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Linksys Knows the SRW224G4 is Broken and Won't Fix it

Yesterday I emailed Linksys a link to my post about Linksys SRW224G4 switch being unusable with firefox and other FOSS browsers. The only response I received was an auto responder telling me to expect a response within 24 hours. After over 28 hours and another email, I still had no response. I wasn't expecting to get a "it has now been fixed, please test with this beta firmware - [link]", but I did expect something along the lines of "we have received your message and have forwarded it to the relevant section, you should receive a response in the next 5 business days". Instead of waiting any longer, I called Linksys.

After calling I spoke to one of the front line helpdesk people who put me though to Wendell, a Senior Technician at Linksys. I also spoke to Wendell last week about my problems with their WebView webGUI on the SRW224G4.

Wendell again told me that it worked with Internet Explorer 5.5+ and that I may find that some pages wouldn't work properly with firefox. After pushing Wendell, he agreed that it wasn't a case of some pages not working properly, but the unit was unless with any browser other than IE. He also told me that this was an issue which had been known by Linksys for some time, and that currently they have no plans to fix support for browsers other than IE 5.5+. I asked for information about where this was documented, Wendell pointed me to the release notes (a MS Word .doc) for the version 1.2.2a firmware for the SRW224G4/SRW248G4 which is only designed for revision 1.0 hardware - I have a revision 1.1 model, which doesn't have any firmware updates available.

The release notes contained the following information at the bottom of page 1.

8. Web browser availability

The web management interface is best viewed using Internet Explorer 5.5 and up, with a resolution of 1024 x 768. In the current software version, certain pages cannot be viewed well using other browsers. It is recommended to apply the following workarounds.

[then on the next page]

Note: Internet Explorer web browser must be installed prior to running the following procedures.

This is the first time I have ever been told that I should read the release notes for the latest available version of firmware for a device before purchasing it as the release notes may contradict the data sheet for the product.

The datasheet states

Features [...]
  • WebView monitoring allows administrators to view the current status and configuration using their favorite web browser

Under the management heading it states:

Web User Interface Built-in Web UI for easy browser-based configuration (HTTP/HTTPS)

The minimum requirements are pretty clear too:

  • Web-based Configuration Java-enabled Browser
  • Cat5 Ethernet Network Cable
  • TCP/IP Protocol installed on each computer within the network
  • Network Adapter installed in each computer
  • Network Operating System (e.g. Windows®, Linux, MacOS X)

My favourite browser is firefox, and I have java installed (although I see no need for java in the webgui), but I still can't administer my switch.

Instead of sending the unit back to the retailer for a refund, I would much rather see Linksys fix their faulty product.

These days, firefox, and other gecko based browsers, aren't niche browsers, they have a growing market share, not only in Australia, but globally. Large vendors should be supporting open standards and platforms, not just the dominant player.

I would recommend that anyone looking at purchasing any Linksys equipment look for alternatives which are more Free/Open Source Software friendly.

A link to this post will also be sent to Linksys, not just the help desk this time, and I will see what response I get. Keep watching.

how well does the ssh interface work? or the serial interface?

Luke Crawford wrote:

the specs claim that it has a ssh interface; are there things you can't do from the command line?

I'm thinking about buying this switch, and I don't like GUI interfaces at all. (and IE is right out, I don't even own any windows boxes) SSH is nice, but really, plain old serial is just fine. none of my older cisco gear has a web interface and I do fine on that. I just want something managed with some L3 capabilities (static routing, really, is enough) that has its firmware upgraded every now and again and costs less than my car.

Added Fri, 2008-07-11 09:17

RE: how well does the ssh interface work? or the serial interfac

Dave wrote:

Although I am usually right at home on the command line, I have found the GUI makes life easier as I am still learning advanced networking concepts.

The CLI is meant to be very similar to the one on cisco kit.

Added Tue, 2008-07-15 09:44

SSH and Linksys 'CLI'

Steve J wrote:

SSH in some of the Linksys products only generates a 512-bit RSA key. By default, the openSSH client will not connect to any server with <768-bits.

The linksys run "ssh protocol 2", so one work-around (ssh -1) won't work. No command line options to force - you have to recompile...

The 'CLI' is really an ascii (VT100) menu system. On the SWR2008/208's I have, it is far from complete. e.g. can only manage VLANs from the WebGUI.

Apart from those show-stoppers, great little units :-)

Added Thu, 2008-10-16 19:21

Linksys

Meat Slicer wrote:

You know how I fixed mine after the second time working with a tech. I threw it out my friggin window !!

Added Mon, 2010-12-27 06:30

srw224g4 web gui problem workaround - use other browser

dolmen wrote:

The Ultrabrowser works fine with linksys srw224g4 web GUI.

Added Thu, 2011-01-06 06:44

RE: srw224g4 web gui problem workaround - use other browser

Dave wrote:

The problem is that UltraBrowser is a Windows only wrapper for the IE rendering engine. The webgui doesn't work with FOSS browsers - firefox or chrome.

Added Fri, 2011-01-07 09:38