Linksys Says Yes to Open Source Firmware

May 18, 2016

Home routers will give room for custom firmware but still comply with FCC rules

The networking hardware vendor Linksys says it will allow users to install open source firmware on some of its devices. Beginning in June 2, 2016, the FCC (U.S. Federal Communication Commission) will require that device manufacturers limit the user's access to wireless router configuration settings. The primary reason behind this requirement is to ensure that users do not operate these routers beyond their licensed radio frequencies, which interferes with other services, such as FAA Doppler weather radar systems. In response to the FCC’s requirements, most vendors decided the easiest path was just to ban open source firmware on their devices.

However, Linksys chose to comply with the FCC while still giving users the ability to install custom firmware. Linksys is working with chip maker Marvell and OpenWrt developers to find a midway point between the FCC requirements and the user's rights. The company plans to separate the RF wireless data from the firmware, so even if a user installs OpenWrt, it will not allow the use of non-licensed radio frequencies. Linksys will allow custom firmware only on WRT routers; the rest of its routers will block custom firmware.

Related content

  • Tuning WLAN Routers

    Learn how to take control of your home routing device with OpenWrt.

  • Linksys Linux-Based WRT160NL Router

    The Linux router WRT54GL from Cisco subsidiary Linksys wrote part of the history of open source a few years ago. Now its WRT160NL WLAN successor is ready to step up to the plate.

  • Gargoyle: Web Interface for Router Configuration

    The Gargoyle project is working on an alternative web interface for better router configuration. The project has now reached its first stable version 1.0.

  • Free Software Projects

    OpenWRT puts Linux on WLAN routers and helps users set up large-scale WLANs at home, and the FreeWRT derivative adds a professional touch. If you don’t have your own compile farm, the OpenSUSE build service may be just what you need. And we investigate the obstacles to new packages for Debian.

  • FSF Settles with Cisco over Licensing

    In December 2008, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) filed a lawsuit against network giant Cisco, claiming that its subsidiary Linksys had multiple violations of the GPL. The two parties have now reached an agreement.

comments powered by Disqus

Issue 207/2018

Buy this issue as a PDF

Digital Issue: Price $9.99
(incl. VAT)

News

njobs Europe
What:
Where:
Country:
Njobs Netherlands Njobs Deutschland Njobs United Kingdom Njobs Italia Njobs France Njobs Espana Njobs Poland
Njobs Austria Njobs Denmark Njobs Belgium Njobs Czech Republic Njobs Mexico Njobs India Njobs Colombia