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August 08, 2007

why can’t I rebrand dd-wrt and where is the source code?

Posted in: Technology

Powered by Gregarious (21)

DD-WRT LogoI’m frustrated. I have been thinking about writing a post like this for a while, so here it is. I come and visit these forums from time to time and one subject that makes itself present on a consistent basis is the idea of donating to DD-WRT to persuade them to develop faster, add specific features or to simply support the DD-WRT cause.

Why should I have to do this? Give me the source and let me do it and if not I – someone else. Why does it seem to me that the core of DD-WRT development is only allowed by a handful of individuals? Everyone should have access to this source and if I so choose – make a fork of this project. After all DD-WRT wouldn’t exist had the lead developer not made a fork of the Alchemy Firmware. His feelings towards the Alchemy Firmware at that time currently reflect my feelings toward DD-WRT now. There are many reasons for this, but there are two that really get to me:

1. Where is the source code?
2. And why is development taking so long? The first binary of v24 beta according to the download page was 5/19/06 and as of today is still in beta RC3!

With the release of the source code there would be potentially hundreds of people willing to aid in advancing this project, hence a fork is needed.

I feel a fork needs to be created directly from DD-WRT’s software decision to start charging for their firmware and not releasing the source code, thus closing the door to open source.

The special versions of DD-WRT are also of much controversy as they represent the true final release of each version. Listed on the wiki in the special firmware section we can read, “Firmware releases customized to your corporate design are also available.”

Why can’t I or anyone do this without the aid of the DD-WRT team? Well, in the wiki under firmware modification we find this statement:

WARNING: Due to abuse by those re-branding DD-WRT and selling it, or pre-flashed routers with it on eBay, builds dated later than 08/04/2006 have some protections against re-branding the web UI.

On the contrary, the OpenWRT firmware not only provides the tools you need to modify the firmware, but there is detailed documents on how to do it.


I have my reasons for sticking with DD-WRT at this time and this is what brings about this frustration. This post is meant for the community – to advance the DD-WRT project. Nothing more.


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