Posts Tagged ‘FRITZ!Box 7390’

Plug Computer: Part 4 Lift Off

June 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Getting Putty to work with the dream plug and JTAG and SSH

Lets just get this bit out the way. I can confirm that the instructions here do work. It  is a pain but you only have to do it once and it works.

Upgrading the DreamPlug

So to recap, the plug computer seem a cheap way to have your own bit of the cloud both in terms of capital cost and running costs.

The DreamPlug works. I know this because I can log into it through the JTAG connection. I also know it has an old version of bare bones version of Debian (Lenny) on it. Usable but not for much.

The first thing I wanted to do was upgrade the OS to something more recent but still stable. So Debian Squeeze seemed a likely candidate. There are a number of ways to change the OS on the DreamPlug. You can even multiboot from external memory be it SD card or USB stick. I wanted to keep the interfaces free so that meant storing it on the internal memory. Again there are (probably) a number of ways to do that, however since the internal memory is just an internal SD Card I decided to remove it and reimage it. Removing the four rubber pads from the DreamPlug gives you access to four small screws. Remove this and the case comes apart pretty easily revealling the SD card.

Images can be found for varios sizes of SD at the NewIT website. I used the instructions from the website to copy the image across from my laptop to the SD card. This involved using a linux command shell and I used the OpenSUSE build for that.

Booting the device through with the JTAG attached showed no problems so on to the next stage.

Joining the network

Out of the box, the DreamPlug is configured to to use DHCP to get an IP address. Connecting it to my network via ethernet posed no problem and it picked an ip address. Looking at my Fritz!box router allowed me to determine which one and from that point on I could connect via ssh rather than the JTAG module using Putty. At this point you are going to have to learn how to use a text editor with a command line interface. I haven’t used one in years but you are not going to get anywhere without using one. I used “vi” but there are others available. My intention was to give the DreamPlug a static IP address and this along with other sytem changes requires changes to a number of text configuration files. However after following the instructions here and here it steadfastly refused to stick with the address I gave it. (actually i had misconfigured the “interfaces file” as it turned out. The perils of using command line text editors made abundantly clear). In the end I reserved an addess in the Fritz!Box router and tied it to the MAC address the DreamPlug. The Fritz!Box has a “sort of” DNS server. You cannot change the domain name which is “” unless you hack under the skin. I could not be bothered changing it so the local IP address resolved to the DreamPlug hostname appended to the domain name. for example. From this point on, the DreamPlug hardware has become inconsequential an it behaves like a standard Debian linux machine connected to the internet. I followed this HOWTO to set the server up. This gives me a Webportal to manage the server and I no longer feel like I have to do keyhole surgery using Putty. I haven’t thought about any other functionalty for the DreamPlug yet – such as a media server for example as I am still playing with what I have already installed. But what I do have is a fully capable server sitting next to my toaster in the kitchen. The hardware is not a consideration now as it behaves as any normal server would. Don’t believe me – Try here if you don’t believe me (assuming it is still working :-)).

The only remaining hardware related things to do will be to turn off the laser bright LED’s and the Bluetooth and Wireless connections. They draw power, I don’t need them for now and they are security attack vectors.


Opensuse 12.1 Fritz!box 7390 and VPN. How do you do it?

January 10, 2012 8 comments

OK here is a challenge for some of you. This is an area (one of many) where I know nothing so bear with me. When running Windows on my laptop I can VPN into my Fritz!box 7390. A Friz!Box Windows app generates a configuration files that you load into the router through the in web interface and into the Fritz!Box VPN client. It sounds a little complicated but the configuration only has to be done once. From then on you just fire up the client when you are in a remote location and it connects. Simples.
So now to my question. How do I do this in OpenSUSE 12.1? I tell you what I have tried so far. I have installed KVPN – the KDE VPN client. This allows you to instal the file – which I have to generate under windows (is there a Opensuse 12.1 equivilent process for this too?). There is even a special profile just for Fritzboxes that allows KVPN to import the file. At this point I demonstrate my ignorance (again). KVPN wont work with just the Fritz!box file. It uses IPSEC (I think) so I have downloaded IPSEC files and the IPSEC tools file. This fixes some “racoon” of the errors but I still get a “bind” error. Since both the Fritz!box and OpenSUSE have strong German influences there is a lot of support in the German forums. But my German is weak and Google Translate has not been a friend to me in this matter. So if there are any kind souls out there who know what I need to be doing then please tell me what I need to do. Answers in German are fine. There is one condition however. If the solution involves excesive command line activity, file editing or log dumping then I probably won’t do it as it would defeat the point I was trying to prove in my earlier post. Point and click solutions will certainly given a try. Failing that I might explore the OpenVPN route so any neat solutions here are also welcome.

So while I wait, the HD2 still wants to play

December 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Yes, so while I wait for my new phone, I haven’t forgotten the HD2. There is life in the old girl yet. As you might know from my earlier posts I use an AVM Fritz!Box Fon WLAN 7390 (yes it is a bit of a mouthful) router. Like all routers it just sits there and does its job. Thing is it does a lot of jobs. It is also a DECT phone base-station and seamlessly integrates land-line and VOIP. There is also an Android app called FRITZ!App Fon. What this does is make your Android phone become a DECT handset allowing you to make or pick up landline or VOIP calls via WIFI. The problem was the app wouldn’t work with y HD2 which was disappointing. The phone would pick up or connect a call but you could hear anything. Not any more! I am not sure if it is because the app is updated or the MIUI ROM is doing something. But whatever its is, it now works perfectly.

The router also acts as a Media Server and there is an app for that as there is for the router’s call register.

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