[OpenWrt-Devel] [LEDE Project Forum] [Installing and Using LEDE] New Ubiquiti LOCO M2 XW

Bill Moffitt bmoffitt at ayrstone.com
Fri Aug 25 00:55:58 EDT 2017

Fellow developers-

I wanted to follow up on this topic, as it pertains to anyone 
considering using OpenWRT/LEDE on Ubiquiti wireless gear (I can't speak 
to the EdgeRouter, etc. devices).

I have been speaking with one of the executives at Ubiquiti, and he 
disclosed that they have been feeling pressured by the FCC to deal with 
the perceived issue of firmware being able to alter the RF 
characteristics of the hardware, particularly in the 5 GHz. band. He 
pointed to this note from the FCC as evidence: 

This is an interesting document - I really don't understand what legal 
standing it has - wasn't this the proposal that set us all to the web 
last year to try to make the FCC be sensible? In its First Review and 
Order of July 13 
(https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-17-93A1.pdf) the FCC 
specifically mention in the footnotes that they are NOT addressing 
"...provisions to prevent the unauthorized modification of the software 
and firmware that ensure that and RF device complies with FCC rules that 
prevent harmful interference..."

So it appears, at this point, that the FCC's position is that the 
replacement of firmware on devices is perfectly legal, but, to have a 
U-NII (5 GHz) device authorized in the U.S., it must have its firmware 
locked so it cannot be modified.

Whatever the legality is, the folks at Ubiquiti have made the decision 
to lock the bootloader on all their models so that firmware that is not 
specifically "signed" by Ubiquiti cannot be flashed on to their 
products. Models with locked bootloaders are just being introduced now - 
my last batch of Loco M2 units (note that these are 2.4 GHz. radios) 
were very odd: on units running AirOS 5.6.12 (as they shipped) I could 
load LEDE via the Web UI, but I could not load it using tftp. I updated 
some units to AirOS 6.0.6 and could not load LEDE at all via any method. 
Even connecting to the serial port did not help - the console stops when 
the firmware starts booting.

The bottom line is this: effective in the very near future, we will not 
be able to load OpenWRT/LEDE on to Ubiquiti wireless gear, unless I'm 
missing something here.

And we should expect every vendor to follow suit.

This represents an interesting problem for getting commercial vendors to 
adopt and support OpenWRT/LEDE - if Ubiquiti is interpreting the FCC's 
notes correctly, any company that wants to use OpenWRT/LEDE will have to 
sign the images so they cannot be modified. This seems to contradict the 
real value of OpenWRT/LEDE - and how would that even work with opkg, etc?).

I wanted to report what I have found to this group and see if anyone has 
any brilliant ideas. I haven't any at the moment.



On 08/14/2017 10:46 AM, Adrian Draus wrote:
> [r43k3n] 	r43k3n <http://forum.lede-project.org/users/r43k3n> Adrian 
> Draus <http://forum.lede-project.org/users/r43k3n>
> August 14
> Ubiquiti still refuses to release images for complete system recovery 
> for EdgeRouter devices. So when your EdgeOS firmware gets corrupted 
> beyond repair and your out of warranty then the only course of action 
> is to install LEDE. No official restoration procedure for EdgeOS is 
> available.
> That is not understandable for me since most TP-Link devices and 
> Netgear units too have a way to restore the entire firmware using TFTP.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Visit Topic 
> <http://forum.lede-project.org/t/new-ubiquiti-loco-m2-xw/5760/5> or 
> reply to this email to respond.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>         In Reply To
> [bmoffitt] 	bmoffitt <http://forum.lede-project.org/users/bmoffitt> 
> Bill Moffitt <http://forum.lede-project.org/users/bmoffitt>
> August 14
> Yes, they are not being very friendly towards us...
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Visit Topic 
> <http://forum.lede-project.org/t/new-ubiquiti-loco-m2-xw/5760/5> or 
> reply to this email to respond.
> To unsubscribe from these emails, click here 
> <http://forum.lede-project.org/email/unsubscribe/d77905e615393f4ac90fda533896470e252bc1a7f50554875dac5763ab8e4293>.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.infradead.org/pipermail/openwrt-devel/attachments/20170824/6876320b/attachment.htm>
-------------- next part --------------
openwrt-devel mailing list
openwrt-devel at lists.openwrt.org

More information about the openwrt-devel mailing list