Installing CT on Cisco Meraki

Before we get started, we need to thank OpenWRT and in particular  riptide_wave who did the work to enable OpenWRT on Meraki. You're all awesome! We'll buy you all a beer when you come to London.

This is a One-Way Road.

Read the full guide before proceeding and make sure you understand the implications of the flash commands. Any error is likely to brick your device.
At this time there is no way to recover from a bricked Meraki short of desoldering the SOIC and reprogramming.

If anything goes wrong during the flash you will need access to console cable into the board to recover it. 

Since version 160122 TFTP recovery is available after flash.

Supported Meraki APs

  • MR12
  • MR16
  • MR18*

*In Alpha, please contact us directly through support chat in the dashboard for access to this firmware.


For the duration of this flashing process, keep this page open for reference.

If you don't want to use CT to manage it, you're free to use OpenWrt instead.

Sign-up

To create a free account with CT,  sign-up here.

Caveats

  • Every Meraki box has the same MAC address. We have a short term fix and a long term fix for this.
  • Takes forever (Ā±10 mins) to flash the box. Make some coffee while you're waiting.
  • Windows 10 seems to have an issue with TFTP. If you're struggling, use a different version of Windows or try a Mac. We're trying to find a permanent work-around for this.

Handy Links


Setting up

If you haven't already, sign up for an account to get access to your dashboard and the firmware

First off, take note of the original MAC address from the case.

Next up, you will need to  download the firmware from your dashboard.

Rename the firmware you downloaded to:

vmlinux.gz.uImage

That's victor mother LIMA indigo november unicorn xray and unicorn INDIGO mother ;)

PLEASE NOTE: Ensure that you do not mix the firmwares up for different APs.
Whilst they must be renamed to the same thing for the installation, they are fundamentally different, the firmware will flash but your AP will not work with the incorrect firmware.

If this occurs you can start from the beginning with the correct firmware.

Set up your computer's Ethernet as follows:

  • IP - 192.168.1.101
  • Subnet - 255.255.255.0
  • Gateway - None or if required 192.168.1.1

Then set up a TFTP server on your machine. For example download  PumpKIN or tftpd32 and run.

Move the firmware file into the route directory set in the TFTP server.

During the next steps, we recommend disabling your WiFi card/adapter to help prevent IP issues.


Flashing the firmware

Connect your Meraki PoE port to your laptop/computer via Ethernet from the PoE port.

Power on your Meraki while holding the reset button down, and keep it held down. This step is a bit fiddly so may take some practice.

During this time, you should see the firmware pulled to the Access Point in the console.

After 30-45 seconds, all of the lights on the front should start blinking. At this point, you can let go of reset.

If this does not happen, see the troubleshooting section at the end of this guide.

Wait approximately 5 minutes. The box should reboot after roughly this time.

If the lights are still blinking after the 5 minutes, reboot and retry.


Setting the MAC address

Next we need to set the MAC address on the Meraki.

Plug the AP back into the main network and find the WAN IP of your Meraki and connect to it directly. You can find this by looking through your router's DHCP list.

You should be able to find a device in the lease with a MAC starting with 00-03-.......

Login to the local portal Meraki page by visiting   http://192.168.210.1/cgi-bin/meraki.html  

* Where 192.168.210.1 is the WAN IP of the Meraki AP

The username and password are:

  • Username:  cucumber
  • Password: stinky

* If the password doesn't work, use the current WAN MAC in this format ( XX-XX-XX-XX-XX-XX ). Plese, bare in mind that until you set the static MAC, this might change at every reboot. If you are still unable to access the local portal, factory reset the AP by keeping the reset button for 10 seconds, while the AP is fully powered on. This will revert back to the password stinky.

Then enter your MAC address that you took note of earlier (see picture above), using hyphens instead of colons into the MAC field, and submit your changes. For example 00-03-0A-XX-XX-XX

PLEASE NOTE: If you factory reset your Access Point after this, you will need to repeat these steps to set the MAC address.

Then enter your MAC address that you took note of earlier (see picture above), using hyphens instead of colons into the MAC field, and submit your changes. For example 00-03-0A-XX-XX-XX

After this,  add the box into CT with your new MAC address, and enjoy your CT'ed Meraki.


Troubleshooting

Sometimes things can go wrong, here are a few of the most common troubleshooting tips:

The lights on my AP aren't flashing like they're supposed to after sending the firmware to it

This might happen for a few reasons:

  • The AP can't reach 192.168.1.101
    • Problem with ethernet cable
    • Problem with interface on laptop
    • Correct IP address & subnet not configured properly
    • Firewall blocking TFTP
  • TFTP server is not running
    • Not properly configured
    • Multiple instances could be running
  • Firmware file cannot be found
    • File in wrong location
    • File named wrong
  • Button is not pressed properly
    • Pin being used could slip off button momentarily
    • Button could be broken
    • Not held down for correct length of time