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amtm step-by-step install guide - L&LD

CaptainSTX

Part of the Furniture
Having created a problem installing Entware after amtm and then having to recover my router it might be prudent include a just in case something goes wrong section. The problems I had were a factory reset from the GUI didn't reset everything, a hardware reset would not resolve all the issues either.
1. Have a copy of ASUS recovery tool downloaded and installed and know how to use it.
2. Have a fresh copy of router firmware available.
3. Based on my experience if something goes wrong pull the USB drive(s) and reformat them NTFS and start the installation process over. Do not try reinstalling scripts or swap files a second time on the same USB drive without reformatting it.

While most people should have no issues following this excellent tutorial things do happen.
 

Zastoff

Very Senior Member
Awesome ;) @L&LD
Mini Tool Partition Wizard a free program for windows to format (usb) drives (EXT2,EXT3 & EXT4)
I like SmarTTY feels easy to edit scripts/files and backup (for ssh)
Followed this guide when i first set it all up
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Having created a problem installing Entware after amtm and then having to recover my router it might be prudent include a just in case something goes wrong section. The problems I had were a factory reset from the GUI didn't reset everything, a hardware reset would not resolve all the issues either.
1. Have a copy of ASUS recovery tool downloaded and installed and know how to use it.
2. Have a fresh copy of router firmware available.
3. Based on my experience if something goes wrong pull the USB drive(s) and reformat them NTFS and start the installation process over. Do not try reinstalling scripts or swap files a second time on the same USB drive without reformatting it.

While most people should have no issues following this excellent tutorial things do happen.

Thank you for the suggestions! The Word file (my notes) that I used to create this guide is almost 145 pages long. :)

A single guide to cover all possible aspects of getting an Asus/RMerlin/amtm + scripts powered router humming along would not be welcome or useful in a forum format. And, not too many people would be willing to read a book when a quick, but complete, guide is needed for the beginning first few steps. :)

I am still considering the best way forward to put all, or at least as much as possible, of the information needed to have this level of control over Asus routers in an easily digestible format so that even beginners could set up, troubleshoot and expand their network control with at least some basic level of competence. I know that a few short years ago, it took me a very long time to even consider flashing RMerlin firmware on my RT-N66U. ;)

I have reserved the first few posts to add information as needed, but which right now I cannot foresee. These suggestions will be fully considered when the time comes to use those reserved posts.

I hope to share a few more guides and will try to inter-link them together as well as I can.

Thank you for your suggestions. Please keep them coming. :)
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Awesome ;) @L&LD
Mini Tool Partition Wizard a free program for windows to format (usb) drives (EXT2,EXT3 & EXT4)
I like SmarTTY feels easy to edit scripts/files and backup (for ssh)
Followed this guide when i first set it all up
Thank you. :)

The links you've posted will prove helpful. I'll be sure to use them in the not too distant future (in one of the currently reserved posts). :)

And that guide by @JaimeZX was also useful when I needed a quick sanity check too. ;)
 

CaptainSTX

Part of the Furniture
Thank you for the suggestions! The Word file (my notes) that I used to create this guide is almost 145 pages long. :)
I can understand your wanting to keep the guide as concise as possible as evidenced by the chatter about file types in earlier posts where people either didn't read or understand that you you had covered this topic in your opening post.

The only other reason I could offer for including a bail out is that some people who do read your guide read /speak English as a second language. Google translator does a good job but if something is lost in translation someone could find themselves up the creek without the proverbial paddle.

Again great job.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Can you change that to reflect what amtm is capable of?
Instead of installing Diversion just to have Entware properly installed and then disable it, use amtm's true potential and let IT install Entware.
I'm sure you have noticed by now that I changed that, as requested. Please have a quick peek if you haven't to be sure, thank you.

