Linksys switches to VxWorks, keeps Linux hackers happy with WRT54GL


“Linksys last month switched the standard model of its ubiquitous WRT54G wireless router from Linux to VxWorks, starting with the “series 5” version. Now, LinkSys is shipping a Linux-based WRT54GL model that it says it created specially for Linux hobbyists, hackers, and aficianados. The L version is identical to the “series 4″ WRT54G units that Linux hobbyists have long enjoyed hacking, according to the company.”

This is an interesting move by Cisco/Linksys. The new versions of the WRT54G, dubbed “series 5”, will run VxWorks and have half the RAM and flash of previous versions (going from 4Mb of flash and 16Mb of RAM, to 2Mb of Flash and 8Mb of RAM). VxWorks is a slimmed down OS intended for embedded devices and Linksys says this will offer come speed improvements. This is very different from the WRT54GL model, which runs Linux and is intended to be hacked and the last remaining 54g to run Linux. Some sites I’ve read say, “stock up now”. I think I will do just that right now…

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Paul Asadoorian

Paul Asadoorian is currently the Principal Security Evangelist for Eclypsium, focused on firmware and supply chain security awareness. Paul’s passion for firmware security extends back many years to the WRT54G hacking days and reverse engineering firmware on IoT devices for fun. Paul and his long-time podcast co-host Larry Pesce co-authored the book “WRTG54G Ultimate Hacking” in 2007, which fueled the firmware hacking fire even more. Paul has worked in technology and information security for over 20 years, holding various security and engineering roles in a lottery company, university, ISP, independent penetration tester, and security product companies such as Tenable. In 2005 Paul founded Security Weekly, a weekly podcast dedicated to hacking and information security. In 2020 Security Weekly was acquired by the Cyberrisk Alliance. Paul is still the host of one of the longest-running security podcasts, Paul’s Security Weekly, he enjoys coding in Python & telling everyone he uses Linux.

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