You can now evaluate and test the RTL8181 project's Linux kernels without
actually having to go through all the steps of downloading, patching and
compiling your own compiler, kernel and applications, and overwriting your
board's native firmware in the process.
The demonstrative pre-compiled images available from this page are built to
run from the board's RAM without destroying the existing content of the
flash ROM. Simply download the image that suits your board type, TFTP it to
your board in monitor mode, then issue a JUMP command to the load address
to boot it. To return to ye olde firmware, just reboot (power cycle) the board.
THESE IMAGES ARE FOR TESTING AND EVALUATION PURPOSES ONLY.
USING THEM OUTSIDE OF TESTING/LAB ENVIRONMENTS IS AT THE USER'S
SOLE RISK AND LIABILITY AND IS STRONGLY DISCOURAGED BY THE AUTHORS.
The images come in 2 flavours: 8030 and 8050, depending
on the TFTP upload address hard-coded in the board's boot code. Realtek's
pre-2.0 versions of btcode (default on Edimax/Minitar boards) store the TFTP
upload at address 0x80500000, while versions 2.0 and newer store the file at
0x80300000. Use image suffixed 8030 for address 0x80300000 and 8050 for
2004-11-17: version 0.1.2 "ROMAD" - kernel 2.4.27-0.1.2-pre4,
fixed wireless driver 0.0.2, fixed MTD subsystem, ethernet MII support,
experimental 802.11 MAC masquerading bridge extensions.
Download here: 8030 /
2004-10-28: version 0.1.2 "COMAO" - includes the 2.4.27-0.1.2-pre2
kernel with wireless capability, ethernet MII support (new) and standard
bridge. The latest bootloader (rtl-lxload 0.4) should improve boot stability
in some conditions. And, for those of you who were missing it, TCPDUMP is
back. :) Download here: 8030 /
2004-10-22: version 0.1.2 "SR" - includes the 2.4.27-0.1.2-pre1
kernel with module support, a feature-packed busybox 1.00-rc3 and the
recently release experimental wireless driver.
The image is compiled with experimental RAM size detection support, which
may cause boot failures on some boards (please report). Ethernet PHY is auto-
detected using the board's HS (hardware settings) flash record. If your
board doesn't have a HS record, the old 8305/SWAPMAC default will be used.
Get it here: 8030 flavour /
2004-08-30: version 0.1.1 "BOFH" - includes the 2.4.27-0.1.1 kernel
with module support, a feature-packed busybox 1.00-rc3 and every BOFH's friend,
The image is compiled with 8MiB RAM support, but should work fine on most
16MiB boards as well. Ethernet PHY is set to RTL8305, but it worked OK
with an RTL8201-based Edimax 7206 board.
Get it here: 8030 flavour /
Q: How can I find the "80X00000" load address for my board? A: TFTP any file to the board in monitor mode - the load address is the
last number in the message returned by the board
(TFTP Client Upload File Size: 00XXXXXX Bytes at 80X00000). Reboot the
board to clean up the memory before uploading the actual image. And please
doread the doc if you haven't yet.
Q: What commands are supported by the bundled busybox binary? A: About a hundred or so. Type "busybox" without parameters to get the
Q: What real-life use do you have in mind for these images? A: None at all, they are strictly demo/testing images. Use them to
boot your first Linux on your RTL8181 board without worries about frying it,
evaluate the kernel's stability, find bugs, test the available features,
benchmark the sucker till it screams (bonus points if you can crash it),
test your own compiled programs and modules, show it to your friends,
be the first guy (or gal) in your office / neighbourhood to run TCPDUMP
(with full -vveX output) on a soapboax-size device, whatever, just forget
about any "serious" real-life uses for now, because we're not there yet.
Q: Can I load other programs to a running image? A: Yes. Use the busybox built-in "wget" to download your programs from
a HTTP server. If ramdisk space becomes a concern, use "rm" to reclaim some.
The "BOFH" image, for example, should give you ~700K free space after removing
the /sbin/tcpdump binary. All changes are volatile, so don't worry about breaking
anything -- you can always reboot and start over.
Q: What's the status of MTD partitions and FTL support? A: Work in progress - they are enabled in the kernel but not supported
by the currently bundled ramdisk. If you want to play, make sure you understand
what you're doing.
Q: What about wireless? A: Should work as long as you don't brutalize it.
Q: It doesn't work. A: Post your story on the testing forum, providing as much background
information as possible (board type, console dumps etc) and someone may be able
to help you.