Asus uses Tomato-derived firmware called Asuswrt for its newer routers, such as the RT-AC87 and RT-AC5300. This firmware is, with the exception of a few drivers, open source, whereby the closed binaries are included. Asuswrt-merlin, in turn, is a modified version of the original firmware from Asus. It includes bug fixes and minor improvements, but still tries to stay close to the original, so that it remains possible to add new features that Asus introduces to the code. The complete changelog for version 384.13 is up this page Here are the highlights in a nutshell:
[Release] Asuswrt-Merlin 384.13 is now available
Asuswrt-Merlin 384.13 is now available for all supported models. The main change of this release is the addition of support for AiMesh (both router and nodes) for those models that are compatible (RT-AC87U and RT-AC3200 are not supported). This release also includes a number of fixes. The highlights:
- AiMesh support for both router and nodes. Please visit the Wiki for more information.
- Updated RT-AX88U to GPL 384_6210.
- dnsmasq now uses OpenSSL instead of Nettle for DNSSEC cipher operations. This allows dnsmasq to validate a wider range of ciphers.
- Note for developers, the dhcp_staticlist format was changed to revert back to the same format as stock firmware (for AiMesh compatibility). The hostname field was moved to a separate variable, dhcp_hostnames. Note that this variable will be stored in a jffs file on the RT-AC86U and RT-AX88U due to limitations on variable length for their HND platform. That means that a backed up config file will not restore these hostnames when restored (but using a JFFS backup will).
- Some changes also had to be done to the webs_* variables that are used by the new firmware checks, which might affect script developers that were accessing those variables.
- A number of minor issues were fixed, see the Changelog for details