Running Asuswrt-Merlin firmware in a VM, Docker, Virtualisation

gspannu

Senior Member
Is it possible to run Asuswrt-Merlin firmware (for AX88u) in a Virtual Machine on a Mac/PC? Say using VMWare or Parallels on a Mac? Or maybe as a Docker image?

I am trying to test various scripts in /jffs and it is quite cumbersome having to factory reset the router (whenever I break something in my code and render the router inaccessible)

I am assuming that the firmware is some sort of a Linux derivative, so running it in a VM environment should be theoretically possible. Anyone know of ways to do this?
 

gspannu

Senior Member
No. This question has been asked before.
Thanks for the quick answer.

Openwrt can be run as a docker image or in Virtual Box - any specific (technical) reasons as to why Asuswrt-Merlin firmware cannot be run.
 

eibgrad

Part of the Furniture
Thanks for the quick answer.

Openwrt can be run as a docker image or in Virtual Box - any specific (technical) reasons as to why Asuswrt-Merlin firmware cannot be run.

Most likely because it supports the x86 platform, but Merlin is either MIPS or ARM. That's why you can virtualize DD-WRT too; it also runs on the x86 platform. FT (FreshTomato) is also MIPS/ARM, so it can't be virtualized either.
 

gerardr

Regular Contributor
I have not vetted this site, so please use due diligence. As the old general contractor I worked with to pre-install network wiring into a new building said, "you rarely get what you expect, but you always get what you inspect"!
Azeria Labs - Emulating ARM Router Firmware. This uses QEMU on Linux which does the ARM emulation. Also, Windows 11 now has an Android subsystem that runs ARM apps, but I envision loads of wood chips trying to use that (i.e. hack, hack, hack ...). Also on a new ARM-based M1 Mac, you might also be able to use QEMU or maybe Virtualbox without emulation.
 

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