Adding a DisplayLink monitor to a Linux router


Routers aren’t just for routing network traffic any more. With the help of alternative operating systems such as DD-WRT, Tomato, and OpenWrt, routers are now extremely customizable and can be utilized to suit a number of needs. The main issue with projects built around routers is the need to telnet or SSH into them to get to a console. [Sven Killig] came up with a useful solution that utilizes the USB ports available on an Asus router to display video on a DisplayLink device, allowing a user to sit down and use the device as though it were a physical terminal. This would be a good DIY alternative to commercially available routers that display network graphs, system information, incoming email, and other data.


  1. Daryl says:

    very nice project. I’ll have to start playing around with this for network load monitoring. Could really come in handy.

  2. _matt says:

    So many routers today are very crippled, but this router has 8mb flash/32mb ram, and usb!?

    pretty soon you’ll see someone playing super mario world on a router….while torrenting to a NAS setup.

  3. Kris says:

    @_matt Great idea! I will have to start working on it.

  4. private says:

    is it possbile to run apache or smth simillar on a router? :D

  5. someanonymousperson says:

    @private: If your router comes with a Linux based OS, it probably supports web hosting even without firmware modifications (although they are probably helpful). For example, my MI424WR has lighttp in /bin, and therefore can be configured to host from any directory out of the box. I’m sure it would be easy to upload Apache as well.

  6. PidGin128 says:

    Flat Panel Display link ?

  7. PidGin128 says:

    No, I think I’m wrong with the above, it’s some usb video tech.

    got distracted walking this guys website…

  8. Drone says:

    I used a Parallax Propeller chip to make an ASCII terminal. Used a PS/2 keyboard and composite video display on an otherwise broken portable DVD player. Stuck a MAX232 RS-232 level shifter in my Linksys WRT54GL for a serial console port. Connected the ASCII terminal to the console serial port. Done. You can buy dead portable DVD players with working screens on ebaY dirt cheap. Now I need to remember where I got the propeller software from. Probably on the Parallax Object Exchange. Hmmm…

  9. michu says:

    i used an old palm as terminal for my openwrt based router, does no even need a level shifter (check

  10. Jason says:

    WRT54G’s and WL-500G’s are ok, but I would highly recommend looking into a router that plays nice with Kernel 2.6. Up until recently Broadcom has not been the most loved in the Open source community.

  11. Jason says:

    Also, for those using MAX232’s, it’s much cleaner and easier to hack the end off a 3.3V cell phone data cable (dku-5 or similar) and install an 1/8″ phono jack.

    Not all cell phone data cables are made equal so make sure it’s an active device with a compatible chipset!

  12. jgrimm says:

    this is an awsome idea could there be some way to do this on my openwrt wrt54g? mabye via serial somehow?

  13. erik says:

    fuckin awesome, i had a dream HUBs had a little LCD on them,that scrolled a graph of throughput etc

  14. Art says:

    Thanks for the awesome post, it helped me out a lot.

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