If amtm and Diversion install Entware in the same way/method (or same install 'options'), what is the reason that the amtm 'ew' command on the main screen still asks to use the Diversion menu and 'ep' option instead, when Diversion is installed? Not an issue, just curious, more than anything else right now. :)
 

thelonelycoder

Part of the Furniture
If amtm and Diversion install Entware in the same way/method (or same install 'options'), what is the reason that the amtm 'ew' command on the main screen still asks to use the Diversion menu and 'ep' option instead, when Diversion is installed? Not an issue, just curious, more than anything else right now.
If pixelserv-tls has an update, the Entware installer replaces the startscript which will not work without modifying it.
If done through Diversion, that file is replaced by the customized file for Diversion. amtm cannot do that.
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
This is a step-by-step guide that will show how to optimally set up a USB drive for Asus’ RMerlin powered routers that will at the very minimum allow for use of a swap file for your supported router. It will optionally install Entware properly too, all with the help of amtm by @thelonelycoder. The world of scripts will soon become child’s-play with these powerful tools and allow to make your network, more your own. :)

The full power and control this will give you over your network and clients have not fully been understood yet, but do not worry! Time will give to those who wait. In return, please consider any contribution you can to those that create and continue to support these scripts for us. They really and truly deserve our full support, including @RMerlin for providing such a powerful and stable platform for us to fully use and enjoy.

This guide will make a few assumptions to try to keep it as concise as possible. First, I am assuming that we are using a supported RMerlin Asus router. Second, I am assuming that your router is stable and is in a good/known state. Thirdly, I take no responsibility for what the following steps and scripts may potentially do to your router, your USB drive, or your network. Not that there is anything wrong with the steps or scripts as presented and used correctly, but I have no control over your use of these steps and scripts. Follow the steps closely, please ask questions if you need to ask, but the final decision to go ahead with this guide is yours alone. For support on these scripts, please use the appropriate thread that each developer has created for their script(s).

Hope this guide leads you a little more gently down the scripting path for some of the same rewarding discoveries I have found on it too. Let's begin.
<snip)

There are many more scripts we can use to enhance our network-experience with our routers.
The next few posts will describe some of these and also which ones I use and recommend.
Including, in no particular order, scripts like YazFi, Skynet, spdMerlin,
FreshJR QOS, ntpMerlin, Diversion, pixelserv-tls, disk check, connmon, and scribe.
I will do my best to add new scripts in the posts below as I
discover them, if you don't discover them first!

Looking forward to hearing how these
and future scripts help each
of us manage the
networks we use daily in easier
and always more enjoyable ways.

Wishing a Happy Easter Weekend to all!


This has been an
L&LD
Time Flies Production
v2019/04/21
Good work here.

I've been around this place for a while, and this is the best/clearest guide I've seen yet.

back before amtm, when Diversion was Ab-solution and the scripts now in amtm were all written and maintained by individuals rather than a crew working together, you needed a bunch of study to apply the scripts correctly...and even then you may have had to ask for help/clarifications from the people who wrote them, as they were learning too. now it's seemingly mostly worked out and the script devs talk much more freely with each other and Rmerlin...and this is all VERY good, because they're pulling towards the finish line (wherever that may be) TOGETHER in a cohesive way.

However, I'd like to point one thing out: FreshJR's QoS script doesn't need entware. you can put that on BEFORE amtm as your script-virginity abandonment exercise just to prove that this stuff works in the "Wow, does it ever!" way. that can be your gateway drug, after Merlin's firmware awakens you to possibilities.

ok...that said, now that we're in a REALLY GREAT place, what I'd like everyone to be able to do is wrap their heads around HOW all of this works and fits together and WHY it's good.
as in, "I've set up Stubby's DoT, which encrypts my DNS lookups to the cloudflare (or whatever) server, but that doesn't mean the response is encrypted...(or does it?) so THAT's why I need a VPN if I'm privacy-conscious" or "what are the benefits of using pixelserv...in language I can understand? those pesky certificates create more problems than they solve! how do I make it EASY?"

anyone feel me on this?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Good work here.

