OpenWRT and WDS with AirPort Express

After happily using the previous configuration found elsewhere on this web log, I have had a little bit of a personal revolution and have decided not to use firmware that doesn’t fit with my understanding of the GPL and open-source.

My new best friend is OpenWRT (

First, make sure you take a backup of your current configuration using the existing firmware’s tools.

Next, hold down the reset button for 10 seconds so that you can reset the WRT54G NVRAM and erase all the current configuration.

Change the boot_wait setting of the router – if you current firmware
supports this, use the web interface, else follow your nose to Google
and use it to find out how to set the boot_wait setting.

Then, using a TFTP client, install the latest stable release of the OpenWRT firmware.

Once the software has uploaded, the WRT54G will reboot and you should be able to telnet to Once you are logged on, use the nvram command to configure the router as shown below:

nvram set wl0_ssid=sid of your choosing
nvram set wl0_closed=1
nvram set lan_ipaddr=lan_ip_address
nvram set lan_dns=your_dns
nvram set lan_netmask=lan_netmask
nvram set lan_gateway=your_default_gateway
nvram set lan_ifnames=vlan0 eth1
nvram set wl0_lazywds=0
nvram set wl0_wds=the_mac_address_of_your_airport
nvram set wl0_mode=ap
nvram set wl0_channel=your_choice
nvram set security_mode=wep
nvram set wl0_wep=enabled
nvram set wl0_wep_bit=128
nvram set wl0_key1=your_wep_ey
nvram set wl0_key=the_index_wep_key_you_want
nvram commit

Once you have entered all of the commands, reboot the router and watch with great anticipation as the network starts up and the Airport joins with your WRT54G (assuming that you have also configured the Airport Express with the wireless MAC address of the WRT54G and set up matching WEP keys).

Anyone has any issues or wants to make some corrections – please email me!

Please note that I have recently updated this entry to reflect the changes in OpenWRT – for example, the wl0_wep=on is now wl0_wep=enabled