The goal of this project is to setup a simple home server running OpenWRT on a wireless router. OpenWRT is a slimmed down Linux distribution for embedded devices.
Some of the reasons for pursuing this project on an old home Internet router with OpenWRT are:
- Lower power requirements than running on an old laptop or computer. The router I will be using, the Netgear WNDR3800, maxes out at 30 W.
- Fanless to help keep down on the noise.
- Runs fine at higher room temperatures.
- OpenWRT is an active open source project going back to 2004 and beyond. The number of home routers and embedded systems it will run on is near endless.
- Long list of software packages already built and ready to be installed.
- Frequently updated, with security fixes.
- Wireless access point, and firewall. I am a little torn on running all these services on my firewall. We'll see where this project takes us.
- File server for use with Kodi running on Amazon's Fire TV Stick
- Tangentially related. Getting Kodi running on a Fire TV Stick. "Kodi is a free and open-source media player software application developed by the XBMC Foundation", from the Kodi entry on Wikipedia.
- Print server, potentially using Samba.
- Scan server, if it is even possible. SANE seems like a potential solution.
The Netgear WNDR3800 made its debut back in 2011. It might sounds a little dated, but it with 128 GB or RAM, 16 GB flash, two dual band antennas, Gigabit Ethernet ports and then some, it should be more than adequate for the job.
Note that even though I implemented the home server using the Netgear WNDR3800, the majority of it is written to apply to other equipment as well. The only exception being the installing OpenWRT section.
The following summary was pulled from OpenWRT's WNDR3800 wiki page.
|Name||WNDR3800 - N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router - Premium Edition|
|CPU||Atheros AR7161 rev 2 680MHz|
|Wireless Chipsets||AR9220 + AR9223|
|2.4 GHz WiFi||802.11 b/g/n|
|5.0 GHz WiFi||802.11 a/n|
|Notes on wireless||Simultaneous dual band (2.4 and 5 GHz) with dual-stream N.|
|Ethernet ports||1 WAN + 4x LAN (Gigabit Ethernet)|
|USB 2.0 ports||1|