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Revision as of 20:17, 6 February 2016 by Tunabananas (talk | contribs) (→‎Supported Hardware: added direct links to some of the extender node firmware builds)
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This a walkthrough for flashing a node with the sudomesh firmware and then configuring it with makenode. At the end of the walkthrough, you'll be able to plug in your router and join the mesh. The walkthrough assumes you're using a linux-ish (OSX should mostly work) OS and that you have basic knowledge of the terminal. The basic idea of getting a node (router) on the mesh consists of flashing (copying files to flash memory) an operating system to the node and then using a software configurator finish setup .

To build an OpenWRT image from scratch, visit this How To: Mesh/Build An OpenWRT Image

Build Environment

The directions that follow assume you are runing a linux-ish distro (OSX should work). Many of the quoted commands listed below may need `sudo` prepended to them. For the moment, Windows users will have to figure out some of these steps on their own. Sorry :/

Installing OpenWRT

Supported Hardware

At the moment, we are supporting the following routers for home nodes:

The following are supported routers for extender nodes:

  • Ubiquiti NanoStation M5 (newer models shipped after early 2014) - firmware image
  • Ubiquiti NanoStation M5 (older models shipped prior to 2014) - firmware image


Sudomesh firmware images can be found here:

Download the image according to your hardware. For example, if you have a Western Digital MyNet N600, download the image named: openwrt-ar71xx-generic-mynet-n750-squashfs-factory.bin, or use the links above


There are different techniques for flashing each of the routers. Use the links above to the openwrt wiki and follow the instructions there to flash the router with the firmware you've downloaded.

Confirm Installation

In order to confirm that the installation has proceeded correctly, use an ethernet cable to connect your computer to the "internet/WAN" port of your router and set your IP address to an address on the subnet: $ ip addr add dev IF_NAME (where IF_NAME is the name of your ethernet interface) You may want to stop network-manager (not all distros use this, but Ubuntu does): $ /etc/init.d/network-manager stop

You can also assign yourself the address via a network manager, both in linux and OSX.

$ ssh root@

The default password will be: `meshtheplanet`

You may need to restart the router, but be careful not to restart it while it's in the process of flashing.


These are the steps for configuring your newly flashed router. It will retrieve hardware information about the node, prompt you for a few config settings, and then query the meshnode database to get an available IP address and subnet.


You'll need:

  • A newish version of nodejs and npm. Follow the recommended instructions at
  • Git. In Debian based distros you can do: $ apt-get install git. For OSX you can probably use homebrew or your preferred package manager.


Download makenode. The easiest way to do this will likely be with git: $ git clone

Then you need to install nodejs/npm packages:

  • $ cd makenode
  • $ npm install
  • $ cp settings.js.example settings.js

The default settings in `settings.js` should suffice in most cases, but if you need to make changes, do them there.

If you'd like to add your ssh key to the router, add it to the `configs/authorized_keys` file. You'll see that there are 3 other keys there for our developers. You can remove them if you'd like, but they're currently the only way we can provide remote support. During the alpha test phase we ask that you consider whether you are able to do diagnostics/debugging yourself before you remove them.


You should now be able to run makenode: $ ./makenode.js

Makenode will detect the hardware on the router and ask you to input some data about the node. Some notes:

  • Set the "txpower" to 20. This should be set in the code, but hasn't been just yet.
  • The password for the private ssid should be at least 8 characters or you will not be able to connect
  • For info on what constitutes a valid hostname, see: valid characters of a hostname
  • The max downstream and upstream bandwidth are the maximum amount of bandwidth you want to share on the "" network. They are measured in kbps (kilobits per second), so if you'd like to share 10mbps (megabits per second), enter 10000. You may want to run a speed test to find out how much bandwidth you have and determine how much you want to share.
  • Make sure that your root password is strong! If you don't enter a root password, a strong one will be generated and will be logged to screen. It's generally preferable to not use the root password at all and instead add an ssh key to the device.

What now?

If configuration proceeded correctly, you should see the '' and '' wifi interfaces when running `sudo iwlist wlan0 scan` or when looking at available wifi networks.

It's recommended that you read the Home node info to find out more about the way that your new mesh node works.