Installing Mikrotik Cloud Hosted Router (CHR) on Linode

I had installed the Mikrotik Cloud Hosted Router (CHR) on Linode in the past – just to test and see how it worked, but when I really needed it, I had completely forgotten how. I have overwritten that drive with stuffs.

So, I’ve been using linode for most of my hosting these days – since I retired (in the process of selling) my HP ML110 server. It’s just convenient hosting and that frees me from 99 problems I have to deal with.

This is more a scratchpad for my personal reference, and as nothing every really remains static in tech, don’t hesitate to point out any stale information you may find…so let’s get started.

Mikrotik is a versatile and affordable networking hardware and software vendor – hugely popular in Nigeria, and I’ve been tinkering, deploying, developing off of RouterOS’ API and everything in-between.

So a few years ago, Miktotik fulfilled the desires of the cloud-bound network admin by releasing the Cloud Hosted Router. Available on the download site in various formats, you can install in 5 mins on your VirtualBox, VMWare, KVM VMs. There’s some limitation to the downloaded version, but you can unlock the full capability by getting a license.

Let’s get started…seriously this time :). Note most of the info here was distilled from this link.

  1. Create a new linode (that’s what VMs are called) on Linode. The $5 linode will suffice. You can call it CHR. Don’t install any image or profile.
  2. Create 2 raw unformatted disk images. You can label the first Installer and allocate 200MB to it, and the second Boot. For this you can allocate what’s left of your storage.
  3. Create 2 configuration profiles. You can label the first Installer and the second Boot.
    1. Installer profile
      • Label: Installer
      • Kernel: Direct Disk
      • Mode: Paravirtualization
      • /dev/sdb: Boot disk image.
      • /dev/sda: Installer disk image.
      • root / boot device: Standard /dev/sda
    2. Boot profile
      • Label: Boot
      • Kernel: Direct Disk
      • Mode: Full-Virtualization
      • /dev/sdb: Boot disk image.
      • root / boot device: Standard /dev/sdb
      • Network Autoconfigure: No
  4. Reboot into Rescue Mode with your Installer disk mounted to /dev/sda (double-check this), and connect to your Linode using the Lish Console
  5. Once in Rescue Mode, download your installation media and copy it to your Installer disk. For CHR, use wget --no-check-certificate -4
  6. Deflate the downloaded zip archive. Use unzip.
  7. Copy the .img file to /dev/sdb using dd if=chr-6.40.3.img of=/dev/sdb
  8. Return to dashboard, select the Boot profile and reboot.

You can go ahead and enter the IP address of your instance in a web browser and you should be presented with webfig.