Install OpenWrt on A64+ without serial?
#1
Hi all, I purchased a A64+ and would like to install OpenWrt on it. However I believe I made a mistake in not purchasing the serial connector devices along with it?

I am now travelling and because of which it is not possible to have this shipped to me. So my question is, is there any other way to get openwrt installed without serial?

I added openwrt using DD to an SD card as mentioned here: https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/Pine_A64_So...se#OpenWRT

I have it hooked up to HDMI so I can see some stuff, but it doesn't look like console and see many config files not setup and restarts over and over again without giving me the ability to type anything.

I looked here: https://wiki.pine64.org/wiki/NOOB Which talks about FEL? Should I be using this instead?

I would like to get it to a point where I can get OpenWRT setup then control its settings from network cable and browser logging into the a64 from another device like how we log into a regular router if possible.

This is pretty advanced for me so I need some direction, I have no clue what FEL is so I need to know if this is what I should and could use without a serial device to install OpenWRT.

Then the guide talks about OTG USB A to A cable. Now this might be possible for me to procure.

If FEL is not possible and OTG USB A to A cable is not possible, is there some way I can make my own serial connector?

The only electronic store near me is a mobile phone store, a computer store and a HAM radio store. Maybe there are some alternatives I should look for there? Please advise.

Thanks for the help
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#2
Is there no documentation at OpenWrt about installation to that hardware? I would consider that the primary source, and Pine64 information (wiki, forums, etc.) to be secondary to that.
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#3
(07-16-2021, 07:50 PM)TRS-80 Wrote: Is there no documentation at OpenWrt about installation to that hardware?  I would consider that the primary source, and Pine64 information (wiki, forums, etc.) to be secondary to that.

Yup, their documentation says exactly the same thing. "Use serial because this is headless image". So my question is since I can't order a serial port connector device, whatever those things are, I had no clue I needed it, is there a way I can make my own, or somehow connect to serial another way without that extra device?

I'd like to reiterate there is a computer store, a ham radio and electronics and hardware store near me, but that's it. Is there some alternative way I can get serial connection? Shipping is not possible at my current location.

Thank you.
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#4
"Serial" means a USB to serial adapter, and is an extremely common (and low level) interface once you begin to do anything beyond GUI muppet stuff.  Every aspiring hacker (or even, power user) should own several, as they are useful on all sort of embedded devices from uC to SBC, routers, hacking your TV box, console, car, etc...  You get the picture.

The usual way is to order them off AliExpress (or similar) because they are only couple bucks apiece.

However, if you don't want to wait a month, there are plans on the Internet, and with the resources you stated you might be able to make one (or a few).  They might even sell (or borrow, in case of HAM and other clubs) you one.

Incidentally, this is where it pays to become friendly with your local hacker space, HAM club, Linux User Group (LUG), etc...  Wink
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#5
(07-18-2021, 05:09 PM)TRS-80 Wrote: "Serial" means a USB to serial adapter, and is an extremely common (and low level) interface once you begin to do anything beyond GUI muppet stuff.  Every aspiring hacker (or even, power user) should own several, as they are useful on all sort of embedded devices from uC to SBC, routers, hacking your TV box, console, car, etc...  You get the picture.

The usual way is to order them off AliExpress (or similar) because they are only couple bucks apiece.

However, if you don't want to wait a month, there are plans on the Internet, and with the resources you stated you might be able to make one (or a few).  They might even sell (or borrow, in case of HAM and other clubs) you one.

Incidentally, this is where it pays to become friendly with your local hacker space, HAM club, Linux User Group (LUG), etc...  Wink

I closed the other thread and mentioned this, that I was able to find the serials usb devices at a ham store and also a high school robotics club where I donated an extra a64 in exchange for an extra usb flasher. So thanks for the advice. However, I gave up on the a64 for openwrt and will use rock64 for realtime snort. It's openwrt version seems to be more refined. Installed easier and setup was easier. Plus I need the extra performance. However having these serial usb devices makes everything so much easier instead of depending on gui and HDMI, just use another computers terminal and the app 'screen' or whatever it's called to login. Very easy. Thank you for the recommendations and help.
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#6
Well although this is an old thread just to clarify:

You don't need a serial console to set up OpenWrt. Just dd OpenWrt image (current 20.02) to sd and boot up.
There is "Luci" what is the graphical web interface (like on most consumer routers). You can reach it on a LAN interface (in standard configuration its the NIC on A64+) on 192.168.1.1. in your web browser. There you can manage and configure everything in OpenWrt. There is also a ssh server running.

I'm running A64+ with OpenWrt. It works very well! The only issue, if you want to use the upper usb (otg), you need to compile your own image. Should be supported out of the box in the future.
https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=13135
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