Need help for creating a custom openwrt build for my dlink dir 1960 router!

I am currently using openwrt firmware on my router which is not custom built so it requires tweaking for every small things i am gonna move away to other city so my sister is gonna use the router she is not a techy person so she won't be able to tweak it so i want to build a custom openwrt firmware to mostly make it plug and play type or one time setup type. She needs this additional features other than usual router features as described below :point_down:

1.ftp,samba and upnp support with exfat file system support for storage and idle rundown for hard drive.

2.dynamic ddns support

3.qos engine

4.and if possible a file download client that can download torrent and other types of files directly to connected storage

5.and an ad blocker

  1. Internet access blocking for unwanted devices.

She is used to these as most of the features were on the official firmware except for ad blocking. After the support period of this router ended the last update had many weird bugs for instance if i block internet access from one person it some times blocks another person. It sometimes blocks internet of everyone even if one device is blocked so the official firmware is almost unusable. Also it used get disconnected from internet quite often.

So can anyone help me to build a custom firmware for the router. If you can give me step by step instructions or provide me with a tutorial it will be really helpful.

                           Router specifications

Brand • Model • Rev
D-Link DIR-1960 rev A1 (EXO)


Type wireless router, mesh node
Series EXO
CPU1 MediaTek MT7621AT
CPU1 Type MIPS 1004Kc

CPU1 Speed 880 MHz ( 2 cores ) 16-bit

Flash1 Chip Winbond W29N01HVSINA

Flash1 Size 128 MiB

RAM1 Size 256 MiB

RAM1 Chip Micron MT41K128M16JT-125:K

ETH chip1 MediaTek MT7621AT

Switch MediaTek MT7621AT

Ethernet Port Count
802dot11 OUI: none specified

Expansion IF types

USB 3.0
USB ports

USB Hub Compatible

Power 12 VDC, 2 A

Connector type barrel
Flags: Wave2, MU-MIMO, 256QAM

Additional chips
5GHz RF Front End Module;Qorvo (RFMD);RFFM4552;Q, 4552, XQxx;3;

You can use the firmware selector to create a custom image. You add and/or remove the packages you want, and you can even include scripts for the first-boot sequence to set configurations. Alternatively, you can set up the image builder on your computer and do the same thing (but instead of scripts that run on the first boot, you can directly bake-in your config files).

That said:

  • Have you already implemented all of these features by manually installing and configuring this specific router? If not, you should do this manually before trying to build an image so you can verify configs ahead of a custom image, and so you can test performance.
  • Do you have one of these that you will continue to have access to? (this is useful so you need to create new images or tweak configurations -- you will want to be able to test before you tell her to install something).

ftp (if exposed to the interent) and upnp are considered security risks. Are you sure you want to do this?
Samba4 is big and slow. You may want to look at another samba package (I think it's ksmb or something like that, if memory serves).

easy. ddns-scripts.

sure... there are few options. But, these are processor intensive...

Look at transmission. But keep in mind that this can also be processor intensive.

These things are RAM intensive. Look at AdGuard Home. But you'll probably want to limit the size of the block-lists.

You're asking this router to do a lot... I'm not sure that's the best strategy for a main router.
Also, if remote access is requird (by you and/or her), you should consider a VPN like wireguard instead of ftp.


Why do you need a custom image? You can use the default image, install and configure the packages you need, and have the same results.

Thanks for Answering it will help a lot🖤

I have configured a few of them in openwrt such as adguard home, aria2,but i couldn't properly configure ftp or samba on this as i could see that there is an active samba or ftp shared on the network and i could even open see a few of the files out of hundreds on my hard drive so i would also need a little help to configure that properly.

Also is there any alternatives to these to access the files from the drive connected to the router if not ,if you had to choose one of these which one that would be?

Also when i configured aria2 i noticed that it could download file on ext2/3/4 file systems but couldn't download on exfat or fat32 systems does transmission also have this problem?

Also i am not sure about that ksmb only support smb3 protocol but my home tv only supports smb2 protocol
Does ksmb support legacy protocols?

And i am thinking about skipping both qos engine and
Ad blocker as i can easily install the adguard app on her phone instead as they will run all the time they might affect performance. But she will only use transmission on the weekends to download movies and series so it wont run all the time.

Also i am definitely gonna need a vpn because i am block remote access to the router which i forgot earlier as i need to access the router from outside of home network securely . Can you suggest me one that is easy to configure and works well?

Also i am gonna block remote access the router so if i do install ftp and upnp then will it be harmful?

Also does openwrt have any file browser that can open files from the drive via webdav to a browser on phone that will also help a lot but it isn't a must have so i can always skip that.

I will also have access to the router for this whole month maybe till October 15th after that i will move to another city so i won't have physical access to this.

I also haven't created any config files before can you give me any links. to documentation to create config files for openwrt

Also i currently don't have any linux machine will the firmware builder work on a vm running linux on windows 11?

The router most of the time hangs on the default firmware of openwrt for the router also after a simple reset it requires everything to be configured from scratch. Also another problem is on current firmware of openwrt it requires an extroot to pack all these feature and sometimes if the pendrive gets disconnected while the router is on the entire router hangs and also doesn't recognize the pendrive as extroot and also doesn't boot unless i remove the drive from usb port and restart so i have to do all of the configurations from begining. Sometimes I had to even reset the router to get it to work. So i want to create a custom firmware to fix this issues.

I am not sure a custom firmware will fix those issues... The custom firmware makes it easy to have a specific set of packages installed and configured, but I do not see how it can help with an inestable system.

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It is not an unstable system it behaves that way cause when it is running of a pendrive removing it corrupts the pendrive so it recognises the pendrive as extroot but cant read any files from it i know it because i connected it to my phone with an app that can connect ext4 file system to android phone it also recognizes the device but cant read files from it thats why it behaves that way. So if i can fit the entire system firmware on internal flash the problem will get solved i want to make it so that i don't need to extroot.


if i get it right, this device have 128M flash ?
it is a plenty of space :slight_smile:
so, best way is to
setup development machine with Linux
download source
transfer all setting from router to dev machine
compile custom OWRT image with

  • configs included (copy /etc/* to "files")
  • additional program included
  • dropped thing that you don't need (ex: ppp, debug, mesh)
    if everything goes OK, then you will have custom image with your factory defaults
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In this case, I think @psherman gave you all the info you need.