I've been around this place for a while, and this is the best/clearest guide I've seen yet.

back before amtm, when Diversion was Ab-solution and the scripts now in amtm were all written and maintained by individuals rather than a crew working together, you needed a bunch of study to apply the scripts correctly...and even then you may have had to ask for help/clarifications from the people who wrote them, as they were learning too. now it's seemingly mostly worked out and the script devs talk much more freely with each other and Rmerlin...and this is all VERY good, because they're pulling towards the finish line (wherever that may be) TOGETHER in a cohesive way.

However, I'd like to point one thing out: FreshJR's QoS script doesn't need entware. you can put that on BEFORE amtm as your script-virginity abandonment exercise just to prove that this stuff works in the "Wow, does it ever!" way. that can be your gateway drug, after Merlin's firmware awakens you to possibilities.

ok...that said, now that we're in a REALLY GREAT place, what I'd like everyone to be able to do is wrap their heads around HOW all of this works and fits together and WHY it's good.
as in, "I've set up Stubby's DoT, which encrypts my DNS lookups to the cloudflare (or whatever) server, but that doesn't mean the response is encrypted...(or does it?) so THAT's why I need a VPN if I'm privacy-conscious" or "what are the benefits of using pixelserv...in language I can understand? those pesky certificates create more problems than they solve! how do I make it EASY?"

anyone feel me on this?
Thank you. While I can't script (yet!), I am hoping that I can lead people into this new world with some easy to follow guides, which are basically the notes I've been keeping for myself as I fumble with these new concepts myself.

I would love to have a resource like what you envision. Maybe these guides can be the first step? :)

With the FreshJR QOS script, yes, I do know that Entware does not need to be installed and have mentioned that a few times in my replies on the forum. :)

I'm going to be busy for the next few days, but I will be expanding this thread soon enough. Thank you for the kudos and the suggestions too.
 

heysoundude

Very Senior Member
A pleasure.

I hope these guides ARE the first step. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's sat in front of their computer wondering "And now what's this dnsmasq that I have to take into consideration as well?" or DNSSEC or whatever. the rabbit hole is deep and dark for most of us, and the majority of the most of us would more likely throw in the towel than find a torch, especially if that torch has fairly technical and relatively unfamiliar terms/directions that aren't used in everyday parlance.
Further, a model-specific setup guide for after flashing with Merlin, but before installing amtm or any script may be the better place to start. "Hardware Acceleration? IPv6? wha what now?" but you may already have that covered in your M&M config doc...
It's at the point now that there's a need for a "...for Dummies" book that encompasses all of these.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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StefanoN

Regular Contributor
For L&LD
to avoid mistakes: is your advice to connect the ssd disk to the usb2 port? I have an ac86u and a 500gb ssd disk of type usb3.

Thanks
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
For L&LD
to avoid mistakes: is your advice to connect the ssd disk to the usb2 port? I have an ac86u and a 500gb ssd disk of type usb3.

Thanks
With the USB Mode set to 2.0, it shouldn't matter. :)
 

doczenith1

Very Senior Member
Awesome ;) @L&LD
Mini Tool Partition Wizard a free program for windows to format (usb) drives (EXT2,EXT3 & EXT4)
Someone will correct if I'm wrong but I thought it was mentioned on this site that formatting the usb drive with a Windows based computer will cause the amtm disk check tool to not work properly. For the tool to work properly the usb drive needs to be formatted in a Linux environment which can be accomplished using the amtm format utility.
 

EmeraldDeer

Very Senior Member
Someone will correct if I'm wrong but I thought it was mentioned on this site that formatting the usb drive with a Windows based computer will cause the amtm disk check tool to not work properly. For the tool to work properly the usb drive needs to be formatted in a Linux environment which can be accomplished using the amtm format utility.
A Linux environment is not inherently better for partitioning and formatting a USB drive than a Windows environment.

It was GPT partition structure (as opposed to MBR) which amtm disk check was not compatible with. Disk check relied upon partition label to determine filesystem type. The GPT partition table visible in MBR mode is not helpful in this regard.

The router firmware already has more sophisticated ways to determine filesystem type, so @ColinTaylor solved the problem by having this information passed from the firmware by a new argument. The new amtm disk check was included with amtm 2.0 but requires at least 384.11 alpha 3.

