wrthelp – a demo app for the WRTnode


The WRTnode is a great new open source hardware dev board that takes the guts of a typical home router and makes it hackable. It’s more than an Arduino, less than a Raspberry Pi, and very network capable. WRTnode runs the OpenWRT Linux distribution, which I’ve used in the past on some of my home routers (to replace the awful firmware that gets shipped by OEMs).

One of its neat little party tricks is that it can be used to share a WiFi connection to multiple devices, so as I type I’m making use of that to share a hotel WiFi connection between my laptop, tablet and phone.

Developing for the WRTnode

The WRTnode Wiki has a section on OpenWRT Development with a classic HelloWorld application that’s build from source, packaged into an ipk file and installed. I struggled with this because copy/paste of the make files from the web to my text editor stripped out the tabs, and make needs those tabs otherwise you get ‘Make error: missing separator’.

Introducing wrthelp

The WRTnode has a number of commands to simplify getting online, which are covered in the Starting section of the Wiki. That’s fine if you can see the Wiki, but what if you need reminders of the commands so that you can get online (in order to see the Wiki)?

wrthelp is a simple command line tool (adapted from the helloworld example) that prints out the key instructions needed to get the WRTnode connected to a WiFi access point. The Github repo contains the source code and details for how to build, install and run.


Getting a working SDK was something of a pain, so I should probably Dockerise the one that I have to make it easily accessible.

I’m looking forward to doing some proper hacking with WRTnode (probably at the ThingMonk hack day.)


1. The WRTnode SDK can be run in a Docker container using:

sudo docker run -it cpswan/wrtnodesdk

Take a look at the image and Dockerfile on Docker Hub and Github if you’re interested in the details.

One Response to “wrthelp – a demo app for the WRTnode”

  1. cool, : ) pls let us what you make with WRTnode at the ThingMonk hack day or later by mail us welcomeu#wrtnode.com. WRTnode team.

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