Any "gotchas" when moving from DD-WRT to OpenWRT?

I've been using DD-WRT for years and the instability has finally become so bad it's time to switch to OpenWRT.

Due to the recommendations on this site I've ordered a used R7800 and will be transitioning to it in the next week. My configuration includes 2 Wireguard servers, 1 WG client, DDNS, multiple DHCP servers, a number of static routes, VLANs, firewall, etc. From what I can see when playing with a OpenWRT VM all these things are well supported.

Have any of you who have done this switch run into any gotchas or best practices you can share?


I wouldn't say there are any 'gottchas' but rather just an element of learning a new system (paradigm, syntax/UI, etc.). Since you've been playing with a VM, you probably have learned enough to get started. And if/when you run into issues, post here for help (with as much detail as you can provide, including configs).

Beyond that, make sure you have your goals clearly defined so that you know what you are aiming for. This could be replicating the functionality/topology you currently have using DD-WRT, or it could be revamping it entirely. If you have questions about what is possible and/or how to achieve something, search the forums or ask in your own thread.

Finally, start small and build up. For example, if you currently have 5 VLANs, don't try to build out all 5 in OpenWrt at the same time. Build one additional network (i.e. wan + 2 lans) so that any mistakes or tweaks are small and easy to address rather than having to fix the same mistake in 5 places. Once you have a working system with the reduced complexity, you can replicate the general recipe to add more vlans. This also applies to other things you might do -- VPNs, DoT/DoH/AdGuard DNS things, and so on... don't try to do everything in one shot, do it part by part building your knowledge and confidence that each subsystem is working as expected.


Transitioning from DD-WRT -> OpenWRT is straightforward and I could not think of a single situation where you would be missing any functionality. There is only one functionality I can think of which will be missing but which is directly related to the broadcom wireless chipset but for which there are equal or better alternatives on OpenWRT anyhow. Transitioning in the opposite direction would be a different story however.


You can install openwrt in a virtual machine and compare checkboxes you ever changed.
Only dd-wrt exclusive domain is old broadcom chipsets that have no good open drivers, your router is qualcomm, so you have freedom to choose


You will not be missing any functionality but compared to DDWRT OpenWRT has a somewhat steep learning curve so prepare for some studying.
The pros use the command line to manually change the config files.

But just like DDWRT this forum has very knowledgeable and helpful users to talk you through.

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OpenWRT has a somewhat steep learning curve so prepare for some studying.

My initial impression browsing through the menu structure is that it's very logical and well thought out, and seems simpler than the DD-WRT interface. The text description for each setting is really helpful too.

I'm fairly comfortable with command line configuration so I was imagining the biggest challenge was going to be just figuring out where everything was. Guess I'll find out on Monday when the R7800 gets here.

After more than a few hours I was able to get OpenWRT completely configured and working fine.

By far the biggest challenges were with the Wireguard tunnels. It seems like those can be a PITA at first no matter the OS. Firewall setup through the GUI was way different than expected and required some study. After days of using OpenWRT's GUI I'm surprised to find LuCI feels like a comfortable, old walking shoe - an amazing job by LuCI's designers.

While I was configuring OpenWRT my local DD-WRT router flaked out more than once and completely lost its mind (configuration) repeatedly when restarted. This while a 2nd remote router dropped the Wireguard tunnel between the 2 routers. That router's 200 miles away and although I can get to it through another WG tunnel, I'm afraid if I do anything it will lose its mind too. It's happened on that router too. Can't wait to move everything over to OpenWRT. One down, three to go.

Again, thanks for the replies.