I actually recommend a disk partition which amtm does not support (the creation of, using is fine). Amtm only creates a one partition, one filesystem USB drive.
  • 1 GB ent partition for Entware
  • 1 GB swp partition for 512 MB swap file created by amtm
  • Remaining GB smb partition for Samba or anything else
  • All partitions formatted ext4 with journaling
  • I will be using GPT rather than MBR from now on
 
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Zastoff

Very Senior Member
Someone will correct if I'm wrong but I thought it was mentioned on this site that formatting the usb drive with a Windows based computer will cause the amtm disk check tool to not work properly. For the tool to work properly the usb drive needs to be formatted in a Linux environment which can be accomplished using the amtm format utility.
Works fine here with usb drive formated in Mini Tool Partition Wizard
But really nice to have the tool in amtm, Next time i will try that one ;)
Code:
 Wed Apr 24 08:38:19 DST 2019 Probing ext4 on device /dev/sda1
 Wed Apr 24 08:38:19 DST 2019 Running disk check (v2.2) 'e2fsck -p' on /dev/sda1
 Zastoff: clean, 593/3752784 files, 663871/7505408 blocks
 
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EmeraldDeer

Very Senior Member
What’s the rationale behind creating 2x the space needed?
  • A 1 GB swap file cannot fit in a 1 GB partition with a filesystem
  • Does anyone know off hand the % full threshold beyond which an e2fsck will fail?
  • Currently have a 1 GB swap file within a filesystem within a 2 GB partition and it is 57% used
  • You could try 0.6 or 0.7 GB if you like
 

Cubyc

Occasional Visitor
Hello
I followed these instructions to make `properly` install but somehow i can not access pixelserv-tls ca.crt certificate from other devices, I was able to download from other devices before following this tutorial but now i can not download to other devices.

Does anyone know why? is there any particular reason for this? as I said certificate was downloaded before without any problem on all my devices before, I have Asus RT-AC3200 with firmware 384.10_2, AMTM with Diversion, Skynet and Stubby and same firmware before this, now I just wanted to make a proper reinstall because my processor was working above normal and not pixelserv-tls certificate can`t be downloaded on other devices, but why can be downloaded on my laptop(this was used to update router)? this is really weird...
I will start again to install everything from scratch on Sunday but I`m looking to avoid this in meantime if anyone could help.

edit: Just found that when I try to access my router from other device and is not possible, so might be a LAN issue but not sure where as I did not made changes to devices or wireless.


- Thank you all guys who created these tools, I will make donation to each developer once I get my salary;)
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Hello
I followed these instructions to make `properly` install but somehow i can not access pixelserv-tls ca.crt certificate from other devices, I was able to download from other devices before following this tutorial but now i can not download to other devices.

Does anyone know why? is there any particular reason for this? as I said certificate was downloaded before without any problem on all my devices before, I have Asus RT-AC3200 with firmware 384.10_2, AMTM with Diversion, Skynet and Stubby and same firmware before this, now I just wanted to make a proper reinstall because my processor was working above normal and not pixelserv-tls certificate can`t be downloaded on other devices, but why can be downloaded on my laptop(this was used to update router)? this is really weird...
I will start again to install everything from scratch on Sunday but I`m looking to avoid this in meantime if anyone could help.

edit: Just found that when I try to access my router from other device and is not possible, so might be a LAN issue but not sure where as I did not made changes to devices or wireless.


- Thank you all guys who created these tools, I will make donation to each developer once I get my salary;)
Welcome to the forums. :)

How are you trying to access the pixelserv-tls certificate? What error is shown?

Before following this guide, was your router in a good/known state. Meaning, was it stable and performed as expected?

Do you know what IP address the router is on? And pixelserv-tls? Are Diversion and pixelserv-tls running?

If your router is not as stable as it could be, following this guide will not make it any more stable, as is stated in the 'assumptions' in the first post.

If you need to get your router to a good/known state, please follow my M&M Config guide. The link is in my signature below.
 

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