Important: The official free ZeroShell activation page is here… http://www.zeroshell.org/activation/
The information below was an investigation into basing or bypassing the registration.
Update – 6th Feb 2015:
As pointed out by a comment on this article by a reader – the activation hack doesn’t actually get you anywhere. It might have enabled stuff like MRTG on the older versions, which already had the components installed but not on the newer versions.
Newer ZeroShell uses the activation codes to allow you to download updates and features. It looks like they also keep a record of activated MAC addresses on their server so making your local system think it is activated isn’t enough :(
Update – 1st Feb 2015:
Success… Although it requires you to modify the ISO contents (I’ve not tried the patch on the USB images).
Massive bonus… the activation seems like it won’t expire. The keys provided by the ZeroShell maintainer are only valid for a year.
I will post instructions when I can.. check on this page or post a comment if you are eager and it might make me bring that project forward.
In the mean time you might want to use some of the commands from this page to re-master the ZeroShell ISO. The trick / important change you need to make is to replace /bin/checkfeature with a blank file and mark it as executable.
I am also yet to discover what happens if you do a distro upgrade (for example 3.3.0 to 3.3.1), it potentially might un-do the modification.
ZeroShell is a good linux based routing operating system which I prefer. It’s ability to make VPNs (especially VPNs over HTTP proxies!) possible with minimal fuss is great. I also used to use it for VPN bonding back when I only had two slow ADSL lines.
Many of my customers use ZeroShell as VPN servers or fail over management.
I’ve also donated to the project multiple times.
The biggest problem with the system is “Activation”. Activation is by e-mail and is free (or essentially free, you are asked to donate or write a recommendation or add to the documentation). Several features require pointless activation codes to enable, the most stupid of which is the updates feature. If you want to install patches or security updates you need a feature activation code.
This evening I searched for hacks… I’d rather have that option at my fingertips should I no longer be able to get activation codes from the author.
Luckily archive.org had a copy which I am going to mirror below.
I presume the wget file contains this:
#!/bin/sh rm /bin/checkfeature echo &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;#!/bin/sh mkdir -p /Database/var/register/system/\$1 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot; &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;/bin/checkfeature chmod 755 /bin/checkfeature
and the installation instructions are in the “checkfeature patcher 1.0” section:
Update: Jan 2015 – I have a copy of the .tar.gz and will investigate if it still works and, if it does, post a mirror copy here. It does seem to do more than just the script above.
Update: 20th Jan 2015 – The file I’ve been sent doesn’t work on the current version of ZeroShell. One day I might see if anything can be done to make it work.
tar xfvj 0sh-mods-iftop-0.17-v1.0.tar.bz2
tar xfvj 0sh-mods-rsync-3.0.6-v1.0.tar.bz2
tar xfvj 0sh-mods-nano-2.0.9-v1.0.tar.bz2
zabbix agent 1.4.6
tar xfvj 0sh-mods-zabbix-agent-1.4.6-v1.1.tar.bz2
checkfeature patcher 1.0
tar xfvj 0sh-mods-checkfeature-patcher-v1.0.tar.bz2
tar xfvj 0sh-mods-apcupsd-3.14.8-v1.1.tar.bz2
Layer 7 protocol definitions 2009-05-28
wget http://netcologne.dl.sourceforge.net/project/l7-filter/Protocol%20definitions/2009-05-28/l7-protocols-2009-05-28.tar.gz -O /Database/var/register/system/net/L7/l7-protocols.tgz
restart to apply