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Installation Instructions for Mikrotik Devices



See the official install instructions at































Download the Mikrotik .bin and the .elf file from location:

  •  elf  :  this is the image to boot the mikrotik device with.  It only uses RAM on the device (which is lost with a power cycle and still boots with Mikrotik OS)
  • .bin :  once the device is booted with the .elf image and running,  copy this up to /tmp and type a command that will update the flash with AREDN, so it then boots AREDN on a power cycle.
The procedure is very different and it is the opposite of a Ubiquiti installation.  Opposite in that with Ubiquiti, the device is a tftp server and the tftp client is run on the laptop to send up the image.  With Mikrotik, the device is a tftp client and the laptop has to be configured to run a tftp server (also dhcp and bootp server)  on a linux or windows machine.    This is all done by a program called dnsmasq (it has all 3 servers).  

Linux procedure:

  1. Create a directory on your laptop /tftp and copy down the mikrotik .elf image
  2. Rename this image to rb.elf
  3. Set the laptop to static IP address
  4. Become root to execute the dnsmasq command in step 5 
  5. Figure out what your network card interface name  is with an 'ifconfig'  ('ipconfig' on windows.)    this is the interface you set to  replace the name of the interface in the following command from "eno1" to what ever yours is.   replace your typical login name in the command from 'joe' to whatever you login with:

    Command Line Example:

    dnsmasq -i eno1 --dhcp-range=, --dhcp-boot=rb.elf --enable-tftp --tftp-root=/tftp/ -d -u joe -p0 -K --log-dhcp --bootp-dynamic
  6. Connect the Mikrotik device with your laptop ideally through a dumb switch.   Although, you may be able to connect them direct.  For the hAP-lite, connect the cat5 into the internet port.
  7. Push the reset button on the Mikrotik, then power it on.  Hold the button until you see output log information from the laptop window where you ran the dnsmasq command, around 20 seconds.  Let up the button as they start communicating.   When you see the "sent" message, this is success and the Mikrotik has downloaded the image and will reboot. 
  8. After the image is sent, as shown in the dnsmasq log, you need to <ctrl>C or kill dnsmasq.  
  9. The node has booted AREDN,  it looks like a firstboot, but no settings can be saved.   Don't bother with the browser and trying to configure it.  It is in a mode where you have to load the image to the devices' flash now. 
  10. Change your laptop back to DHCP mode to obtain an address from the mesh node, after it boots.  On the hAP-lite move the cat5 to an AREDN LAN port.  From left to right the ports are WAN, LAN, LAN, LAN, DTDLINK.    You should be able to "ping" the device at  If this doesn't work, then something isn't right. Don't proceed until you can ping it.
  11. Navigate to the Administration page: (user = 'root' password = 'hsmm'. ), "choose file" the .bin firmware file, uncheck "keep settings", and click "upload".  The device will write the image into flash and reboot.   Wait about 4 minutes and proceed with normal instructions to configure device at firstboot​  

Windows Procedure:

The new Mikrotik devices supported by AREDN are great, but the installation procedure for loading AREDN firmware on them using a Linux computer has been intimidating to many in our community.

There is no reason to fear any longer.

Ray KK6RAY (formerly KM6WUH) devised a procedure to install AREDN firmware on Mikrotik using a Windows computer. The widespread familiarity with Windows and fewer steps in Ray's procedure should greatly reduce any anxiety you may have about trying a Mikrotik unit.

Ray produced a 20-minute video to demonstrate the installation procedure. The video is on YouTube here.
In addition to a Windows computer, an AREDN-supported Mikrotik device (see Supported Platform Matrix), and an Ethernet cable, you will need:

NOTE: Ray updated these instructions with the following: "If your home WiFi network gives you an IP address in the 192.168.1.x subnet, you will need to disconnect from the WiFi. In my case, my home WiFi router gives me a 10.0.0.x IP address, so I had conflicts remaining connected to my home network while flashing."

Ray has become a very active contributor to the AREDN project recently and we're grateful for his efforts.




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