What is the Difference between the install and upgrade urls?

There are two different urls listed for install and upgrade yet there is zero indication anywhere of what the difference between the two is. Which should I install? It seems that both work, so why are there two links for each device?

Explained recently here:
Sysupgrade vs factory image upgrade

You use

  • "sysupgrade" image if you flash from a live OpenWrt system. Either sysupgrade from LuCI or using SSH console.
  • "factory" image if you flash by using the original OEM firmware, the possibly built-in TFTP recovery interface (in some routers), or some other recovery tool from the original manufacturer.
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Since this questions comes up here and there, we have a page for it:

Could use an overhaul, though. Any volunteers? :slight_smile:


I think this can beat some confusion, s it could be understood that it matters where you flash from.

As I understand, factory is for routers that have stock firmware, while sysupgrade is for routers that have OpenWrt installed, regardless of whether you do the upgrade from a live OpenWrt or from some recovery tool.


Yes. That is what I mean. The tool that you are using to flash has effect on the image selection.

E.g. when flashing with OEM recovery tool in u-boot bootloader, you usually need the "factory" image, even if the router already has OpenWrt (that will get overwritten).

For most routers, both factory and sysupgrade compeletely overwrite the previous firmware. From that perspective it makes no difference which firmware the router currently has. The difference comes from getting the flash tool to accept the image and handle/strip it like it would do for the corresponding OEM image.

  • If you flash using Openwrt sysupgrade, you use the OpenWrt sysupgrade image.
  • If you flash with OEM tools, you use the factory image that gets recognised/handled correctly by the OEM tool.

IF here is a factory image (true for only 30% of all supported devices).
We already had users in the forum which insisted that there MUST be a factory image and nothing else would do, just because it was mentioned somewhere to use the factory image (although no factory image existed for his device).


Yeah, sure, if there is just one image, you use it :wink:

(30% actually sounds low to me. But you likely know the stats better due to the wiki maintenance work.)

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That number still is quite accurate:

=> 30,4%


Thanks for the replies from everyone.