Archive Index (1999-2012) | 2013-current at | About  

US Robotics WiFi router fits Linux in 2MB flash

Feb 27, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 40 views

US Robotics (USR) publishes source code for a variety of network devices based on Linux, including wireless access points, combo router/NAS servers, and DSL broadband routers. Downloads for its USR5461 wireless access point suggest the device runs Linux 2.4.20, and fits a uClibc-based filesystem within 2MB.

(Click for larger view of USR5461)

The USR5461 is a fairly featureful wireless access point, with a built-in switch and USB print server. It supports a handful of advanced features, including WPA2, TKIP and AES encryption, access point “isolation” for public hotspots, bridge mode, wireless multimedia enhancements (802.11e), port forwarding and firewalling, and a single DMZ (demilitarized zone) address.

The USR5461 includes a USB port
(Click to enlarge)

Downloads suggest the USR5461 is based on a Broadcom BCM47xx SoC (system-on-chip). The device appears to run a 2.4.20 mips-Linux kernel modified by Broadcom's “HNBU” team to support low-level MTD (flash device) interfaces, among other tweaks.

The USR5461 appears to run a uClibc-based filesystem. The most recent binary firmware download for it weighs in well under 2MB, or about half the size of Linux images formerly distributed by LinkSys with its WRT54G routers, which are also based on Broadcom BCM47xx-series SoCs.

The WRT54G became popular with router hobbyists and hotrodders due to its ample storage and memory resources. However, LinkSys shifted the model to VxWorks last year, saying the move enabled a switch from 4MB to 2MB flash chips. It continues to offer a Linux-based “WRT54GL” model.

Another Linux-powered router popular among hobbyists is the versatile Asus WL-500g.

USR's open source download page can be found here. A user interface demo for the USR5461 can be found here.

The USR5461 is widely available, at prices ranging from $20 to $70.

(Thanks to Warren Pilgrim for calling this device to our attention).

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.