How to install latest version of OpenWRT

Hi, my router is currently running OpenWRT SNAPSHOT (which I believe is a version of White Russian, which is really old, no longer supported and replaced with Kamikaze).

How do I install OpenWRT 18.06? What things do I need to check, confirm, be sure of before I install OpenWRT 18.06 and how do I go about installing this?

Any answers are greatly appreciated, Thank you.



First, what device are you using? Given how old your current OpenWrt version is, I would be surprised if you would be able to run 18.06 (or even if you can run it, it might not be worth it from a performance perspective).

As for the process for updating -- hopefully someone else will be able to help, as I'm pretty sure the upgrade process has changed a lot and you'll need someone who has specific knowledge about how that older upgrade process worked.

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Also, just a general thing here about your router -- WR was released in 2006. At that time, the most recent wifi standard was 802.11g (802.11n wouldn't come out until 2009). So you're almost certainly dealing with device that is VERY old, and likely very limited in terms of processing power, storage, ram, and general bandwidth (54Mbps wifi, probably 100Mbps ethernet on the switch, doubtful that it could actually route anywhere near 100Mbps).

New devices that you can get for ~US $30 will run circles around what you've got now.

I'm not using any commercially available router brands, but rather a router developed our selves. Do you have advice please as to how to install a newer version of OpenWRT? Considering I need to do this myself, I wanted guidance as to what sort of specifications/details etc... I need to check before I decide which OpenWRT version is compatible with my router for installation?

If it is not commercially available, my guess is that there won't be a image that works for you -- you'll likely have to create your own images, possibly including code changes and custom compiling a bunch of stuff.

What are the specs of the router? How much RAM? How much storage? What is the storage type? I'm guessing it would be nvram based? and what platform -- presumably brcm-2.4? This stuff is critical to know or you won't be able to get anywhere with a potential new version.

Also, is there a specific reason you need to continue to use this really old hardware?

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Thanks very much for your suggestions. I will get back to you with details.

We will look forward to the info and we'll try to help you upgrade if it is possible (and within the realm of easily describing necessary processes).

But, if I can ask once more --

At present, we need to work with this hardware available. In the future, upgrades will certainly be considered. Thanks Peter

Do you have TTL UART port on the router and corresponding adapter for your computer?
If your bootloader has ability to unbrick things for you, then you can experiment much more freely.

However, if you have TTL adapter, you can just use initramfs-kernel image and see if it boots and works without touching the flash.

If you want to know, how to install OpenWrt image, as in, what to do to flash it, then it should be fairly easy, even if sysupgrade won't work. So the problem is to determine whenever you can find/build image.

The following command should give you info on what CPU you have, how much RAM and flash

cat /proc/cpuinfo /proc/mounts /proc/meminfo /proc/cmdline /proc/mtd /proc/version

Also dmesg output and/or serial console boot log usually contains flash memory map, which is needed in conjunction with /proc/mtd to tell what is where on the flash chip.

I recommend to make complete backup of your flash, before you experiment. It can be done from within old openwrt install.


Please consider the time, energy, and technical merits (basic support capabilities and/or performance) of the upgrade process as part of a cost/benefit analysis (and don't forget that, if a business environment, people-hours = $). High quality and/or inexpensive hardware that is fully supported by the latest OpenWrt builds (18.06.4 and 19.07.0-rc1) is abundant and super easy to deploy, so you'll probably save a bunch of time/energy/money working with something more recent. Also, important to consider that you might not get the needed info on these forums if the technical details of your hardware and deployment needs are too obscure and/or old. So it might require a lot of your own research and experimentation if that happens.

Obviously if there are very specific features of the existing hardware that make replacement nearly impossible (might be the case for something exotic like a rad-hardened system), the effort may still be worthwhile or even necessary. So I do acknowledge that there may be real reasons that you have to stick with what you have... just please know when to cut your losses.

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