Upgrade from 19.07 to 23.05: Where's the "switch"

I have OpenWRT 19.05 running on a Linsys WRT3200ACM. It has worked well for years. I decided to upgrade to 23.05 by doing it on a new-to-me unit I bought on Ebay. I got through removing whatever was on it and installing OpenWRT. I thought I would be able to save a backup from 19.05 and load it to 23.05. FAIL! I had to factory reset OpenWRT 23.05.

I am sure I should have read some document about upgrades but didn't. Instead I now have both units running on different IPs and interfaces of my laptop. I am setting up 23.05 while referencing the 19.05 configuration that is still running as my active router (that's why I bought a spare unit).

I am trying to setup the 23.05 unit just like the 19.05 unit and when I try to define the interfaces and VLAN use, there is a whole section of the configuration missing. In 19.05 there is a menu item "Switch" which defines what interfaces and VLANs connect to what ports and NICs. I can't find it on 23.05. Where did it go? How am supposed to do the equivalent in 23.05?

That is expected, you mustn't do that, for two reasons:

  • the backup often contains device specific data (MAC addresses), which mustn't be restored to another device (or you seriously break your whole network with two devices having the same MAC addresses)
  • you can't restore a 19.07.x backup to newer versions on mvebu, because there have been quite major config differences between them; you should never do that between major version upgrades, but in this particular case it mustn't be done.

You really need to do some searching and reading before, respectively now. Your favourite search engine should have given you the answer easily, so I keep it brief:


Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Google did not find anything appropriate when I searched for combinations of "openwrt" and "no switch". And I never would have thought to look for distributed networking. That's a term I expect with large VMware environments not some "simple" appliance.

I did not really expect that just copying the configs would work, but I hoped.

I read the distributed docs and think I can finally configure it:

  1. The old way put all the ports and VLANs on one screen. This treats each bridge like a separate switch. What will happen if I attempt to have two untagged VLANs on the same port? The old way it flagged both as an error on the same screen. This does not seem to see an error until I try to apply it and it needs to roll back. So it just fails with no reason why.
  2. I am forced to create a bridged wan (br-wan) which contains two ports: CPU eth1 and the WAN port. I did not need that before.
  3. When I first used the "lan" interface it had a "br-lan" with eth0, lan{1,2,3} in it. I edited br-lan and set all the ports and interfaces untagged VLAN1. This fails and forces a rollback. I then found it creates a new "br-lan.1" interface and I then need to go backwards to "lan" and change it to use that. Having to use a different device was unexpected, but it was documented so my fault.

And now the name "br-lan" is not appropriate because the way I will need to connect my VLAN 10 (guest net) and VLAN 11 (servers) will use the same bridge. Unless ports and interfaces can belong to multiple bridges and can I put eth0 on br-lan and br-servers and br-guest. More experimentation tomorrow.

I can't wait for the changes in the firewall because it now uses a different mechanism. These are why I chose not to upgrade my active device.

Thanks for the help.