OpenWrt 21.02.x ath79 tiny LuCI

This is a package of OpenWRT 21.02.3 stable builds for targets ath79.

Modifications against default tiny packages:

  • removed PPP support
  • removed OPKG
  • removed SSL support
  • removed signature checking, etc.
  • removed swapoff and long options support from busybox
  • stripped to bare bones
  • added LuCI
  • flashing from LuCI switched off (it causes devices to freeze)

This way the builds could fit into squashfs (factory/sysupgrade) compatible builds. Relayd or wpad-basic could not fit in anymore.

Please note there is still upgrading incompatibility against deprecated target ar71xx (OpenWRT version 18.06 or older), please see for more info.

Backup your configuration via webserver, but flash new upgrades using SSH. Webserver most likely doesn't have enough memory to handle file upload as all my tests resulted in the need to reboot the device entirely.

  ssh root@ #or use PuTTY
  grep machine /proc/cpuinfo #check device identification
  cd /tmp
  wget HTTP-URL #copy URL from browser, HTTPS won't work
  sysupgrade -u -v openwrt- #use TAB to autocomplete filename

If you are unable to log into LuCI, you probably have old /etc/config/uhttpd file present and there are attempts to redirect you to HTTPS protocol. Remove it (use rm /etc/config/uhttpd) and re-flash using the guide above.

Builds have not been tested for all devices, but compiling resulted in no errors.


I created an account just to say thank you. I am using your 21.02 for wa901nd v5 as guest network originally from 18.06. It is working great. Better controls for Openwrt and security. The only drawback is the slow loading of the interface which is understandable because of the 4/32 nature of the device. And whenever I enter the Connections tab under Realtime graphs it only shows the device ip and ip address of the visited websites unlike 18.06 where the device/site names were identified. Otherwise, It's amazing how it resurrected such a legacy device. Thanks!


Yes, the devices are old and slow. DNS lookups on that page were slowing the list down dramatically, it was changed in OpenWRT to not resolve the names by default.

Although I came here today to publish 21.02.1, I have sad news. We are running out of space rapidly. While 19.07.x were straightforward to build, 21.02.0 and now 21.02.1 need more and more space, so now I had to begin cutting pieces from the system utils. If this goes on, I will have to cut IPv6 or these may be the last builds for 4MB devices with LuCI.


Thank you for taking the time to create an updated build for these devices that have long been forgotten by it's manufacturer albeit with modifications to allow them to work perfectly on 4/32 devices. I thought it was the end for my device at 18.06 and then you came along. You make the internet a safer place by securing old devices across the globe with Openwrt.

I have installed the new update 21.02.1 thru Luci and it restarted with the new black theme. Awesome! And all my settings are still intact. I also think Luci is snappier. From my setup I disabled from startup IPv6 since my ISP does not use it, Dropbear since I dont SSH hoping to improve the memory usage for the device. I also used Software flow offloading in firewall and that made a difference. I used the Write DNS queries in Syslog instead of the Realtime graphs since that is a better way to track activity for port 53. And so many other things I could'nt do in 18.06.

Being able to use this build is Godsend. Thank you once again.


Im looking forward your work ơn these device build for roaming/ mesh

Hi can you make with opkg on it? I have modified WR841N V10 with 16MB Flash, thank you

1 Like

You may keep more space by:
Disable dropbear scp: no need to upload anything FROM router to somewhere else

Actually the dropbear may be removed and instaed used used plain old telnet. Then you can't upload files via scp but this is probably not needed.

Instaed of uhttpd (40kb) may be used busybox httpd (8kb) see a forum topic here with my research.

Opkg may be better to include

I upgraded wnr612v2 to your 19.07.7 (from ssh) but after any reboot cofig goes to default. If i try to use 21+ versions then luci dont start in web.

Can you help me to fix it?

Sorry, I haven't tested it with this device, but there is no reason why config should be forgotten. Try to flash again without keeping settings. If that doesn't help, try an older build.

I already tried keeping/non keeping, flashing back to factory, flashing from ssh and almost all combinations - nothing happens. I think file size too big. Your 19 and 21 sysupgrade.bin have almost same size 3 605 300 bytes. I tried 19.07.8 from table of hardware - have same issue, size even bigger. Now im using 19.07.8 from another author (size 3 473 541 bytes) and everything good, but there is no fast roaming that i want.

Can you try to lower package size?

Unfortunately, all I do is try to lower the package size, but the current versions are just too big to fit into 4MB ROMs. Sizes are fixed to fit various devices and if it is too large even compressed, the firmware file fails to build for that device. Coming to 21.02.1 it has become a problem for many devices, that were built fine before.
I can't lower the size while trying to keep LuCI, use the older versions that do work for you.

Im using 19.07.8 with sysupgrade size 3 473 412 from here. Works perfect but there is wpad-mini only. Please, can you try to do almost same size with wpad-basic?

And here is what i found:

Customization and Building Your Own
I won't be providing customization for these builds, as there is very little flash space for any additional packages. If you create your own build any firmware file much greater than 3.31MB (as reported/measured by OpenWRT immediately before flash) is likely too large and will cause a bootloop and/or will not preserve settings upon reboot.

@Monolith Sorry, I don't have original build configuration to be able to switch it easily and try to build with wpad-basic.

OpenWRT 21.02.2 tiny builds released.

I tried to replace uhttpd with busybox-httpd as stated above by @stokito, but webserver wasn't configured and service didn't exist. I'll try to avoid unencrypted telnet as long as I can.

1 Like

Yeah, I wanted to create a feed with it but didn't finished yet

in latest owrt release dropbear takes 215128 uncompressed, I remember it previously took more place. So I guess not a big deal anymore.

@Ashus: Thank you very much for your great work. Is it possible that you could add tplink RE450v1 to your build list ?

Best regards, Thomas

1 Like

No need, this device has 8MB flash, there is official build available.

I would like build firmware (tiny) to use 4mb flash devices. Such as Tl-wr 740 851 940 in mesh or roaming. Do you have nay suggestion?

Im using all these devices with your shared firmware

@nguyendj Follow official guide, use my configs as default.

OpenWRT 21.02.3 tiny builds released.


I'm looking for an Openwrt version for the TP-Link TL-WA801ND V2.
Any change for this device?