Voxel Custom firmware build for Orbi RBK50/RBK53 (RBR50, RBS50) v. 9.2.5.2.14SF-HW

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Voxel

Part of the Furniture
Continuation of

https://www.snbforums.com/threads/custom-firmware-build-for-orbi-rbk50-v-2-5-0-42sf-hw.60308/
. . .
https://www.snbforums.com/threads/c...50-rbk53-rbr50-rbs50-v-9-2-5-2-12sf-hw.72157/
https://www.snbforums.com/threads/c...50-rbk53-rbr50-rbs50-v-9-2-5-2-13sf-hw.73152/

New version of my custom firmware build: 9.2.5.2.14SF-HW.

Changes (vs 9.2.5.2.13SF-HW):

1. Toolchain: binutils version is upgraded 2.36.1->2.37.
2. Toolchain: Go is upgraded 1.16.5->1.16.6.
3. QCA drivers/firmware are upgraded (integration from V2.7.3.22 stock).
4. wireguard-tools: add PresharedKey support to WireGuard client.
5. OpenVPN is upgraded 2.5.2->2.5.3.
6. curl package is upgraded 7.77.0->7.78.0.
7. proftpd package is upgraded 1.3.7a->1.3.7b.
8. gettext-full package is upgraded 0.19.8.1->0.21.
9. ethtool package is upgraded 5.12->5.13.
10. ipset package is upgraded 7.11->7.14.
11. e2fsprogs package is upgraded 1.46.2->1.46.3.
12. util-linux package is upgraded 2.37->2.37.1.
13. Change WebGUI logo.
14 Kernel: Use FSCACHE as a kernel module.
15. Host tools (e2fsprogs): is upgraded to 1.46.3.

The link is:

https://www.voxel-firmware.com (thanks to vladlenas for his help with hosting).

Voxel.
 

stantb

New Around Here
Just an FYI I guess, I got this screen when updating from 9.2.5.2.13.2SF-HW to 9.2.5.2.14SF-HW

1628027036882.png
 

Skippy Bosco

Regular Contributor
Just an FYI I guess, I got this screen when updating from 9.2.5.2.13.2SF-HW to 9.2.5.2.14SF-HW
That's because you went from the snapshot to the release. From .13 I didn't receive that message. The version check in Netgear's binaries doesn't handle that last decimal point very well in terms of comparison.
 

stantb

New Around Here
That's because you went from the snapshot to the release. From .13 I didn't receive that message. The version check in Netgear's binaries doesn't handle that last decimal point very well in terms of comparison.
I guessed so. That's why it was just an FYI, for the other snapshotters. ;)
 

flip68

New Around Here
Hi!

I currently have stock firmware 2.7.2.104 running on by RBK50. Two questions:

1) Can I upgrade directly to this Voxel version 9.2.5.2.14SF-HW or do I need to downgrade to a specific stock version to get onto Voxel?
2) Will I lose all of my existing configurations when I migrate to the Voxel Firmware and have to recreate all my configuration from scratch?

thank you!
 

Skippy Bosco

Regular Contributor
Hi!

I currently have stock firmware 2.7.2.104 running on by RBK50. Two questions:

1) Can I upgrade directly to this Voxel version 9.2.5.2.14SF-HW or do I need to downgrade to a specific stock version to get onto Voxel?
2) Will I lose all of my existing configurations when I migrate to the Voxel Firmware and have to recreate all my configuration from scratch?

thank you!

1. No. If you are already running stock 2.7+, you need to revert to stock 2.5 before flashing Voxel or you will soft brick your router and satellite which will need to be TFTP to recover.

You can download 2.5 here:

Router: https://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/RBK50/RBR50-V2.5.2.4.zip

Satellite: https://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/RBK50/RBS50-V2.5.2.4.zip

Use the Orbi web admin to manually flash 2.5. First flash the satellites one at a time (make sure each one comes back online before doing the next) and lastly do the router.

2. In theory you should be doing a factory reset once you are downgraded to 2.5 and before you flash Voxel. This gives you the best chance for a trouble free experience.

That said, if for some reason you have an overly complicated set up that would be difficult to reconfigure you can either not factory reset when you can back up your configuration via the Orbi Web Admin and restore after you're on Voxel. I don't particularly suggest this as I've seen it bring over issues from prior misconfiguration, but it is an option.
 

flip68

New Around Here
1. No. If you are already running stock 2.7+, you need to revert to stock 2.5 before flashing Voxel or you will soft brick your router and satellite which will need to be TFTP to recover.

You can download 2.5 here:

Router: https://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/RBK50/RBR50-V2.5.2.4.zip

Satellite: https://www.downloads.netgear.com/files/GDC/RBK50/RBS50-V2.5.2.4.zip

Use the Orbi web admin to manually flash 2.5. First flash the satellites one at a time (make sure each one comes back online before doing the next) and lastly do the router.

