X86/64 Boot from USB?

Maybe there is an easy answer to this but I have searched and can't find an answer...
I have found the Generic x86/64 image, but I want to put this on an external USB drive and get my PC to boot from this.
Can someone advise me how to put this image on a USB please (and which image to use?)
Ideally using Windows as I don't currently have a linux system.


  • You can also optionally use the SquashFS image, which allows you to Reset the OpenWrt to Default configs.
  • You may use the current version of OpenWrt
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Thanks! But ideally can I write this with a Windows system (using eg Rufus or similar?)

you should be able to write the image using rufus, too.

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I use https://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/ (+ windows admin control panel disk management, to wipe existing partitions first)

As long as your BIOS/UEFI supports USB booting, you are fine. OpenWRT itself does not seem to care about the physical boot disk type.

I personally prefer SD cards, as then I do not have to manually modify the BIOS boot manager (which is annoying on an otherwise headless device), when switching SD card and staying with the same reader.

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I would recommend to grab a spare USB flash drive and install https://www.ventoy.net/en/doc_start.html on it, and then put one or more "Linux Live Systems" on it. Like https://www.system-rescue.org/ and/or an Ubuntu Live to have a "proper" Linux system on hand when needed.

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The OpenWrt images are distributed as gzip compressed. This is different from .zip file format popular with Windows. A gzip image that is still compressed will not boot. Whatever you use to write to the USB drive must understand gzip and uncompress it as part of the writing process.

I use totalcommander (www.ghisler.com) + gz plugin to handle gzip file under windows. It's totally transparent. Than I use win32diskimager to copy to a HDD. One can use an USB drive instead.

Hello Frollic, Thanks...
I remember I have flashed 'ROOter' to USB and booted that (I am sure you know ROOter is basically OpenWRT, modified to work well with many types of 4G and 5G modem).

What I now need to know is which OpenWRT Image to use (the Generic x86/64 has 6 different images) - for a standard PC...

7 zip will extract the .img file from the gzip ... won't it?

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Depends on the age of your x86, newer ones would be EFI combined squashfs or ext4.


I use RMPrepUSB "File > Drive"
will do as well HDD's with (ALL DRIVES)

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Thanks everyone, I can just unzip the gzip with 7-zip and use Rufus to put it on a USB stick...

Just need to sort out the FM350 5G modem now!

Am I right in thinking the x86/64 image is a 'bare bones' image with few packages (cos none of my wifi dongles are recognised?)...

I think on the download page there is an option to include more packages, also?

You can add the packages you need after installation. But it's a good habit to install directly the packages within the image using a building engine, such as the firmware selector.

Than click on customize and add the packages you need.
You may also want to remove NIC drivers that are not necessary.

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No real reason for using snapshots on x86 though, unless you have those new Realtek gigabit NICs.

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My mistake, it didn't change the version while linking.