Growing Pains

I wanted to share some thoughts I had on flashing LEDE (the OpenWRT successor) to my WRT1900AC, and share some guidance on configuring the WAN interfaces for PPPoE and setting up VLAN tagging. While I use Century Link, this guide should be pretty applicable to anyone who has an ISP which uses PPPoE and VLAN tagging to lock down their modems.

A few months ago I was presented with an opportunity to upgrade my homelab to Century Link’s gigabit offerings – and while the service was immediately better than Comcast’s, I noticed that my (now aging) Linksys WRT1900AC v1 router running OpenWRT 15.05.1 barely broke 300mbps, whereas my much older Netgear router was able to run at around 900mbps. After doing some digging I discovered the the OpenWRT firmware was the culprit and promptly returned back to stock. While I got my full speeds back, sacrificing the ability to make a litany of software changes was a pretty big trade off, and as someone who’s more comfortable working with BIND over AD DNS it became kind of a pain in the ass to manage DNS in my lab.

Earlier this evening, I came across the LEDE project, which was effectively a continuation of OpenWRT, and better yet, they even had an updated system image for my router. Grabbing the image (available here for those of you with the same router as I), I flashed my router to LEDE and got up and running…

How-To

Prior Info

Please make sure you have the following:

  • Your PPPoE credentials from your service provider, as well as the VLAN (Century Link uses 201, which I will be using in this guide). Most of them will give them to you if you call technical support.
  • A router that is compatible with LEDE. Check https://lede-project.org/supported_devices to see if your router is on there.
  • A router that you have already flashed LEDE to. I won’t be covering how to flash the firmware to your device, but this guide will assume you have already done so and done minor set up.

VLAN Config

  1. Log in to your LuCI interface (normally http://192.168.1.1), and click Network -> Interfaces.
  2. By default, you should see a bridged LAN interface called LAN, WAN, and WAN6.
  3. Verify that you have a WAN entry, and click on  Edit, and then the Physical Settings tab. This will reveal which physical eth port (eth1 in my case) your interface is using, and will look something like this:
  4. Navigate to Network -> Switch. Here we will create a new VLAN ID 201 and tag CPU (eth1) and WAN:
  5. Click Save & Apply.

Interface Config

  1. Go back to Network -> Interfaces.
  2. Click Edit on WAN.
  3. Select Protocol and set it to PPPoE. Click Switch Protocol to confirm your changes:
  4. At this point, enter your PPPoE Credentials into the PAP/CHAP Username and PAP/CHAP Password fields. Leave the other fields empty:
  5. Click the Physical Settings tab, and select the VLAN we just created:
  6. As you can see, the new physical interface name for our new VLAN is eth1.201! Click Save & Apply and go back to the Interface Overview.
  7. Click Connect to bring the interface online. You should see an IPv4 address at this point! If you have an ISP which supports IPv6 repeat the same steps on that interface.

 

I hope this post helps someone. I did a lot of running around trying to figure this out on my last go at this, and didn’t have this info on-hand.

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for this info! I believe I am close to figuring this out. I am in Portland also and have setup exactly but still no go. A couple things 1) did you have to reboot ONT? Is it possible? From my perspective in a wheelchair the ONT looks like it is only accessible to service technicians. 2) Did you include @quest.net on your pppoe username? 3) Does CenturyLink need to authorize the MAC of the router?

    1. Hi Dave, thanks for reading! To answer your questions…

      I did not have to reboot the ONT, however, there’s a small panel at the bottom of the one that I received that can be popped off that reveals a power connector. I’ve only had to reboot it once (unrelated), but that did the trick.

      For the username, I did have to include @qwest.net. If you give them a call and let them know that you are trying to configure a router manually and need a username, they should be able to provide that for you.

      Lastly, they did not need the MAC address, but I provided it to them anyways. To my knowledge, the authentication is done on the PPPoE user lookup.

      Hope this helps, best of luck!

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