Firmware OpenWrt Install vs Firmware OpenWrt Upgrade

Can someone please tell me the difference between:

"Firmware OpenWrt Install" and "↓ Firmware OpenWrt Upgrade"

As one finds on a device-specific page? Both file sizes are the same, 7.0mb. This is a new install.

Thank you.

For 99% of the routers:

  • "upgrade" with "sysupgrade" image is meant for a router already running OpenWrt, so that the new image is flashed from the existing OpenWrt.

  • "Install" with "factory image" is meant for the first installation, so that the flashing is done with the router's OEM flashing routine, OEM TFTP recovery flash, or something similar. The "factory" image is tailored to match the ID/magic/format requirements of the OEM flash tools.

Typically the only difference between the factory & sysupgrade images is just the packaging to match OEM flashing requirements. OpenWrt content & functionality is the same.

(There are few exceptions, usually those with mmc SD cards, x86 systems etc, but "normal" routers typically are provided with the factory/sysupgrade images)


Thanks a lot.
The options in your response do not match the ones in my question, however.
Here's an example of what I'm asking about:

But your response here is saved for when it may be needed.

Does this help?

The two have the same content, but a factory image would have extra header information or whatever the platform needs.

Regarding RT-AC56U: Both files listed are in fact the same file.

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Thanks, I get it now. It's a question of naming. There's no mention in the link I posted here that says "factory image" for example. So, obviously, I suggested the earlier response was not applicable to my question. I can deduce now the difference between the two and will assume "factory image" = "Firmware OpenWrt Install". And then the other image on the link, would be the next file to install.

That what it seemed like, hence the confusion, which emerges from, why would they both be there and labelled differently? Perhaps this is something someone looks into?

The differentiation between Install and Upgrade image comes from devices (#1) which need 2 different images.

Then there are other devices which do not need 2 different images (#2, like the RT_AC56U).

To make the confusion complete, there are devices which have only 1 image for Install and Upgrade, and that image is called ...sysupgrade.bin (#3) %-)

If in case #2 + #3 we fill in only the Install or the Upgrade image, users are equally confused since they don't know where to find the Upgrade (or Install) image they are desperately seeking, because they think they absolutely need a special Upgrade (or Install) image.

Firmware OpenWrt Install Firmware OpenWrt Upgrade
#1 ...factory.bin ...sysupgrade.bin different file
#2 ...squashfs.trx ...squashfs.trx same file
#3 ...sysupgrade.bin ...sysupgrade.bin same file

Edit: See also


thanks a lot. much to learn. while I have your attention, and back to my link earlier, none of the install methods are working.
Three times now, the firmware uploads to the router, using the manufactures web interface, and three times the router boots to the manufacturer's web interface, no OpenWrt. Even though the install completes with success.
As far as tftp goes, I do the process but do not see a blinking blue light, instead it fully boots.
Thanks all!
And this is what I'm trying to flash: "RT-AC56U_3.0.0.4_382_51641-g46d2311.trx"

The file name looks like factory firmware not OpenWrt. So are you flashing a factory build and expecting OpenWrt?

The instructions aren't real clear but to start the recovery TFTP and web server hold down the button until the light starts flashing. This should not be necessary if it boots normally to factory firmware, in that case log in and use the firmware update page.

thanks, but that file name is from the extracted zip file downloaded in the link here that I added earlier.
I will try your option as to how long to hold the reset button.

OpenWrt is here under this name and it is a trx ready to use, it is not zipped.

Thanks for that. I dare say it's necessary to delete old and misleading links with instructions.

always a time to learn!

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