Linksys WRT54GS v.4: no trx builds?

My (ancient) Linksys WRT54GS has an old version of OpenWRT installed, and I would like to update to something recent. Unfortunately, the firmware selector only lists a bin image which can only be used to flash from the OEM firmware if I understand correctly. Uploading the image, OpenWRT also complains, I should use a sysupgrade trx image.
Where can I get one? Do I have to build it myself?

Let's start with the obvious... the WRT54GS is ancient hardware. It only supports 802.11g (wifi 3) with a theoretical 54Mbps maximum throughput (~20Mbps max in practice). The device is also severely under resourced for a recent OpenWrt version -- it has sufficient flash memory (8MB), but only 32 MB RAM and a very slow processor which is likely to be a serious constraint unless you are only using this as a dumb AP (even as a dumb AP, you will still be disappointed by the performance). So it is time to e-cycle that device.

That said, only bin files exist for this device for recent releases (I checked for >= 19.07, didn't look at earlier builds). If you cannot get the bin files to be accepted by the factory firmware, you could flash a really old version that does still use trx files (maybe ~15.05), and then run a multi-step upgrade once you are on OpenWrt (such as 15 -> 17 > 19 > 22).

There is some information about installing OpenWrt on the device info page, but it is generally assuming old versions... read that page in detail as it may have relevant information (or at least known-good paths and versions for initial installation).


The *.bin files are just *.trx with a special device specific header. sysupgrade knows how to strip it before flashing, but there have been (old) versions which didn't succeed in doing so, in those cases you may have to strip it yourself (dd with an offset).

Beyond this, psherman is spot on, this device is well past its prime and deserves retirement in a recycling plant up north.

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Just a side note: OpenWrt owes it's existence to the WRT54G series. A tinker discovered that Linksys had used linux in one of the many versions and failed to comply with the GPL-2.0 License by releasing the source code.

The OpenSource software foundation took Linksys, then owned by Cisco to court. Cisco settled out of court and complied with the license by releasing the source code. The source included the Broadcom drivers.

If the GPL-2.0 license was not upheld and source/driver code not available, OpenWrt likely would not exist.

explained more closely in wiki:

I was impressed that Linksys/Cisco felt entitled to the work product of the Linux developers - not only for free but without credit.