Release [Fork] Asuswrt-Merlin 374.43 LTS releases (V44EA)

john9527

Part of the Furniture
LATEST RELEASE: Update-44EA
12-July-2020
Merlin fork 374.43_44EAj9527
Download http://bit.ly/1YdgUcP
============================
This is an LTS (Long Term Service) fork of Asuswrt-Merlin based on 374.43_2. This older code base has a history of being very stable, and some of the older code components may perform better in some environments. It may be a good choice for those who desire a 'set it and forget it' router solution. Additional information on the differences between this firmware and the later Asuswrt-Merlin releases can be found following the recent change highlights.
The following routers are supported by this firmware:
  • N16, N66U, AC66U (original MIPS based revs)
  • AC56U, AC68U (Rev A1,A2,B1), AC68P (and the retail and color versions, R and W, of each router)
  • AC68U (Rev C1,E1), AC1900 and AC1900P (and the retail and color versions, R and W, of each router) and the AC66U-B1
The following routers were released after the base code used for this fork was available, and are NOT supported.
  • AC87U, AC3100, AC3200, AC88U, AC5300, AC86U, AC88U (and the retail R versions)
Source: https://github.com/john9527/asuswrt-merlin : branch 374.43_2-update
IMPORTANT The github repro was rebased on 29-November-2018.
If you have a local repo created before this date, you should save any custom changes, clone a new copy, then re-apply your changes.

Update-44EA Highlights
  • (NEW) Added support for obtaining the external WAN address via STUN for UPNP
  • (CHANGED) Updated OUI database and CA bundle
  • (CHANGED) Updated miniupnpd and nano to equivalent Merlin levels
  • (CHANGED) Updated timezone support including setting defaults for each region
    Please check your timezone settings after updating, as it may have changed based on the new timezone data.
  • (CHANGED) Re-add support for ChaCha20 encryption on dropbear (fix by themiron)
  • (FIXED) CVE-2018-20336
  • (FIXED) OpenVPN stats not displaying correctly with no compression
  • (FIXED) OpenVPN firewall rules not being removed when stopping the server/client
  • (FIXED) Unneccessary wifi alerts in media bridge mode or when wifi is disabled
  • (FIXED) Prevent too long computernames when configuring SAMBA

Update-44E5 Highlights
  • (FIXED)SSH logon failure on MIPS routers
    Dropbear support for ChaCha20-Poly1305 cipher has been reverted from all models pending further analysis.

Update-44E4 Highlights
  • (NEW) allow users to disable Avahi and LPD server daemons
  • (NEW) add continuous mode wan dhcp query (experimental)
  • (NEW) add udp-broadcast-relay-redux for VLANs
  • (UPDATED) OpenSSL, OpenVPN, nettle, curl, Avahi, chart.js, nano
  • (UPDATED) backport AMTM update to 3.1.7
  • (CHANGED) backport dropbear support for ed25519 and Chacha20-Poly1305 encryption
  • (CHANGED) added Android tethering support
  • (CHANGED) updated USB modem support
  • (FIXED) fix timezone test where date() contains a dash in description
  • (FIXED) fix segfault in hub-ctrl on ARM routers
  • (FIXED) wsdd2 IPv6 startup error (address already in use)
See the Changelog for the complete list of changes.

