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Archive for October, 2011

Building a DD-WRT Image In vSphere 5.0

October 7, 2011 12 comments

Introduction

I have a need to put a router between my test ESXi 5.0 server and my network. At home, I use a Linksys E3000 (both 2.4Ghz & 5Ghz Wireless-N, gigabit) router, with OpenSource DD-WRT custom firmware. There is a x86 variant that can be downloaded, people mention in the forums about using it on old PCs, I thought I would give making a VM a go.

Pre-Requisites

    1. An installed copy of ESXi 5.0 (this is almost certain to work on 4.0, but not 3.5)
    2. The DD-WRT x86 Image. I chose the VGA public image. This is a free version, limited to 4096 connections (fine for my purposes) and without Wi-Fi support. The image that is used is here.
    3. physdiskwrite – A Windows tool for writing raw images to a hard disk.
    4. An existing Windows image.
      Installation

      Creating the Virtual Machine

  1. Create a virtual Machine. Select a configuration type of Custom.
    New_VM_-_Custom
  2. Name the VM something appropriate.
  3. Select a datastore for the Virtual Machine.
  4. Select ‘Virtual Machine Version: 8’ (if using ESXi 4.0, using version 7)
    New_VM_-_Virtual_Machine_Version
  5. For Guest Operating System type, choose ‘Linux’ and select ‘Other 2.6.x Linux (32-bit) from the drop down.
    New_VM_-_Guest_Operating_System
  6. Choose 1 virtual sockets, with one core per virtual socket.
    New_VM_-_CPUs
  7. Choose 512MB RAM.
    New_VM_-_RAM
  8. Select the appropriate number of NICs (nearly always 2), E1000, and choose the port groups. (I have found that the first NIC is assigned to the WAN)
    New_VM_-_NICs
  9. SCSI Controller, choose any. This will be replaced.
  10. Choose not to create a disk.
    New_VM_-_No_Disk
  11. Tick Edit the virtual machine settings before.
  12. In the Virtual Machine Properties, click Add. Select Hard Disk.
    New_VM_-_Add_Hard_Disk
  13. Select ‘Create a new virtual disk’
    New_VM_-_Create_New_Virtual_Disk
  14. Make the capacity of the disk 1GB. I chose to make it Thin Provisioned.
    New_VM_-_1GB_Cpacity
  15. Set the Virtual Device Node to IDE (0:0)
    New_VM_-_IDE
  16. Press OK, then Finish. Wait for the VM to be created.

Install the image to the Disk

  1. Choose your Windows VM. Power it off if necessary.
  2. Edit the Windows VM’s properties. Press Add.
  3. Select a Hard Disk.
  4. Choose ‘Use Existing Virtual Disk’
    Edit_VM_-_Add_Exiting_Virtual_Disk
  5. In Advanced Options, ensure that the Virtual Device Node is ‘IDE (0:0)’
  6. Click OK, then Finish. Power on the Windows VM.
  7. Load PhysGUI (make sure you elevate it)
  8. Ensure that you select the ‘VMware Virtual IDE Hard Drive ATA Device’, right click select ‘Image laden’ –> ‘Öffinen’. Select the downloaded DD-WRT image.
    PhysGUI_-_Select_Image
  9. Click OK through the prompts.
    PhysGUI_-_Remove_2GB
  10. Wait until the disk completes writing. Shut down the VM.
    PhysGUI_-_Write_to_Disk
  11. Edit the Windows VM’s properties. Select the DD-WRT virtual disk and press remove. Ensure ‘Remove from virtual machine’ is selected. Click OK.
  12. Start up the DD-WRT VM.

Connecting to the Router

    1. Load another VM on the same LAN as the router. Ensure that it is configured to automatically obtain an IP address.
    2. It should be assigned an IP by the DD-WRT router’s DHCP server service. You can see this by performing an ipconfig (if using a Windows client)
    3. Presuming that you have an IP address, use the web browse to connect to 192.168.1.1
      DD-WRT_System_Information
    4. It will ask to set the username and password. Note that if you SSH into the router at a later point, it will use the username ‘root’ with the password set here.
      DD-WRT_-_Set_Creds
    5. You are presented with the DD-WRT System Information page. This will show the current hardware, configuration, DHCP client list, etc.
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