Updating/Upgrade an EXTROOT Installation

Hello! Since i didnt found any recent guide or post, i would like to ask here:

What is the best practice to Update/Upgrade an EXTROOT installation of OpenWRT?

Background: Im using an ASUS RT-AX53U. Installed OpenWRT 22.03.5 with minimal Setup of right IP and so on. Then i followed this guide Extroot configuration. Mainly because of the need for space for AdGuard Home. All additional packages were installed after EXTROOT (wireguard, openvpn ...)

BTW: AdGuard Home setup for external storage without extroot didn't worked for me, gave it up.

So, how to painless update/upgrade this setup to (let's say) OpenWrt 23.05.3 - Service Release - 25. March 2024? Any chance to keep my settings and packages? I have many static leases, vpn's, sqm settings and so on.

Thanks in advance!

There is only one way:

  • sysupgrade will disable the overlay
  • you need to re-create it from scratch (using new/ current packages), just like you did in the first place
  • don't try to be smart here, by forcing the old overlay to be enabled, that will only hurt you badly

Ergo: extroot is not really convenient at all and better best avoided, a little markup for a device with 'sufficient' flash for your needs quickly pays off in less grey hair (but ~50 MB on the rt-ax53u is rather plenty and I'd be more concerned about CPU cycles and RAM there, than its flash size).

In many cases it makes (a lot) more sense not to set up an extroot, but simply a data partition mounted somewhere at /srv/ for anything that's more data than OpenWrt packages. While I'm not familiar with adguard, I assume this falls into a similar category - in the sense that it's large, but relatively self-contained and assembled to be static, so mount your partition to /opt/ and get cracking (instead of extroot).


Many thanks for the quick reply!

That really makes grey hair... but ok. Im waiting for the next major release and make everything new.

To make it better next time:

When doing the next upgrade, what about the packages and settings in that case? Run upgrade via luci and having fun, or manual export of packages and reinstall every single one?

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