Installation Notes
  • Firmware is now packaged as a zip file (consistent with Merlin firmware releases). Remember to extract the .trx file prior to updating the firmware. An sha256sum file is included in the zip file to validate the firmware.
  • For supported routers currently running ASUS firmware 380.3000 or above, or Merlin 380.60 or above, you cannot load this fork using the built in firmware update web interface. You must use the ASUS Firmware Restoration Tool from the ASUS support website or the built in CFE Mini-Web Server to install this fork firmware. You must always perform a factory default reset following the firmware update when moving from ASUS OEM or Merlin firmware above level 374 regardless if you updated via the web interface or Restoration Tool.
  • When using the ASUS Firmware Restoration Tool or CFE Mini-Web Server to install this fork firmware on MIPS based routers (N16, N66 or AC66 non_B1) the upgrade process can take from 40 minutes to 1 hour. Please be patient and do not interrupt the process.
  • Currently, two build streams are maintained.
    • The 'E' Builds are the recommended builds and contain the latest wireless drivers and related fixes, including the fixes for the KRACK exploit on all supported models except the N16 (ASUS never released a KRACK fix for the N16). The 'E' Builds for ARM routers also contain the latest ARM SDK providing support for the newer rev level AC68U and it's variations.
    • The 'L' Builds contain the original wireless drivers (2014 release) and DO NOT address the KRACK exploit, and for ARM routers DO NOT contain the latest SDK providing support for the latest AC68U rev levels. In addition, some fixes dependent on either the latest wireless drivers or latest ARM SDK may not be included in the 'L' builds. Note: Due to time constraints the 'L' builds are currently no longer available
  • If you are updating an AC56U or AC68U running a fork version V26 or earlier, a factory reset is recommended following the firmware update to V27 or later. You may also need to reformat and restore JFFS due to updates for compatibility with the Merlin releases. Other fork users running an N16, N66U or AC66 can update to the 'E' Build as normal without a factory reset.
  • Please review '@UpgradeMatrix.txt' in the download directory, which describes the upgrade options for all the supported routers. Included are the requirements for a Factory Default Reset or reformat of JFFS.
  • Users are reminded to have a jffs backup. For users with MIPS based routers, changes in the code image size may affect the jffs space. For users of ARM based routers, changes in the jffs partitioning may also affect the jffs allocations. If you are having jffs script errors or cannot access jffs after loading the firmware, please reformat jffs from the Administration page and restore your jffs backup.
Additional Information
The fork does include
  • Maintenance for documented security issues
  • Maintenance for supporting open source components (such as OpenSSL, Openvpn, dnsmasq, miniupnpd, etc)
  • Backports of applicable fixes and new functions from Merlin's main branch
  • An improved implementation of Traditional QoS
  • A different IPv6 stack which may work better in some environments
  • A separate build with older versions of the wireless drivers that some feel offer better performance (especially on the MIPS based routers)
  • Less of a lockdown on tweaking power levels
  • Support for Merlin jffs custom scripts and configs
  • Support for AMTM and user addons with gui integration
The fork does not include
  • The new TrendMicro DPI engine functions for ARM routers
  • The enhancements to the networkmap for custom icons, client naming, etc.
  • Some of the enhanced gui formatting of later releases, for instance the new wireless log
  • Support for the ASUS router control app
  • Support for 5 VPN Clients as in Merlin (this fork supports 2 client instances). Note that the N16 does not support VPN Client/Server due to memory limitations.
Custom features of the fork which are not exposed in the gui can be set by an nvram variable. These custom features are documented in the Merlin_Fork_Options file in the download directory.
Thanks to all for your continued interest in this fork.
SHA256
Code:
(Default Build - All supported routers)
622fceac1124060146b7e024747132eb26a3b8a77106a94f8734d78bf18f50af  RT-N16_374.43_44EAj9527.trx
2812787eead4ada7ba8abd75c5c48bdb412eb8833cd6af0d977eb5461c3c12df  RT-AC66U_374.43_44EAj9527.trx
8e363513f3a064d50339379093145358894effff311c38a311acb6b6e01a343b  RT-N66U_374.43_44EAj9527.trx
cfd4b929095a28d6eb26752af153ba8a6fdfc916b3448b6d9e8d80ce6973cd85  RT-AC68U_374.43_44EAj9527.trx
9bfddde75c53bac4b2909c904a1ed0ffd74f53d58abd99e7240f3fc311531d55  RT-AC56U_374.43_44EAj9527.trx
 
Last edited:

Raiu

Regular Contributor
This is awesome man! I haven't tried it yet. My wife is in school so I need 100% up time right now lol
 

Builder71

Very Senior Member
Awesome!
A maintenance update for 374.43 :)

I flashed it on top of 374.43 and so far so good.
Nice work.

MD5 checksum I got for the RT-N66U .trx file: E10E98C4F6CF380B00712A6A6BEEE2A1
 

john9527

Part of the Furniture
Awesome!
A maintenance update for 374.43 :)

I flashed it on top of 374.43 and so far so good.
Nice work.

MD5 checksum I got for the RT-N66U .trx file: E10E98C4F6CF380B00712A6A6BEEE2A1
Glad to hear that the flash on N66U worked!
Good point on the MD5 checksum....I added them for all the releases in the first post.
 

Builder71

Very Senior Member
Nothing funny in the syslog so far.
Glad to see my MD5 is the same as your source. :)

For my understanding, the fixes/changes above are they all from Github?
Or did you merge them in yourself?
 

Jeffo

New Around Here
Add maintenance of Huawei 3g/4g lte dongle to 374.43

Same here. Requesting for maintance fix for the Huawei compatibility issue for 3G/4G/LTE dongle. it was working from Merlin 374.40Alpha4 and older also the latest 376.44 series. the firmwares in between doesn't work.
Using a Huawei e3276s here too.
 

lwizard

Regular Contributor
minidlna

Is it possible also updating minidlna to 1.1.3?