2. In theory you should be doing a factory reset once you are downgraded to 2.5 and before you flash Voxel. This gives you the best chance for a trouble free experience.

That said, if for some reason you have an overly complicated set up that would be difficult to reconfigure you can either not factory reset when you can back up your configuration via the Orbi Web Admin and restore after you're on Voxel. I don't particularly suggest this as I've seen it bring over issues from prior misconfiguration, but it is an option.
Thank you for the great reply Skippy!

So since I am basically redoing my network, I plan on also implementing a separate pfsense firewall unit in front of the Orbi my NAT, Firewall and DNS router functions and just use the Orbi in AP mode.

I am still reading about Voxel's firmware, but it appears he updates and keeps many of the libraries up to date.

If I only run the Orbi in AP mode would I gain any benefit or improvements by implementing Voxels firmware since im disabling the core routing functions?

Thank you!
 

yiga

New Around Here
I read somewhere that:
  1. openvpn client cannot be set up as conditional i.e. only used for certain outgoing IP addresses. It's all or nothing. Weird as normally the client conf file defines what routes apply - works fine on my current (windows) client.
  2. the readme for the Nighthawk warns that openvpn server and client cannot be used at the same time. I didn't see this for Orbi. If the limitation exists too, why so ? Would a WG server and openvpn client running concurrently work ?
 

Voxel

Part of the Furniture
openvpn client cannot be set up as conditional i.e. only used for certain outgoing IP addresses. It's all or nothing. Weird as normally the client conf file defines what routes apply - works fine on my current (windows) client.
If you are experienced in Linux. try to check this instruction:


re: Bypassing OpenVPN client tunnel

he readme for the Nighthawk warns that openvpn server and client cannot be used at the same time. I didn't see this for Orbi. If the limitation exists too, why so ? Would a WG server and openvpn client running concurrently work ?
You should be able to run OpenVPN server and client at the same time. WG server is not supported in firmware.

Voxel.
 

Gregger96

New Around Here
I'd like to start off by thanking Voxel for working on this custom firmware. It is greatly appreciated.

I have an issue I'd like to ask about. My rbr50 and rbs50 had been working fine on the stock 2.7.2.104 firmware. Since they auto upgraded to 2.7.3.22 I had major issues with my wired satellite dropping connection to the router and restarting every 10-20 minutes. I followed the usual factory reset start from scratch, but the same thing occurred. I then downgraded to stock 2.7.2.104 and all was well again. Problem was orbi kept auto updating every night. Even after disabling via telnet. Very frustrating, and by day 4 I had enough.

I decided enough was enough and switched to voxel's firmware. Problem was the issue still persists on 9.2.5.2.14SF-HW. I tried everything. Reverting to stock. Factory resetting both and even trying wireless instead of my wired backhaul. I read in the changeling that Voxel incorporated "QCA drivers/firmware are upgraded (integration from V2.7.3.22 stock)". I figured maybe that was causing the problem so I downgraded my satellite only to Voxel's 9.2.5.2.13SF-HW build. Since then all is well.

Any ideas why this is so? I have v1 rbr50 and rbs50. I saw in a Netgear forum a few users had issue with 2.7.3.22 and their connection to their satellites.

Also any issues running my satellite on an older firmware than the router?

Lastly and completely off topic. Is there any way with voxel's firmware to use the usb port as a nas so I can access the files from other PC's? Bummed that stock firmware only allowed printer sharing.

From a new user.
-Greg
 

Skippy Bosco

Regular Contributor
I'd like to start off by thanking Voxel for working on this custom firmware. It is greatly appreciated.

I have an issue I'd like to ask about. My rbr50 and rbs50 had been working fine on the stock 2.7.2.104 firmware. Since they auto upgraded to 2.7.3.22 I had major issues with my wired satellite dropping connection to the router and restarting every 10-20 minutes. I followed the usual factory reset start from scratch, but the same thing occurred. I then downgraded to stock 2.7.2.104 and all was well again. Problem was orbi kept auto updating every night. Even after disabling via telnet. Very frustrating, and by day 4 I had enough.

I decided enough was enough and switched to voxel's firmware. Problem was the issue still persists on 9.2.5.2.14SF-HW. I tried everything. Reverting to stock. Factory resetting both and even trying wireless instead of my wired backhaul. I read in the changeling that Voxel incorporated "QCA drivers/firmware are upgraded (integration from V2.7.3.22 stock)". I figured maybe that was causing the problem so I downgraded my satellite only to Voxel's 9.2.5.2.13SF-HW build. Since then all is well.

