MikroTik RouterBoard RB411

:!: Please have a look at Common Procedures for Mikrotik RouterBoard Products for installation instructions and other information.

The content of this page here is partially deprecated !

:!: (At least for RB411AH) The most recent images are to big to load via bootp.

So this image does not work: http://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/19.07.4/targets/ar71xx/mikrotik/openwrt-19.07.4-ar71xx-mikrotik-vmlinux-initramfs.elf

You would get a error like "kernel out of range".

But the 17.01.07 image did work for me:

Are you ready to lose your Mikrotik RouterOS licence? If not, export it from Winbox→System→Licence.

I'll explain the steps for installing Backfire assuming you have a Windows XP box, I'm sure a linux user can handle it by themself.

NOTE: tested on a RB411, but I'm sure it works for other models too ;)

Hint: disable ANY firewall on your pc...

Connect a standard null-modem serial cable to your serial port (COM1)


fire up putty


select Serial, type COM1 (or whatever), Speed 115200, hit Open.

now power up the RouterBoard (from now on, RB), you should see:

RouterBOOT booter 2.12

RouterBoard 411

Authorization: Passed
CPU frequency: 300 MHz
  Memory size:  32 MB

Press any key within 2 seconds to enter setup.

and press any key...

press “o” for “boot device”, “e” for “boot over Ethernet”

press “p” for “boot protocol”, “2” for “dhcp protocol”

press “i” for “board info”, and take note of eth1 MAC address, for example 00:0C:42:AB:CD:EF

press “x” to save and exit.

you can power off the RB for now.

let's set up the PXE & TFTP boot.

download TFTPD32:


extract all, open tftpd32.ini for editing...

Add right after [DHCP]:


obviously replace with your RB's MAC, and an unused address in the same subnet of your NIC's IP.

input after “LocalIP” your NIC's IP, for example:


close and save.

here comes the fun part, you have to find an “openwrt-ar71xx-nand-vmlinux-initramfs.elf” image, note the “initramfs” in the name, you can't find these image on http://downloads.openwrt.org , usually you should compile your image selecting the “ramdisk” option, but after a lot of time i found a site with such files “ready to use”: http://www.ozo.com/airo/openwrt/firmware/latest/2.6/ar71xx/26878/openwrt-ar71xx-nand-vmlinux-initramfs.elf DELETEME It is a really bad idea to get an outdated, untrusted pre-built image on a random website! Please build your own as described on the RB433 page.

Update: Latest currently (10/2015) available OpenWRT release does have initramfs images available for download. For 14.07 release use following image:


save in the tftpd32 folder, rename as “vmlinux”, fire up tftpd32.exe, and power up the RB, you should see something similar in the serial console:

trying dhcp protocol... OK
resolved mac address 00:13:D4:AB:CD:EF
transfer started ....................... transfer ok, time=1.88s

if you see a


it means that the RB has found the DHCP server on your router. just press the ESCAPE key in the serial console and try again ;)

finally the RB should boot openwrt ramdisk:

Please press Enter to activate this console.

BusyBox v1.18.4 (2011-05-12 16:13:00 EEST) built-in shell (ash)
Enter 'help' for a list of built-in commands.
  _______                     ________        __
 |       |.-----.-----.-----.|  |  |  |.----.|  |_
 |   -   ||  _  |  -__|     ||  |  |  ||   _||   _|
 |_______||   __|_____|__|__||________||__|  |____|
          |__| W I R E L E S S   F R E E D O M
 ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT (bleeding edge, r26878) ----------
  * 1/4 oz Vodka      Pour all ingredients into mixing
  * 1/4 oz Gin        tin with ice, strain into glass.
  * 1/4 oz Amaretto
  * 1/4 oz Triple sec
  * 1/4 oz Peach schnapps
  * 1/4 oz Sour mix
  * 1 splash Cranberry juice

you should now decide what openwrt build to flash.. you need 2 files, ATM the lastest stable is backfire 10.03.1: http://downloads.openwrt.org/backfire/10.03.1/ar71xx/openwrt-ar71xx-vmlinux.elf http://downloads.openwrt.org/backfire/10.03.1/ar71xx/openwrt-ar71xx-rootfs.tar.gz

Download kernel and rootfs files from same location as the initramfs image:



Note that if you have Atheros 5k family wifi card in your MiniPCI slot you can use Ath5k rootfs instead of DefaultNoWifi. It will give you instant wifi support. You can download it as:


funny thing is that the “wget2nand” program is searching for “openwrt-ar71xx-nand-vmlinux.elf” and “openwrt-ar71xx-nand-rootfs.tar.gz”, so add that magic “nand” word to the downloaded files ;)

Now rename your rootfs tarball file to:


now, you have to start a simple http server, so the “wget2nand” script can do its job.

my favourite is mongoose:


just place in the same dir of the files and open it.

now back to the serial console:

ifconfig eth0 up

Note: initramfs image is running luci and it might interfere with your settings (like changing IP adresses at it's will). My best bet is to accept whatever interface settings OpenWRT booted with and adjust your box settings towards them.

you should see:

Image written, you can now reboot.  Remember to change the boot source to Boot from Nand



go back to the routerboot setup (pressing any key at start),

press “o” for “boot device”, “o” for “boot from NAND only”

press “x” to save and exit.

if everything went ok, you should have openwrt,

  _______                     ________        __
 |       |.-----.-----.-----.|  |  |  |.----.|  |_
 |   -   ||  _  |  -__|     ||  |  |  ||   _||   _|
 |_______||   __|_____|__|__||________||__|  |____|
          |__| W I R E L E S S   F R E E D O M
 Backfire (10.03.1, r29592) ------------------------
  * 1/3 shot Kahlua    In a shot glass, layer Kahlua
  * 1/3 shot Bailey's  on the bottom, then Bailey's,
  * 1/3 shot Vodka     then Vodka.

be aware that the default ip may be the same of your router... first thing to do, configure the RB to access internet, for example:

uci set network.lan.ipaddr=
uci set network.lan.gateway=
uci set network.lan.dns=
uci commit
/etc/init.d/network restart

eventually install wireless driver (ath9k are already installed)

opkg update
opkg install kmod-ath5k
rm -f /etc/config/wireless
wifi detect > /etc/config/wireless
uci set wireless.@wifi-device[0].disabled=0; uci commit wireless; wifi

obviously depending on your wireless NIC.

then you can do most things on luci,

have fun ;)

RB411 board does provide only one ethernet interface and by default it will be attached to LAN interface and lan firewall zone.

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  • Last modified: 2024/02/12 08:58
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