PirateBox 1.0 DIY

You can build a PirateBox 1.0 for as little as US$35! And with the new Box Installer, you can have your PirateBox up and running in just a few minutes.

PirateBox 1.0 image

PirateBox 1.0 Features

Responsive design for ease of use with phones and tablets; UPnP Media Server for local streaming of movies and songs; Image and Message Board for 4chan-like functionality; chat room for anonymous communications; browser-based file sharing system!

PirateBox 1.0 OpenWrt DIY

PirateBox is an anonymous offline mobile file-sharing and communications system built with free software and inexpensive off-the-shelf hardware. You can use it to transform any space into a free and open offline communications and file sharing network. Learn more about PirateBox on our FAQ page!

Install PirateBox 1.0

The following instructions are for installing PirateBox 1.0 on a new TP-Link router (MR3020 or MR3040) which is running the stock TP-Link firmware. Note: If you have already installed OpenWrt on your router or if you are already running an older version of PirateBox on your router, skip to the Upgrade PirateBox section below.

For support, be sure to check out the PirateBox OpenWrt page and the OpenWrt discussion board on our PirateBox Forum.

Stuff You'll Need

1. Wireless router (one of the following):

2.* USB Flash Drive (formatted FAT32 with a single partition) The Kingston DT 16GB works well (Amazon) (Newegg)

3. Ethernet cable

4. Computer with ethernet port

5. 5V/USB Battery (optional)

Auto-Installation

Installing PirateBox has never been easier thanks to the box-installer.

1. First download a copy of install_piratebox.zip and a customized copy of OpenWrt for the MR3020, WR703N or MR3040 to your computer from: http://stable.openwrt.piratebox.de/auto (be sure to download the “*squashfs-factory.bin” file that corresponds with your specific device).

2. Extract the install_piratebox.zip file and drag the “install” folder over to your USB flash drive.

3. Now SAFELY REMOVE your USB drive from your computer and plug the USB stick into your OpenWrt router.

4. Set the toggle switch located beside the LAN/WAN port on the router to 3G mode.

5. Connect the router via ethernet cable to your computer and power up the router. Once the router is running, open a web browser to http://192.168.0.254 for the MR3020, http://192.168.0.1 for MR3040 and http://192.168.1.1 for the WR703N to access the router's admin page (Check the “Quick Installation Guide” for your router if you're unsure).

6. Enter the default username & password (admin & admin).

7. Navigate to System Tools > Firmware Upgrade and select the OpenWRT firmware that you downloaded to your computer during the first step above.

Note: The WR703N firmware text is in Chinese. To flash OpenWrt from the web interface, select the last menu item on the left, and then the third submenu item. More info in this Village Telco post.

8. After the upgrade completes, the router will restart. Note: You should wait 15-20 minutes for the installation to complete (depending upon your USB flash drive, it may take up to 45 minutes - be patient!). Your device will reboot a couple of times during the installation.

9. Once the installation is complete, open a terminal window (for OS X, go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal; for Windows, install and open PuTTY) and telnet to the device:

telnet 192.168.1.1

10. Use the passwd command to set your login password – this will enable SSH:

passwd

11. You're now ready to activate the Kareha Image and Discussion Board and the UPnP server. See the Post-Installation instructions below for details.


Upgrade PirateBox

If you're currently running an older version of PirateBox on your router, these instructions should get you up and running in a flash (literally!). Please Note: The instructions below are specifically for the TP-Link MR3020, WR703N, and MR3040.

1. First download a copy of install_piratebox.zip and a customized copy of OpenWrt for the MR3020, WR703N or MR3040 to your computer from: http://stable.openwrt.piratebox.de/auto (be sure to download the “*squashfs-factory.bin” file that corresponds with your specific device).

2. Extract the install_piratebox.zip file and drag the “install” folder over to your USB flash drive.

3. Drag the “*squashfs-factory.bin” to your USB flash drive (you don't need to extract this file first!).

4. Now SAFELY REMOVE your USB drive from your computer and plug the USB stick into your OpenWrt router.

5. Set the toggle switch located beside the LAN/WAN port on the router to 3G mode.

6. Connect the router via ethernet cable to your computer and power up the router. Once the router is running, open a terminal window (for OS X, go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal; for Windows, install and open PuTTY) and log in with ssh:

ssh root@192.168.1.1 

Note: If you haven't set up a password yet, use the telnet command instead of ssh:

telnet 192.168.1.1

7. Navigate to the /mnt/usb directory:

cd /mnt/usb

8. Install the customized version of OpenWrt and PirateBox 1.0 with:

mtd write -r openwrt<TAB> firmware

Note: Use your “tab” key at the end of “openwrt” to autocomplete the full file name of the firmware.

9. After the upgrade completes, the router will restart. Note: You should wait 15-20 minutes for the installation to complete (depending upon your USB flash drive, it may take up to 45 minutes - be patient!). Your device will reboot a couple of times during the installation.

10. Once the installation is complete, telnet to the device:

telnet 192.168.1.1

11. Use the passwd command to set your login password – this will enable SSH:

passwd

12. You're now ready to activate the Kareha Image and Discussion Board and the UPnP server. See the Post-Installation instructions below for details.


Post-Installation

Once you have installed or upgraded to PirateBox 1.0, follow these final steps to activate the Kareha Image and Discussion Board and configure and start the UPnP media server.

1. Power up your PirateBox and join the SSID “PirateBox: Share freely” network. Then open a terminal window (for OS X, go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal; for Windows, install and open PuTTY) and ssh into your PirateBox:

ssh root@192.168.1.1

2. Activate the Kareha Image and Discussion Board by using the vi text editor (vi cheat sheet) to change the admin username and password (ADMIN_PASS and SECRET). Don't forget to remove a leading # in the both lines, if exists:

vi /opt/piratebox/www/board/config.pl

3. Activate the “timesave functionality” once:

/etc/init.d/piratebox timesave

4. Point your browser to http://piratebox.lan/board/kareha.pl for the first initialization.

5. Activate the UPnP Media Server by copying over the config file:

cp /opt/piratebox/src/openwrt.example.minidlna /mnt/ext/etc/config/minidlna

Note: Optionally, you can edit the config file (change the display name, etc) with:

vi /etc/config/minidlna

6. Finally, start the UPnP Media Server with:

/etc/init.d/minidlna start
/etc/init.d/minidlna enable  

7. Your PirateBox 1.0 should be ready to use! Be sure to also check out the PirateBox OpenWrt page and the OpenWrt discussion board on our PirateBox Forum for more info and support.