Proper upgrade procedure (additional package needed for internet connectivity)

So ATM I have a working and properly customized 18.06.2 installation on my ZBT WE1326 router. This is a reinstallation after I broke the previously working one not knowing that upgrading the base to 18.06.4 will leave my customizations behind. Problem is, this router supports 4G internet through sim card and that's where my sole source for internet for this router, where the module (luci-proto-3g, alongside its dependencies) are not installed by default (not in the sysupgrade image). So now I'm having a chicken and egg problem, which of course can be solved by not upgrading, but I hope I can because upgrading from the default 15.05 image to 18.06 fixes a lot of problems for me. I do have smartphone with tethering feature so that can be some kind of escape and that's what I use for reinstalling. But if that must always be present it seems complicated, doesn't it? So what is the proper upgrade procedure knowing that a package is built specifically for a given base image (or kernel, perhaps)?

In case you need to add some packages to the base image to achieve network connectivity:

  • the best procedure is to compile a personal image that contains the necessary packages. Either from sources, or with imagebuilder. Then flash that image and you are ready to go.
  • to download all needed packages to a local repository (like your PC) before flashing the firmware. Then after flashing you can use SCP to transfer those package files (*.ipk) from a LAN host to your router's tmp, and then you can use opkg to install those from *.ipk:s. That assumes that you have LAN normal connectivity without any additional packages needed.

I see, 2nd option looks more viable to me, might just need a little script to scrape the repo to search for corresponsing package files and grab them all. 1st option can be learned, but maybe later haha.

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