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Ubiquiti 5.6, U-Boot Test, and MacOS

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Ubiquiti 5.6, U-Boot Test, and MacOS


I'm new to AREDN, attempting to get involved with the local CERT comm group who are starting to deploy it. i have purchased a new Ubiquiti NSM2. I see the warnings about firmware 5.6 at

I have fired up the AirOS firmware to look around, and from the Main page I see I have v5.6.2 (XM). So I know that at a minimum I should downgrade to AirOS 5.5.x before installing the AREDN firmware.

I have also read the forum threads "Ubiquiti airOS 5.6.2 ALERT" at and "Nanostation Bricked?"  at, and some more about un-bricking etc.

I recognize that you guys came up with a solution as fast as possible to an emerging node bricking problem. But like kk6wof, I only have a Mac, so running the U-Boot Test Setup Program is a major PITA. So given that this issue may be better understood after a year of experience, this all raises the following questions:

1) Since I know I have 5.6.2, I can be pretty confident that the U-Boot Test would tell me BAD and I will need to downgrade to 5.5.x using the AirOS 5.6 firmware updater, which from discussion context knows to relocate the precious eeprom configuration back to where 5.5 expects it. So why can't I just skip U-Boot Test and do that?

2) The U-Boot Test also "... backs up your node's critical partitions ...". But it seems that there has never been much concern for doing that as part of a firmware update prior to the 5.6 issue arising. After a year, and presumably with at least several hundred (?) nodes having gone through the 5.6 -> 5.5 -> cycle, how many have ever needed to use the backed-up data? And what would be done with it if it were needed? Does U-Boot Test have a mode that restores it?

3) Do Mac AREDN users typically need to use U-Boot Test as part of the normal workflow of updating firmware, other than this AirOS 5.6 partition layout issue?

4) Is there another way, maybe telnet or some other tool, to do what needs to be done on a Mac?

5) The U-Boot Test Setup Program linked to on is a .exe file. Is there any documentation? That page seems to describe using it to both run a test and to backup partitions. That implies some sort of control UI. If that's a self-expanding archive, is there a way to get the docs without running it on a PC?

6) Could you tell me where to find the source? I browsed the aredn source tree a little bit but it wasn't immediately obvious.



1) You can, if your
1) You can, if your comfortable with it go for it.  I don't tend to run the tool because I know AirOs 5.6 is bad and I just downgrade, but I'm also a developer so I'm also very comfortable with the fact if I brick hardware its ok (I've corrupted many many an install in my life)

2) From the UBOOT, little so far, doesn't mean that it won't be needed some other day in future. It is also useful if the node takes a lightning hit and some how survives but looses the partion, etc.   Its not unheard of.  but I'll admit its not the 'normal' situation. I'll admit I have used it just for that feature to get the data off my node incase I ever fry it somehow (I"m at "high risk" since I test alpha code on a regular basis) 

5) Yes its an installer that puts the UI on your system, sets up windows dependencies, etc. After that its a standard Windows program.

6) While the program is made available on the site, and written by a valued member of the team it was not made as part of the internal project. It was written by a single individual and given to the AREDN team to distribute to its users.It would be up to that individual to declare it Open Source (if they even can as for all I know they might have a source library utilized that prohibits Open Sourcing). It does not utilized any of the functions of the existing Open Source project and is a fully autonomous tool that the team is thankful was created, but does not currently exercise any explicit control over.
K6AH's picture
Welcome to AREDN

Welcome Dan,

The San Diego Mesh Working Group meets every second Monday in Del Mar.  I'll send you an invitation to the distro group.

Andre, K6AH

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