amtm Do I need entware or not?

chrisisbd

Occasional Visitor
I have used optware in the past on WD NAS systems and other boxes so I know basically what entware does. However the instructions for installing it on asuswrt-merlin seem many and varied! :)

The first question is - do I really need it? The only program I want to add to my RT-AC68U is rsync, can I not just get the correct executable and put is somewhere on the path in the RT-AC68U and the job's done isn't it?

The second question (if I *do* need to install entware) is why can it not use some of the JFFS space for its programs? I'm not going to install anything large, at the moment (as I said) all I want is rsync. Apart from that I'm quite happy with the utilities provided by busybox, my fingers are very well accustomed to vi and shell scripts are second nature. So surely there's enough space in JFFS to install just these few things.
 

bennor

Very Senior Member
You may want to move your post to the Asus-Merlin AddOns subforum where addon topics like entware are typically discussed.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
I have used optware in the past on WD NAS systems and other boxes so I know basically what entware does. However the instructions for installing it on asuswrt-merlin seem many and varied! :)
Use amtm to install Entware on Merlin. It's the "approved" method.

The first question is - do I really need it? The only program I want to add to my RT-AC68U is rsync, can I not just get the correct executable and put is somewhere on the path in the RT-AC68U and the job's done isn't it?
Entware packages are built against the Entware runtime libraries therefore they aren't standalone binaries. They need other Entware files as well.

The second question (if I *do* need to install entware) is why can it not use some of the JFFS space for its programs? I'm not going to install anything large, at the moment (as I said) all I want is rsync. Apart from that I'm quite happy with the utilities provided by busybox, my fingers are very well accustomed to vi and shell scripts are second nature. So surely there's enough space in JFFS to install just these few things.
It's possible to manually install Entware in /jffs but you risk filling up that partition and having a non-working router. Maybe you could get away with it for just one package but remember there are dependencies that would also be installed as well. Not worth the risk really when you could just put a tiny USB stick into the router.
Code:
# opkg depends rsync
rsync depends on:
        libc
        libssp
        librt
        libpthread
        libpopt
        zlib
        libattr
        libacl
        libzstd
        libiconv-full
 

eibgrad

Part of the Furniture
Installing Entware is easy using AMTM.

Traditionally, using JFFS for Entware has been discouraged since a) space was often limited and b) to avoid excessive wear on flash.

The base system requires (iirc) about 6MB. You can then add any additional packages you find necessary.

Could you manage individual, compatible binaries instead? Sure, if you know what you're doing, and don't mind dealing w/ the management of it all. But I don't recommend it for most ppl. It's just too error prone.

Also, if you choose to use JFFS, beware that some processes *might* use that same JFFS for logging or other repetitive tasks. For example, when using the screen utility, it will create and delete sockets in /opt/etc. That's typically what you do NOT want! You don't want to risk constant updates to flash *unless* that flash is easily replaceable (e.g., a USB flash drive). But if you're willing to take that risk, that's up to you.
 

chrisisbd

Occasional Visitor
Yes, I did search for entware references and there seemed to be as many here as in the AddOns forum. I seem to have got some useful responses here anyway.
 

chrisisbd

Occasional Visitor
Use amtm to install Entware on Merlin. It's the "approved" method.
OK, I had found one place that said to use amtm so I'll do that, thanks.
Entware packages are built against the Entware runtime libraries therefore they aren't standalone binaries. They need other Entware files as well.
Of course, I'd (sort of) forgotten about the library support required. I guess even a single program (like rsync) will inevitably pull in a lot of libraries and then further added programs will tend to add fewer additional libraries.

It's possible to manually install Entware in /jffs but you risk filling up that partition and having a non-working router. Maybe you could get away with it for just one package
OK, I hadn't really thought through the ramifications. I'll be installing entware then!

Will entware install happily on an already ext4 formatted USB drive without overwriting its contents? I.e. can I just add a new directory (called entware presumably) and tell the entware installation to use that?
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Will entware install happily on an already ext4 formatted USB drive without overwriting its contents? I.e. can I just add a new directory (called entware presumably) and tell the entware installation to use that?
IIRC amtm will detect any USB devices and create the necessary directories and links. You don't need to pre-create the directory.
 

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