PiHole directly on Routers (Tomato, MerlinWRT, DD-WRT, openWRT)


Ah ok. I agree with you, the WRT54GL is not suitable for this kind of task.
I personally use the Asus AC68U, which is around ~130€ on amazon.de at the moment. Maybe if enough others are interested as well, we can chip in together to get you the required hardware. Possibly there is also something more suitable available.
Another possibility to start would be to use a virtual machine to run, for example OpenWRT (https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/virtualbox). I am not familiar how far this approach would be limited, but for a first look at the firmware it seems feasible. Maybe other Firmwares can also be run in a VM, but I haven’t tested this yet.


Oh, did I explicitly stated that “I” (as in me) will be doing it? :smiley:

This will be unsuitable. The VM will still run on a x86 base, making it considerably different from what will be run on some real hardware.


What about adding this to pfSense as well? I think having it as an addon that can be bootstrapped to modular router software/firmware would make adoption easier.

I also imagine with pfSense it would be a little simpler to get setup, since that is FreeBSD based (if memory serves).


I’d think that the cheapest variation for such an experiment would be a TP-Link router as bunch of their cheapest ones are DD WRT capable.


i have a netgear R700 in use atm and would be willing to allow testing


I don’t think there is any code right now that could be tested and the whole process of porting it to some other OS than the officially supported ones is still at the very beginning - maybe not even started.


@DL6ER - How about installing openwrt on an RPi? Would it be a good way to port PiHole for “openwrt in general”?



Sounds like a good idea, but who has the time to do it? And to me it is not even clear if we really want it - sure, it might make things a bit easier, but it will increase the complexity by too much to be integrated into the main code (I think).

Hence, it will live as a fork (like the docker image) - but for a fork there has to be someone who feels responsible for back-porting changes. That can and will be a major amount of work that comes in non-regular intervals.


Thats an interesting idea - but to be compelling someone would need to design a raspberry pi shield with multi-directional antenna, 5 ports, flashing lights, possibly a sip port and an enclosure.
Not the typical hobby project I see people making.

Or perhaps the Banana Pi would work :



I have had a response to my post on the DD-WRT forum :

What work, if any, have you done towards modifying the scripts to run on DD-WRT on a USB device? The internal Lighttpd should be suitable to run the web interface on, and of course an external dnsmasq.conf file can be placed in /jffs/etc to configure the internal dnsmasq server.

If anyone knows the answer - can you reply? Or I can reply to the post if you dont have an account. I’m just not sure whether this is already possible.


@DL6ER - thanks for the feedback.
Glad to hear using an RPi with openwrt could be an option.
Concerning who both can do this & has the time to do so… I’m not sure…
Unfortunately I don’t think I have the skills/know-how to do this, unless there is good documentation to follow.
Maybe an existing/experienced OPKG packager from openwrt or the LEDE project could step in.

@Rockvole - not sure I follow you.
My suggestion of using an RPi was merely to facilitate the work of porting PiHole to openwrt, without PiHole devs having to own/use a router device.
Since they already have RPis hanging around to develop&maintain PiHole, it was an easy thought to think maybe flashing openwrt onto a miniSD card for the RPi could facilitate this endeavour.
Using an RPi as a router could be a fun project, though somewhat of a niche project/distraction, and was not what I was suggesting.


I wouldn’t be able to aid development, but I do know how to install via SSH and would be VERY keen for this integration!


So this github projecct kinda exists:

Google cache version

The non-cache verion gives a 404

Are one of you guys debiansid?


This is a very impressive open-source project and the UI is logical and easy to use.

I think it could reach mass adoption if it was available as part of DD-WRT in a router you could buy.
Something like the Buffalo Airstation N300 would be a good fit I think ?

I’m sure a kickstarter to buy a device like that would be popular.


It may be out-of-scope at the moment, but it’s definitely something to look into.


Do a lot of people buy routers with DD-WRT installed? I was under the impression that most installed it themselves. That being said, I’m interested in this idea as well.

If you have DD-WRT installed on your router, why not SSH in or use the web ui command line to attempt a pihole installation? You might have to get creative with the iptables or ufw (whatever DD-WRT comes with), but I imagine the rest should be pretty straightforward.


I only ever buy routers with the capability of running DD-WRT and usually upgrade them once something limits me in the original firmware. The DD-WRT builds for the router depends on the capability of the router, so I expect older routers would not be capable of supporting Pi-Hole. That includes my current router - which I would certainly upgrade if there was a Pi-Hole supported one.

I’m sure its true that anyone who can install DD-WRT is also capable of installing Pi-Hole, but most would probably not have heard about Pi-Hole unless it was an option on DD-WRT.
I feel like the most natural place for Pi-Hole to exist is on a DD-WRT tab. I think it would be a boost to open source since it would be a capability not on commercial routers.

Personally I try hard to simplify my network because I know if I go on a trip my wife may end up with no network and I will be in trouble if she cant watch netflix :slight_smile:
Its usually powerline ethernet devices which need rebooting lately though.


I misunderstood what you meant about using DD-WRT. I too only buy routers with the option of flashing new firmware. Thought you meant buying a router with DD-WRT/pihole pre-installed.

I like the idea of eventual incorporation into DD-WRT, however I think it would be more in the scope of their project than pihole.

The only thing I could find on running custom services on a DD-WRT router:


I agree that its more like an improvment to DD-WRT. Although the enthusiasm for ad-blocking is more in the Pi-Hole community.

An Indiegogo to provide an existing router with Pi-Hole functionality could come from someone with a very particular set of skills acquired over a very long career :wink:

I added a forum entry to DD-WRT to see if there is any interest :


I’d be willing to eventually try installing pi-hole onto a DD-WRT enabled router, however adding a tab and pane is going to be well beyond the scope of what I can accomplish, mainly because pihole is already serving the admin page with lighttpd at whatever.ip.address.is/admin