Any ideas why this is so? I have v1 rbr50 and rbs50. I saw in a Netgear forum a few users had issue with 2.7.3.22 and their connection to their satellites.

Also any issues running my satellite on an older firmware than the router?

Lastly and completely off topic. Is there any way with voxel's firmware to use the usb port as a nas so I can access the files from other PC's? Bummed that stock firmware only allowed printer sharing.

From a new user.
-Greg
1) When you moved to Voxel did you start fresh or did you import your prior config backup?

2) Can you describe your network configuration? How are your satellites attached to the Orbi router. Are they wired directly to the Lan port? (ie. Orbi Router -> Lan Port -> Orbi Sattelite) or how exactly are they set up?

3) Are satellites set up in a daisy chain or both wired back to the Orbi router?

3) Is anything else hard wired to your Orbi router (firewall, sonos, etc)

4) Is it happening to both satellites at the same time or each go down independently?

5) How do you know the satellites are dropping connection?
 

Voxel

Part of the Furniture
I read in the changeling that Voxel incorporated "QCA drivers/firmware are upgraded (integration from V2.7.3.22 stock)". I figured maybe that was causing the problem so I downgraded my satellite only to Voxel's 9.2.5.2.13SF-HW build. Since then all is well.
It is strange of course. I mean your issue. QCA drivers update is rather related to wireless connections. But you have wired connection.

Most probably @Skippy Bosco is right and you should check that daisy chain is disabled. As far as I understand you have single satellite...

I had something like that but I am using wireless backhaul. And remedy was to remove satellite and to add it again.

Also any issues running my satellite on an older firmware than the router?
You can use 13SF-HW with your satellite of course when RBR 14SF-HW. No issues are expected.


Lastly and completely off topic. Is there any way with voxel's firmware to use the usb port as a nas so I can access the files from other PC's? Bummed that stock firmware only allowed printer sharing.
Samba is enabled by default in my build. So you should be able to access the drive attached to USB port of RBR/RBS. From my very first post:

Plus: samba is enabled by default so if you have MBR USB disk/dongle attached to router/satellite its first partition will be used for samba sharing automatically after reboot and you can map it to e.g. your Windows PC. Sharename is “USB”. For example \\192.168.1.1\USB. It could be mapped for an user: guest (no password, read-only access), admin (your HTTP password, ordinary user’s write access according to permissions of folders on USB), root (your HTTP password, full root access to all files/disks).

Voxel.​
 

Gregger96

New Around Here
1) When you moved to Voxel did you start fresh or did you import your prior config backup?

2) Can you describe your network configuration? How are your satellites attached to the Orbi router. Are they wired directly to the Lan port? (ie. Orbi Router -> Lan Port -> Orbi Sattelite) or how exactly are they set up?

3) Are satellites set up in a daisy chain or both wired back to the Orbi router?

3) Is anything else hard wired to your Orbi router (firewall, sonos, etc)

4) Is it happening to both satellites at the same time or each go down independently?

5) How do you know the satellites are dropping connection?
1 Yes I did start from fresh. I factory reset before flashing Voxel.

2. I only have one satellite and it is directly attached to the main router. Nothing in between. Issue still presents itself if I remove the wired connection and go wireless. That's the crazy part.

3. Nothing else is hardwired. Daisy chain is disabled.

5. I know the satellite drops connection because the light turns on on the satellite and when in the sattelite admin page it shows that it has lost connection to the router. When in the router admin page while having connection stats up the counter on that lan port connecting the satellite resets to zero when it stops. The counter never gets past 20 min before it resets. If I am in a part of my house that needs that satellite my devices loose connection then reconnect to the main router when it happens.

The main problem is that in order for the orbi system to being the satellite back on it briefly cuts out and then connects the satellite. If on a video call or streaming then you are kicked out.

As of this morning since I put on the older Voxel firmware on my satellite all is well. Counter for the satellite is even with the main router at 23 hrs.

Is it okay for me to disconnect the satellite and resynchronize while on Voxel or will I need to downgrade to stock to do that? I did that before on stock but it still persisted. Really I am stumped on this one. Odd that it just happens on the satellite and only on the most recent firmware stock and Voxel.

Since Voxel said it was fine running it with older firmware I might just have to leave it there until the next release.

Greg
 

theoak

Regular Contributor
@Gregger96 :

You speak of NETGEAR versions 2.7.2.104 and 2.7.3.22. You also mentioned you "reverted to stock". For Voxel's 9.2.5.2.X builds you have to downgrade to NETGEAR 2.5.2.4 first; then, you can drop Voxel 9.2.5.2.X on. Just validating that you have done this.

I am using 9.2.5.2.14 and I have video calls that last several hours without interruption. I have 2 satellites, one is wired to the router, the other is wireless backhaul to the router.
 

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