Guide to Setting Up OpenWRT on a Mini PC for Complete Network Control

Let’s install open wrt, a open sense and PF sense alternative that you can install on your router and essentially being complete control of your network. So this is what we’re looking to create from a visual standpoint.

So you get your internet coming into one of the Ethan reports on the mini PC, then goes into the router. That’s apparently the official sign for a router. So open WRT does what it needs to do, then it sends the LAN back out through the second Ethernet port. And then, for example, I’ve got a switch. So it goes into my switch and then it goes into, say, a computer that I’ve got or into a laptop or you can have, say, a Wi Fi device set up here. I’m gonna be doing this in proxmox, but this equally works on a normal machine.

And I’m gonna be using this mini PC here, which has got two Ethernet ports. And it is quite important to have two Ethernet ports if you’re looking to manage your whole network.

So the first thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna go onto the downloads page of the open wrt page. Then we’re gonna go down to where it says stable release builds. I’m gonna go all the way down to the latest build number, which is this one here, 23 verify at the time of filming. Then we’re gonna click on targets, then x, 86 at bottom, then 64, and then we’re gonna be presented with this page here. We’re looking for this second image here, not the EFI image, but the second one here. We wanna right click that and we wanna copy the link.

When I’m gonna go back to our proxmox, we’re gonna make sure we select the actual proxmox host. Then we’re gonna open a shell. We can equally ssh into it, but we’re just gonna use the shell here. And then we’re gonna type in w get, and then we’re gonna paste that link in. That’s gonna be a really long link.

I’m gonna press enter. It will go ahead and download that image for us. Now take a look. We’ve got the image here. We now need to unzip it. So we’re gonna type in G unzip, and then we’re gonna type in op ed.

And if you press the tab key, you’ll complete the whole thing for you. And press enter. We’re gonna unzip it and we need to resize this image. And this is essentially to make it the size that we want our VM hard drive to be, because this is gonna be running kind of from this image. So we’re gonna type in QEMU dash m IMG resize and then dash F.

And then we’re gonna type in op. We’re gonna let it auto complete. And then at the end, I’m gonna give it the image size. So I just want 8 gigabytes. I’m gonna press enter. And that is now completed. We take a look. We’ve got the image here.

So we now need to create our VM in proxmox. So I’m gonna click create VM. Now this bit is quite important because we need to make sure we get this right in order for the open WRT image to boot properly. So vmid, remember this one, but give it obviously whatever you want. Then here I’m gonna type in open wrt.

Next here I’m gonna select no image. This bit on the right here is not that relevant. Click next. This can all stay the same. Click next.

Now, under drives here, we’re gonna remove the scuzzy drive because we’re gonna add it later. Gonna click next now here, give it as many CPU cores as you want. I’m gonna give it 2 cores and the type is gonna be host for me. Memory 2 gig is gonna be plenty. Click next and I’m gonna go.

No network device for now. And I’m gonna click next and I’m gonna finish. But we’re gonna make sure that we don’t start the VM just yet. So here’s a couple of things that we need to do.

We now need to import the drive into our open wrt image. Now we’re gonna go back to Proxmox. We’re gonna open our shell again. Now we’re gonna type QM import disk, then your VM number, in my case, it’s 1:08. So I’m gonna type in 1:08 space. And then the image, which is gonna be the open wrt image.

But again, if you’d start typing ope and then press the tab cable auto complete, at the end, we need to tag on the storage location. Now in my case, it’s the local LVM. That’s where the image is. So I’m gonna have to type that in local dash LVM. I’m gonna press enter and you’ll go ahead and import the disk for us.

It’s pretty quick and it’s done. We’re now gonna click on the open wrt image here. Then I’m gonna click on hardware. And now we have an unused disk here. So we’re gonna double click that.

I wonder bus device, we’re gonna select that Io, we’re gonna select this card. And then under cache, I’m gonna write back and I’m gonna click add. Now we now need to go ahead and create two network devices. So we’re gonna click on the proximx host here. Then we’re gonna click on network.

And here we have both our interfaces. So we’ve got the left Ethan report and the right Ethan report. So what you’re gonna have to do now, I’ve already created that, but what you’re gonna have to do is you’re gonna have to click create Linux bridge here, give it a name here, give it an IP address. So in your local network, you might be 1,9,2 dot 1,6,8 dot, 0 dot, I don’t know, 11. For example, your gateway, that’s obviously your routers IP address.

Now here it needs to be inside a notation, which means we’re gonna have to type in slash 24. Now under comments, you can name the first one, say the land port and under bridge port, you’re gonna have to name, use the same name as up here.

So for example, in my case, I type in en P1 s zero. So en P1 s zero, it has to match obviously that first one there. And then you would click create. But I’ve already done that. You can see that here I’ve got a lamp port, which is ENPS 1,0.

And then you’re gonna have to create a one port. So you’re gonna repeat, are you gonna click create Linux Bridge, but then you’re gonna have to select this interface here and then give it a one port. All this can stay blank. We just need to make sure that we’ve commented as a one, but just easier for us to recognize what we’re trying to do. We’re now gonna add those network devices to our VM.

So we’re gonna click on the VM, we’re gonna click on hardware, then click on ad, and then here we’re gonna go down to network device. And here we’ve got both our bridges. I’m gonna add the land bridge first, click add, repeat that. Network device, CMV 1, one click add. And the final thing we need to do is we need to stay on the VM here, click options.

And here we have boot order. We need to double click that because here we need to select the drive that we have added and we’re gonna slide it all the way to the top and I’m gonna untick ID2, click okay, time to start the VM. So I’m gonna click on console and I’m gonna click start now. And there we go. We are now booted into open wrt. That installation is gonna do its thing and it might be stuck. It will just kind of look like this, like nothing. If you press enter, it will then take you down to here.

Now, right at the bottom, it says, warning, there is no root password set on the device. And type in pass wd to set password. So that’s the next thing we wanna do. So it’s pass through d, then set your password. So confirm it, press enter. And the root password has now changed.

So opmwrt is now installed. Now I’ve got the console open again on the image here on the VM. I’ve now typed in IPA and this is what we’re gonna be presented with.

And we’ve got our open WIP router address 1,9,2,1,6,8 dot 1. Now we need to get one machine onto the dot 1 network here in order to be able to access the guru.

Cuz at the minute I type in the address, I’m not gonna be able to access it. Nothing’s really gonna happen. We need to open our network preferences. I have a wired network, so I’m gonna select my wired network.

I’m gonna click on TCP IP and on Mac, this is obviously on Mac, but on Windows you kind of have to change that yourself onto IPV 4 settings. Now I’m gonna give myself an IP address of 1,9,2 dot 1,6,8 dot 1 dot 10. And then on the router, I’m gonna change it to dot 1. And if you now type that address in, we can see we now have a login screen. So I’m now gonna type in my password that I’ve set.

There we go. And we are now officially in open wrt. This is now up to you how you want to configure this. So don’t forget to like and follow and let me know if this is useful for you and what other videos you’d like me to make.