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Suggestions on imaging Mk5 for dev & backup purposes


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I'd like to hear other's ideas on how best to work on the Mk5's file system off of the actual device itself. Does anyone use an emulator for development work? Or do you just image the flash and sd card and swap images/cards into the device when you want to try something new? I'm searching for alternatives because I haven't found an emulator and managing multiple images is a big pain. I have two reasons for this:

1) I want to be able to construct various setups for the Mk5 and just boot them as needed. I don't want to fiddle with settings/files on the actual production version when I can do that on an emulator or image the device and keep multiple images on my workstation and then load them as needed. This helps me when I want to setup the Mk5 for MITM testing verses pen testing versus plain ol AP work, etc. How are other's accomplishing this? How are you imaging /? dd? Any other suggestions?

2) I want to be able to develop or compile things and this seems to be a problem on the device itself. I don't want to load a compiler on the device due to the security risks inherent in that. Plus the space issues. I'd rather have it on an emulator or another device, compile what I need to an image, and then load that image to the Mk5 when needed. This is particularly urgent for me to update ettercap, since the opkg store version is several revs back (0.7.2?) from current rev (0.8!) with many many bugs fixed and new features. How have others handled this?

Thanks in advance.

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For the first thing, what exactly are you after? What kind of configurations are you looking for that couldn't be accomplished via the DIP switches? I just have the DIP switches take care of it all. Maybe if you tell us a little more about what you're after we might have some better solutions.

Secondly, by compiling I assume that you're talking about actual executables seeing as you mentioned ettercap. Is there a problem with your openwrt toolchain? I've had no problems compiling a few executables on my linux machine with the tool chain and just copying them over to the pineapple.

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Thanks for the quick reply.

For the first question, I'm looking at completely different configs, not just running scripts off of the DIP's. So for example, I'd configure the various interfaces and settings in rc.d and init.d completely differently for project A versus project B. Also, I'd just like to be able to keep backups of the images as I change things around, rather than filling up the storage on the Mk5 with .bak files or various versions. Make sense?

Secondly, I'm unfamiliar with the openwrt toolchain. I would think that if I compiled an exe on a linux machine, unless it was an emulation of the same OS running on the Mk5, I'm not going to get a good exe to copy over to it. That's why I was asking about emulation for a dev environment. The first problem might solve the second problem. If I had an image for the Mk5 with compilers on it, then I could compile, copy the exe over to a different image of the Mk5 that doesn't have the compilers on it, and that should work.

In the end, I'm trying to keep myself sane by keeping the file systems on the Mk5 "clean" as I do various projects. It makes it very hard to debug or just config things when you have lots of junk floating around from this that and the other versions of things.

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I understand your predicament.

As far as full system images go, I'm unaware of anything that fits exactly. However, for your circumstances, I would personally write a script for each configuration that would both set your interfaces how you want them and copy out backups of your various config files. So basically copy out your configuration files (rc.d/init.d/etc) to some folder in the home directory. Then have a script copy them out to their proper place on boot. So you can then use the DIP switches to call on the scripts automatically.

It's a bit of a fudged fix, but it would work out, and seeing as each of the files are so small it would take no time at all.

Secondly, I'd recommend you take a look at this site here from the OpenWRT website: http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/devel/crosscompile.

The executables on the Mark V are not unique to the Mark V at all, they are just compiled for OpenWRT (hence why there are so many packages available in opkg manager).

It's quite an easy setup especially if you're familiar with linux, which it sounds like you are.

Hope this helps!

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Thanks again. I thought about the script approach, but am looking for a cleaner approach. Hence why I'm putting it to the community for suggestions. I'd rather not try and fab up a content management system if something is more elegant.

The OpenWRT link you provided is VERY helpful. I wasn't aware of that ability. So many thanks for that.


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