Wanadoo Livebox ADSL Router (OEM Inventel)
Iván Sánchez Ortega
ivansanchez at escomposlinux.org
Sat Apr 16 03:01:27 CEST 2005
> I have recently bought, secondhand on eBay but boxed, complete &
> unused, a Wanadoo Livebox ADSL router.
Well, wanadoo sent me one of those.
> [...] the CD supplied with the unit suggests it is indeed running
> Linux &/or other GPL tools:
> $ strings
> /Volumes/Livebox/EN/Inventel/dwb/Firmware_v5-00-RC5.1-uk.dwb \
> | grep -i -e linux -e ebtables -e busybox
There is a much easier way to see the contents clearly. The firmware itself is
a cramfs filesystem, which you can decompress:
# file Firmware_v5-00-RC11-SP.dwb
Firmware_v5-00-RC11-SP.dwb: Linux Compressed ROM File System data, little
endian size 3637248 version #2 sorted_dirs CRC 0x25b93f46, edition 0, 2227
blocks, 602 files
# cramfsck Firmware_v5-00-RC11-SP.dwb -x cramfs_decompressed/
Having a look at that, everything becomes a little clearer.
(Anybody interested in a copy of this cramfs firmware, just drop me an email)
Anyway, I'm curious about the firmware in the Inventel D 100, in which the
livebox is based. I'm trying to register in order to get tech support, with
no avail. Inventel seems to be "working on the support pages for the BlueDSL
modems". I'll have to drop them a line, though...
> Considering that Wanadoo are selling these
> units to their customers at £80 a pop
That's not entirely true - in Spain, the liveboxes are being given away for
free to 56K-modem-users (such as me)
 as-in-free-beer, not as-in-free-speech, you know the riddle.
> I feel that vendor lock-in to this degree is heartily against the spirit of
> the GPL.
Look at it positively: as long as somebody can modify the cramfs firmware in
order to remove that lock-in, there shold be no problem. And, AFAIK, wanadoo
is planning to push VoIP services over the livebox.
> I have found it not possible to install the firmware from the CD onto
> my Livebox - there is a hidden page claiming "Livebox firmware update"
> at <http://192.168.1.1/upload.html>
They are using a custom http server, and it's quite difficult to
reverse-engineer the update process. I'll keep trying anyway.
> it icidentally seems that the Livebox also uses the .dwb extension when
> the user chooses to save their current configuration parameters
That .dwb file is just some files in /etc, tarred into one. Have a look
> I have no idea how these updates correspond to the firmware at
Cross-compile all those packages for MIPS32, put 'em on a bootable cramfs
filesystem, and you're ready to go.
> - all the files there are dated March & May 2004, but I suppose it could be
> that the only changes within the firmware are to the closed components.
I think so. If they're providing the source of the GPLd components of the
router's filesystem, the breach of the GPL is only about not providing
notices of GPLd software.
> I think that Wanadoo / Inventel could have implemented the vendor-lock
> entirely in userspace, but in any case can I have any expectation of getting
> them to supply tools for me to upload my own firmware onto the Livebox?
The best hope is to modify the firmware (either mounting it via loopback or
with mkcramfs) and flashing the router. I still have not been able to
understand the lock-in mechanism, so have luck.
> it's clear to me from this directory listing that they're aware of
> their GPL obligations, and from the statement there I suspect they'll
> make the minimum compliance necessary. I fear I may be in for some
> disappointment if I expect any kind of easy fix for this.
The failure to provide *prominent* notices of GPLd software along with the
firmware file may be a license breaching, as may be the fact that the
customer is not provided with a link to
http://www.inventel.com/gateway/gpl_software/ within the CD or the
documentation. I hope somebody could clarify this point.
Iván Sánchez Ortega <ivansanchez at escomposlinux.org> <ivan at acm.asoc.fi.upm.es>
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