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What is OpenWGT? OpenWGT is a Linux distribution designed to run on Netgear's WGT634U Wireless Media Routers. OpenWGT intents to be compatible to OpenWRT (a distribution for the Linksys WRT54G(S) broadband router).

This OpenWRT compatibility will be reached through compatibility in:

  • Init process layout
  • NVRAM layout
  • ipkg management
  • flash partition layout


Why don't use the distributed Linux system?

  • booting needs lots of time (> 2 minutes)
  • it's hard to install own programs
  • bad fallback strategy (if modifications fail)


OpenWGT consists of two parts:

  1. Linux kernel (2.4 or 2.6)
  2. Root file system


WARNING: The installation of OpenWGT is heavily under construction. So we recommend to continue the following steps only if you have a serial console for your Netgear WGT634U.

There are 2 possibilities to install the OpenWGT Linux distribution:

  1. use an OpenWGT firmware image
  2. self-compile from sources (using the standarized development environment - WRTSDE)

Install OpenWGT via Netgear's web-frontend

See for details.

Compiling OpenWGT from sources

First of all you need a Linux/UNIX machine with development tools (compilers, etc.) - at least a working subversion tool and debootstrap to create a working set of tools

Get scripts

We published some script to simplify the creating of a toolchain. Get a copy from the SAR subversion repository:

svn co svn://

Note: if your system have all necessary development tools (gcc, zlib, java, wget, ...) installed, you can skip the following section.

Build a toolchain with debootstrap

  • To create the toolchain, you will need debootstrap for it. Debian users run:
apt-get install debootstrap
  • You will find a script called in the fetched openwgt-dev directory. Execute it as root to create a minimal image for user-mode-linux or Xen - if you don't want to use them you can also loop-mount that image locally to use this working set.
  • The image path is /home/uml/ODK-rootfs.img
  • The script (in the openwgt-dev directory) presents, how to run an UML system, using the created image. (Debian supports UML only in unstable tree yet)
  • The passwords for root und the user account are blank.

Build an OpenWGT image

  • If you are using the UML option, copy the openwgt-dev directory to the image (via loop-mount) or check out another copy from sarsvn inside the UML system.
  • Now it's time to build an OpenWGT image on your own: (You will need an Internet connection for this)
cd openwgt-dev/buildroot
  • If nothing went wrong, you should find an image - called openwgt-0.06a.img - in the buildroot directory.

Booting OpenWGT

TODO: Description of:

  • boot from flash
  • boot via network (TFTP/NFS)

Feature list

Feel free to add things you like to have with OpenWGT.


  • boot rootfs from USB devices
  • ipkg
  • working madwifi for linux 2.4

Necessary things for kernel 2.6

  • NVRAM support
  • rootfs from USB (does it fit into kernel partition?)
  • ramdisk mode
  • particular compressed kernel image (Netgear's default settings don't allow fully compressed ones)