Thanks for the work.

I am scared about trying 44 since it seems to cause lot of troubles in very important things like wifi and general speeds... and actually 43.2 is working right for me..
 

Builder71

Very Senior Member
Come on gents, cut the Huawei crap.
That one is complicated and for ASUS to fix.
Send ASUS a bug report!

And put the router in question in your signature.
Do we have to smell what you are using?

Do try the fork from john9527 and give him some feedback.
Much better than only asking.
 
Last edited:

det721

Part of the Furniture
Can someone running this build explain more about it ? Is this a build that has the fixes for 44 but the interface of 43_2 ? Any comments would be great..
 

Builder71

Very Senior Member
...

I am scared about trying 44 since it seems to cause lot of troubles in very important things like wifi and general speeds... and actually 43.2 is working right for me..
Don't be scared, just give 376.44 a try.
See if it works in your environment and decide yourself.
If not, simply revert to what you are using now.
 

Builder71

Very Senior Member
... Is this a build that has the fixes for 44 but the interface of 43_2 ? Any comments would be great..
That seems the case as far as I can see.

Maybe john9527 can tell us a bit more...
 

john9527

Part of the Furniture
Nothing funny in the syslog so far.
Glad to see my MD5 is the same as your source. :)

For my understanding, the fixes/changes above are they all from Github?
Or did you merge them in yourself?
All the fixes have been committed by Merlin in his master branch. For this build, I merged them in by hand....gave me a chance to double check they were applicable (some I looked at were not) and gave me the chance to work through how git really worked. The exception was the openssl update...that one I let 'git cherry-pick' for me (146 updated files!).
 

john9527

Part of the Furniture
Can someone running this build explain more about it ? Is this a build that has the fixes for 44 but the interface of 43_2 ? Any comments would be great..
Merlin kindly tags all his releases in github, so I was able to make a branch of exactly the 374.43 release. With that as a base, I looked at what had been fixed in later builds that may have been seen on the 43 code (a good example is the Plex miniupnpd syslog flood). So I picked up that specific fix and added it to the 43 code.

So what this is, is the 43 code, with just a couple of fixes on top of it that may help people out who don't want to upgrade to the next major release yet.
 

john9527

Part of the Furniture
Is it possible also updating minidlna to 1.1.3?

Thanks for the work.

I am scared about trying 44 since it seems to cause lot of troubles in very important things like wifi and general speeds... and actually 43.2 is working right for me..
Right now the minidlna update is not in the plan (there is one minidlna fix picked up)....Asus actually picked that up, so it's rolled into Merlin's big merge without a specific commit I can go after (and I need to learn more to do an update that big ;) ) This is unlike the openssl commit where I was just able to grab Merlin's work (only picked up to stay on top of any security issues).

Also, as you said, for me 43.2 is running pretty well....there were just a couple of things that needed addressing in my environment which led me into this project. I don't want to do too much and end up destabilizing the 43.2 base.
 

Builder71

Very Senior Member
... This is unlike the openssl commit where I was just able to grab Merlin's work (only picked up to stay on top of any security issues).

... I don't want to do too much and end up destabilizing the 43.2 base.
Great choice!

The problem with 376.44 is that you can't localize the router any more.
This is ASUS crap because of some FCC regulations.
FCC has no jurisdiction in my country, but ASUS doesn't care.

This means that with 376.44 I'm stuck with only 4 channels on 5GHz and reduced range on both WiFi bands.

So I stick with 374.43 unless there are serious security issues that needs to be fixed.
Probably a lot of people will do the same.
Such a shame for a great open source project.

That's why I am happy to see john9527's update on the 374.43 base. :)
 

DrTeeth

Senior Member
For those of you not yet ready to update to the latest 376.44 release, I have created an incremental update (fixpack) to 374.43_2.
Many, many thanks indeed. Just what the Dr ordered, no pun intended.

Please keep up the good work. If you do keep it up, please set up a donation page.
 
Last edited:

Raiu

Regular Contributor
Don't be scared, just give 376.44 a try.
See if it works in your environment and decide yourself.
If not, simply revert to what you are using now.


From what I have read those that went to 44 and that wanted to go back were stuck and couldn't get their settings to work right.
 

det721

Part of the Furniture
From what I have read those that went to 44 and that wanted to go back were stuck and couldn't get their settings to work right.
I tried 44 two times and went back to 43_2 with no issues just make sure you do a complete factory reset.
 

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