Getting Started


Connecting to Rambutan is pretty easy. There are several ways of doing this. My personal recommendation is:

  • Serial: picocom for Linux and OSX, putty for Windows.
  • Ethernet: ssh for Linux and OSX, putty for Windows.


Rambutan features on-board USB to Serial FTDI interface. It is also powered by USB.

putty (Windows)

Pretty straight forward. Run program, enter COM port number, select baudrate 115200 and click "connect".

picocom (Linux, OSX)

picocom -b 115200 /dev/ttyUSB0
  • Picocom man
  • To exit, press and hold CTRL, a, q.


putty (Windows)

Putty can be used for SSH, Telnet and Serial connectivity. It's a Swiss knife tool for Windows. Usage is as simple as in serial mode. Run, enter IP address, select protocol and connect.

ssh (Linux, OSX)

SSH is enabled without password by default . Rambutan can be connected:

ssh root@

Where root is your default root user and IP address.


Build firmware

This procedure must be performed on your computer. We use Debian and Ubuntu but many other distributions should work. It is also possible to build on OSX. Building on Windows platform is not recommended.

Install packages to your computer

In order to build OpenWrt, you will need few software packages on your computer. Some are mandatory, some optional.

sudo apt-get install subversion g++ ncurses-term zlib1g-dev gawk flex patch openssh-server minicom picocom tftp tftpd gettext libncurses5 libncurses5-dev unzip quilt git git-doc git-gui libxml-parser-perl libssl-dev

Get latest sources

Get latest sources from 8devices OpenWrt branch.

git clone rambutan
cd rambutan

Build image

If you are building firmware for the first time just run:

./ rambutan

This will update package feeds and build minimal image firmware image. If you want to customize your build look for more details in advanced section.

Note that building OpenWrt firmware takes some time. On moderate computer it might take 1 to 3 hours. CPU load during this process is usual close to 100%. Building environment takes up about 12GB of hard disk space. You should see build log like this:

Image will be available in bin/ar71xx folder.


If you feel like something is missing or looking for some goodies, this section is for you.

Upload firmware

This section covers few methods how to upgrade firmware on Rambutan. Some methods require only USB-Serial connection, some only LAN, some LAN and Serial. Also you might need to install/setup other software to perform these tasks.

Web interface / LUCI

This method is recommended for novices. Connect to Rambutan web interface, browse for firmware upgrade (System → Backup / Flash firmware), select file and press upgrade.


Login to Rambutan and download binary image to RAM. (Alter IP and path to match your binary image location)

scp test@ /tmp

Perform upgrade procedure.

sysupgrade -v -n /tmp/openwrt-8devices-v2.9-ar71xx-nand-rambutan-squashfs-nand-factory.ubi

Or if you wish to save configuration files:



sysupgrade -v -c /tmp/openwrt-8devices-v2.9-ar71xx-nand-rambutan-squashfs-nand-factory.ubi

USB recovery

NOTE: using this method will destroy any configuration changes you made.

To perform recovery, you need USB flash drive formatted with FAT32 file system. Copy factory image (openwrt-8devices-v2.9-ar71xx-nand-rambutan-squashfs-nand-factory.ubi) to root directory of the flash drive and rename the file to '8dev_recovery.bin'. Plug USB drive to Rambutan's USB port, press device reset button (marked S2), while holding reset-to-defaults button (next to USB port, marked S1). Hold reset-to-default (S1) button for about 10 seconds or better look at device status via serial console. Boot-loader will find recovery image, and will flash it immediately. If boot-loader can't find recovery image in USB media, it will try booting OpenWRT normally.

If you have serial console connected, process should look like this: