Belkin's New Router
ralph at inputplus.co.uk
Tue Apr 5 15:40:35 CEST 2005
> I am working on a project with the Belkin F5D8230-4 wireless router.
> The source is on Belkin's site, but I haven't attempted a compile yet
> since the toolchain is missing. Looking at some of the binary apps it
> says they were compiled with "GCC: (GNU) 3.2.3 with Broadcom
> modifications)", but this toolchain does not come with Belkin's
> source, and a Google search of Broadcom.com for 'gpl' gives a .pdf and
> one NIC driver. I presume the Broadcom modifications have to do with
> making compatible, or optimizing for their CPU and/or ethernet chips
> which are on the 8230.
> Does anyone know whether this toolchain is available/needed?
This para. in section 3 of the GPL seems relevant.
The source code for a work means the preferred form of the work for
making modifications to it. For an executable work, complete source
code means all the source code for all modules it contains, plus any
associated interface definition files, plus the scripts used to
control compilation and installation of the executable. However, as
a special exception, the source code distributed need not include
anything that is normally distributed (in either source or binary
form) with the major components (compiler, kernel, and so on) of the
operating system on which the executable runs, unless that component
itself accompanies the executable.
The `source code' should include stuff used for compilation, less what's
covered by the exception. By not using what's "normally distributed...
with the... operating system" I think Belkin aren't covered by the
> I'd made some minor modifications to Belkin's firmware image, but the
> router then refuses to accept the image, on CRC. If I change just one
> byte, the image is rejected by the web-based load. When I asked
> Belkin they said: "Unfortunately the Pre-N router is a closed system
> that does not contain enough memory to handle the loading of special
> firmwares or applications. Unfortunately we cannot assist you with
> your current request.
The same para. above says "plus the scripts used to control...
installation of the executable", i.e. they have to provide the means to
install a modified work based on the GPL'd software. That's the whole
point of the GPL; it isn't so you get the source to print out and
peruse, it's so you get the source to modify, run your modifications,
and distribute them to others!
If, however, you're trying to overwrite some non-GPL'd code that's also
on there, e.g. the boot-loader, then the GPL might not be of help since
you say that the tftp route works for some things.
IANAL and would appreciate any corrections to my understanding.
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