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Tomato compared with DD-WRT -- my experiences

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by Odin-60, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. Odin-60

    Odin-60 LI Guru Member

    Tomato compared with DD-WRT

    After having used DD-WRT for more than one year, I recently
    switched to Tomato. I hope this summary of my experiences
    is useful for other readers of this forum.
    Note that it is to be regarded in the following technical context:
    2 computers connected to the router: one through Ethernet, the
    other one through WLAN. Internet via DSL (2 Mbit/s, PPPoE).
    No P2P, no VoIP.

    First impression -- the web interface

    The Tomato GUI is clear and almost self-explanatory, while the
    DD-WRT GUI is partially confusing and hard to understand --
    despite the help texts. Unfortunately, the Tomato GUI is
    available in English only. This is not a problem for me, but
    it may be a bit of a problem when recommending Tomato to others.
    Also, Tomato is lacking a status overview page that is displayed
    already without a password; this is a nice feature of DD-WRT's.


    This was the primary reason for me to change. First, the DD-WRT
    syslog does not indicate when a PPPoE connection is started or
    ended. This is a crucial deficiency when you have even the slightest
    problems with your DSL connection. In Tomato all I had to do was
    to enter

    logger 'WAN is up.'

    as my custom WAN-up script; the end of a PPPoE connection is logged
    already by default.
    (To make things clear: With the optional RP-PPPoE driver DD-WRT
    would provide still much more useful PPPoE-related information in
    the log file; however, this driver is broken. Dito the new PPPoE
    driver in the latest DD-WRT v23 SP3 beta release.)

    Furthermore, DD-WRT has by default no means to browse or analyze
    the log file immediately in the web GUI. I suggested several times
    to introduce this ability, but the makers(s) of DD-WRT did not
    regard it as something desirable.


    In a single-user environment such as mine, without P2P or VoIP,
    the only aspect of QoS that is needed is to prioritize outgoing
    ACK packages. I think this is a very common situation, so I was
    always disappointed that the feature is not available in DD-WRT.
    Well, the respective forum told me to write a QoS script of
    my own... (Btw, also the AVM (FritzBox) routers, which dominate
    the German market, provide this feature.) I was very happy to
    see it implemented in Tomato!
    As to the other aspects of QoS, I have no first-hand experiences.

    Bandwidth usage statistics

    No such feature in the stable DD-WRT, unless you send the data to
    an extra PC which needs to be permanently online! (Only the future
    v23 SP3 is promising a solution.)

    Custom scripts

    Under DD-WRT I was using shell scripts of my own for the following

    1) access the web GUI of my DSL modem,
    2) make the DNS proxy resolv local host names,
    3) restart the PPPoE connection at 2:00 AM every day.

    I was happy to notice that all of this can be done with Tomato, too.
    It was even possible adopt my scripts for #1 and #3 without any
    change! Also, I was surprised to see that there are APIs to control
    the Cisco LEDs and to make use of the SES button -- something that
    is lacking from DD-WRT, even though it was repeatedly requested.

    Modes of operation

    Whether gateway or router mode, AP, client, client-bridge or WDS --
    everything I knew from DD-WRT is available with Tomato, too.
    Again, I'd like to point out that the respective web interface is much
    more ergonomic, IMO.


    Tomato is, in my opinion, perfectly tailored for home or SOHO use.
    As long as you can do with its capabilites, you will be happier than
    with the current DD-WRT.
  2. Kibe

    Kibe LI Guru Member

    Nice review!

    Would you share these scripts and give some hints about how to edit them?


  3. sz88

    sz88 LI Guru Member

    I like Tomato except for its access restriction...

    The time setting is 30min based. I need 10-min granularity.

    So, I am using DD-WRT for now. I will switch back if it can have
    that improved.

  4. Odin-60

    Odin-60 LI Guru Member



    I set the WAN connection to "keep alive" and added the following
    line to the startup script:

    cru a reconnect "00 02 * * * killall -hup pppoecd"

    Thus, cron stops the PPPoE driver every day at 2:00. Due to the
    "keep alive" setting, however, a new connection is established
    (Background: My ISPs uses to cut any connection after 24 hrs,
    and I want this to occur at a "harmless" time of the day, where it
    doesn't hurt me much.)
  5. Kibe

    Kibe LI Guru Member

    Thanks a lot Odin, that's what happens here... I get disconnect on a 25 hour base, so time is always changing and sometimes when I'm connect playing online!

    So if I want to have it reconnected at 5:00 am this would be the line to put:

    cru a reconnect "00 05 * * * killall -hup pppoecd"
  6. bogderpirat

    bogderpirat Network Guru Member

    yes, but you can (should?) use the service-service (good god, i'm a genius at articulation today!):

    cru a reconnect "00 05 * * * service wan restart"

    which probably does the same, but also reconnects, no matter what setting you have.
  7. Odin-60

    Odin-60 LI Guru Member

    To my experience, this is dangerous. When there is already
    a PPPoE connection, "service wan restart" may cause the
    new one to be established already before the "old" connection"
    is properly terminated. In consequence, a new logical ppp
    interface is created. (Yes, this did happen in fact!)

    On the other hand , I see no problem with "killall -hup pppoecd".
    Under DD-WRT, too, it has proven to do the job. Note, however,
    that the process name "pppoecd" holds only for PPPoE (as opposed
    to PPTP) and only for the current implementation.
  8. der_Kief

    der_Kief Super Moderator Staff Member Member


    i have to agree with Odin-60. At the beginning i used the "service wan restart" command and sometimes there was a new logical interface created. Since i use the command "killall -hup pppoecd" everything is OK now and works without a problem.


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