ones most especially. You can find a ton of firmware bins at http://www.linksysinfo.org/
    I am using HyperWRT right now, but I need to find myself one with a better terminal.

  4. TrickerZ says:

    Xlink Kai for xbox/ps2/gc is awesome. they have a firmware that’s supposed to work on a lot of linux routers.

  5. Paul Querna says:

    I had a actiontec — it was cool that it ran linux, for awhile. I kept having stability issues with it, so I just bought a Sangoma S518 ADSL PCI Card. Now my router is a full linux box, and it sees my ADSL connection with qwest as another network interface — it rocks.

  6. bachir says:

    I have acer laptop, it has wireless card but i can’t use the internet from my near room he has linksys router my wirless can find it but he blocked me to acces to his router please could you tell how i hack his router?

  7. otis says:

    Well I don’t know if it really worked, but I took a female coax jack and attached it to the antennae. Then I hooked up the router to a male coax wire, to one of those sattelite wifi things on hackaday, to pick up a signal from my friend down the street. Like I said, I didn’t have the time to finish it and see if it really worked.

  8. otis says:

    Well I don’t know if it really worked, but I took a female coax jack and attached it to the antennae. Then I hooked up the router to a male coax wire, to one of those sattelite wifi things on hackaday, to pick up a signal from my friend down the street. Like I said, I didn’t have the time to finish it and see if it really worked.

  9. Updated URL for building and installing custom firmware on the actiontec GT701-WG

  10. alex bowman says:

    I have edited the /etc/hosts file of my actiontec gt701 wg to have my domain name point to my internal server when requested from the inside network. echo “10.0.0.x domain.com” >> /etc/hosts
    Also, I have automated some firewall rules to turn on and off internet access to certain internal hosts at a specified time. I did this by running cron jobs of expect scripts on my server which log into the router, execute commands and log out at certain times of the day.

  11. Joshua banks says:

    This might be kindof off topic but I am using the Actiontec DSL modem and would rather this thing just be a bridge. If Qwest has me using PPPOA on this DSL modem is there any possible way that I can bridge this connection to my linux firewall. Maybe I’m confused about what a bridge is.
    So, I mean I want my Gentoo/Linux firewall’s Eth0 interface (the one that connects to the Actiontec’s Eth port) to be the one receiving the public ip address like the Actiontec does, rather than receiving a DHCP’ed private address from the Actiontec DSL modem.
    This way I can essentially just bypass the Actiontec and do all of my firewalling/routing on my Gentoo/Linux box.
    After logging into the Actiontec and going to Setup>Advanced configuraton>WAN IP Address, it has a selection for Transparent Bridging but is currently set to PPPoA. So correct me if I’m wrong but couldn’t I jot down all the pertainent PPPoA info that the Actiontec is using when negotiating the link to Qwest and turnon Transparent Bridging and then Have my Linux Eth0 Interface be the one that Negotiates the PPPoA link with all the same info that the Actiontec was using? Or is this even possible for an Ethernet Interface to negotiating ATM protocol type stuff?

    PPPoA is all new to me. If I could do this then it would really be nice. I’m used to doing everything on my Gentoo/linux box. Routing, Dns, Nat ect.. ect… I use Shorewall todo the firewalling and routing and would really like to use it versus the Actiontec. Hope this makes sense.

    Thanks,
    Joshua Banks

  12. mijaras says:

    I am trying to something along the ame lines I believe. I am in europe now, so the actiontec dsl modem is incompatable with my provider, so I am attempting to use only router portion of the modem. has anyone attempted this? has it worked? and how and what did you do, if it worked??

  13. Gareth Vaughan says:

    I found that the compiler at ftp://ftp.realitydiluted.com/linux/MIPS/toolchains/uclibc/RPMS/uclibc-crosstools100-1.0.0-3.i386.rpm can be used to build binaries that run on the gt701. You need to tweak the installation directories in order to keep everything within the writable directories of the router. I now have dropbear (ssh server) running within the /var/tmp directory.
    Whenever my linux desktop machine is powered on it checks the router and makes sure dropbear is still running and, if it has stopped for some reason, telnets into the router and restarts it.
    The next challenge is to get kernel modules working…

  14. chizle says:

    i need help using the actiontec gt701wg for wifi functions can someone help me out

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