Its no secret, I like to install Linux on things that should be running Linux, like my iPod.
My friend at work, Stephen, recently told me about installing Linux on a linksys router. To be honest, I looked into my router in the past, but it was years ago, and required soldering wires and things inside of it. I don’t have the best luck when it comes to hardware mods, so I didn’t do it.
Stephen turned me on to a new Linux based firmware for older linksys routers called “Tomato”.
Tomato is a 3rd party firmware that voids the warranty on your router, but lets you do some awesome stuff you weren’t able to do with the original firmware.
It took all of about 5 minutes to download the firmware and reflash my router with it. You can get a copy of it at http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato
The interface is ajax based and really clean. Because its all powered with ajax, there is some really cool monitoring features, like real time bandwidth monitoring (flash movie)
If you have a weak wifi signal from your router, you can use the tomato firmware to crank up the output of the signal.
All in all you turn your $50 router into a $500 router with this open source firmware.
You have to have a Linksys WRT54G, version v1-v4. Newer ones are v5, so before upgrading be sure to check yours.
If you aren’t a big geek, this mod is kind of useless, but how awesome is it to say that you are running Linux in your router.