What's best router for Tomato with 64kb NVRAM or bigger?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by bbct01, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. bbct01

    bbct01 Reformed Router Member

    I have used DD-WRT and Tomato on a couple routers. I have an ASUS RT-12 that works flawlessly with Tomato 1.28. I found the Netgear WNR3500L v2 at a reasonable price, and saw 128MB flash and 128MB RAM, saw that Tomato from Shibby works great with it, and purchased it. I figured with all that flash memory, the NVRAM space must be enormous. So now I have Shibby's latest running but with just 32kb of NVRAM :-(. And no support for JFFS. I'm happy to put a $10 USB drive in the back for more space, but I just don't understand why, with all that flash, why I should have to?

    I'm now getting more educated and understand the NVRAM size has less to do with the Flash memory size, and more to do with, well, I'm not sure. I see posts on this forum indicating some users have 64kb NVRAM, but I'm not sure what combination of router/firmware is needed. Is there some resource out there with a list of the routers/firmwares/NVRAM sizes supported?

    I want to run an OpenVPN server and one or two clients, and these take a lot of NVRAM if you use the GUI to store the key values. Sure, I can put scripts on a USB drive, and have the startup script run the additional OpenVPN server's/clients... There's plenty of RAM on my router to run them... it would take me a few hours to google how to do that with this router, but I'd really rather have more NVRAM and ease of use. Plug the keys in, a few custom configurations, click a button, and I have the VPN running. I like that better! I don't quite understand with 128MB of flash and only about 15MB of firmware, why the NVRAM can't be bigger. I guess if I were to start a mod of my own I'd figure it out pretty quickly :)

    So from a curiosity standpoint - anyone want to explain why NVRAM has to remain so small? And from a practical standpoint - anyone with a suggestion of the best router/firmware to get 64kb or even 128kb of NVRAM, that would be appreciated as well. Thanks!
  2. lancethepants

    lancethepants Network Guru Member

    Here's a recent post on the subject on how to do it.


    I personally prefer putting them in jffs. They will only be needed for read-only. Also jffs is much more reliable than USB, which won't result in OpenVPN failing to start. Too bad your device does not support.

    Can't answer your other questions, although I agree with you. So much flash space, why not give more for nvram? At least your device has USB.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013
  3. jerrm

    jerrm Network Guru Member

    Put simply, maybe a little too much so, tomato's nvram is restricted to what the manufacturer supports. Lack of jffs on your router has to do with the type of flash and lack of support for it in tomato, Shibby bricked a unit trying. If your willing to donate a few, he might try again.

    As lance says, with just about any other supported router and enough flash to create a jffs partition, you can store your keys on jffs (or usb) and still use the gui for everything else.

    The best supported routers at this point are still the RT-N66 or RT-AC66(64K nvram/32MB flash/256M RAM).
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