Guide | How to easily copy files to/from OpenWrt

This is a brief guide for anybody that needs to transfer files to/from their OpenWrt device for the first time.

I needed to copy a web-security certificate to my router for authentication of the Dynamic DNS service.


Without the file being present, the service would terminate.

092706 WARN : No valid certificate(s) found at '/etc/ssl/certs/dynu' for HTTPS communication - TERMINATE

I'd never previously transferred files to my OpenWRT router, but I found Filezilla to be very easy:

Enter the router's username, password and port 22 (SSH).

Click 'Quickconnect'.

The router's file system will be opened in the right hand window. Your local machine's file system will be in the left hand window.

Navigate to the relevant OpenWrt folder.

You can now drag and drop the relevant file from your PC to the OpenWrt router.

That's it. The file is now present on the OpenWrt router.

I hope that helps.

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I use the dolphin browser available in KDE (Linux OS), with the fish kioslave to manage files via ssh, eg fish://root@

For windows users: WinSCP:

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Key moment is to configure SCP in WinSCP, not SFTP by default.

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While not drag'n'drop, modern Windows ships with OpenSSH preinstalled, so you can use ssh/ scp -O in the (windows-) terminal or powershell as well.


It would be more secure to just add the openssh-sftp-server package and drop the -O legacy deprecated SCP. By default SCP defaults to SFTP now.

First of all it depends on what operating system you are using to answer what file transfer tool to use.

In a real world complex file system in a computer I don’t see a terminal based user interface meaningful. A 64-bit long file address takes ages to manually write enough times to have it correct without “the file doesn’t exist, check spelling” errors.

On Ubuntu I find Filezilla good enough.

But on windows, I doubt anything is easier than WinSCP. You just log on to the router and open in the file tree the folder you want to add something to in the router and then drag whatever you want from anywhere you want from the HDD in Windows and drop it in WinSCP and the job is done. And then you open the pre connected Putty from WinSCP if you want to run some commands on the router.

Filezilla is multiplatform. My screenshots are from WIndows 10.

If you want to use an interface of some form, Midnight Commander allows you to mount a remote filesystem with sftp

Or you can just mount the filesystem on the command line with sshfs

sshfs root@ /mnt/openwrt -o allow_other,default_permissions,IdentityFile=~/.ssh/identity 
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