The OpenWrt project started in January 2004. The first OpenWrt versions were based on Linksys GPL sources for WRT54G and a buildroot from the uclibc project. This version was known as OpenWrt "stable release" and was widely in use. There are still many OpenWrt applications, like the Freifunk-Firmware or Sip@Home, which are based on this version.
In the beginning of 2005 some new developers joined the team. After some months of closed development the team decided to publish the first "experimental" versions of OpenWrt. The experimental versions use a heavily customized build system based on buildroot2 from the uclibc project. OpenWrt uses official GNU/Linux kernel sources and only adds patches for the system on chip and drivers for the network interfaces. The developer team tries to re-implement most of the proprietary code inside the GPL tarballs of the different vendors. There are free tools for writing new firmware images directly into the flash (mtd), for configuring the wireless lan chip (wlcompat/wificonf) and to program the VLAN-capable switch via the proc filesystem.
The following is a complete history of OpenWrt releases:
|Announcement/Release Notes||Download||Release date||SVN|
|Designated Driver (trunk)||Trunk snapshots||continuously|
|Chaos Calmer 15.05||Download images||2015 September||r46767|
|Barrier Breaker 14.07||Download images||2014 October||r42625|
|Attitude Adjustment 12.09||Download images||2013 April||r36088|
|Backfire 10.03.1||Download images||2011 December||r29592|
|Backfire 10.03||Download images||2010 April||r20728|
|Kamikaze 8.09.2||Download images||2010 January||r18801|
|Kamikaze 8.09.1||Download images||2009 June||r16278|
|Kamikaze 8.09||Download images||2008 September||r14510|
|Kamikaze 7.09||Download images||2007 September||r7831|
|Kamikaze 7.07||Download images||2007 July|
|Kamikaze 7.06||Download images||2007 June||r7204|
|White Russian 0.9||Download images||2007 January||r6257|
Stable release version numbers are made from the year and the month when a new stable branch was created. An additional third number indicates a service or interim release from that branch.
Pre-built images of the final stable image for each release are in the Download column at the right. Information about the various types of builds is available on the Choosing an OpenWrt Version page.
2007: The codename of the first OpenWrt release is "White Russian". (White Russian is a popular cocktail. Subsequent release names are based on other cocktails. The banner that is shown in the command line interface when you log in using telnet or SSH shows the preparation formula, if you're interested.) The legacy White Russian releases are still available, but are neither supported nor maintained. The latest White Russian release has version 0.9, released in 2007.
Subsequent releases continue the version scheme without the '.0' prefix, and with the version number derived roughly from the year in which the release falls.
2006-2010: Substantial improvements to the build environment were made under the Buildroot-NG fork in August and September 2006, and these were merged back into the main Kamikaze development branch in mid-October 2006 and became the first official Kamikaze release. OpenWrt 7 and 8, both in the "Kamikaze" stream, were released throughout 2007-2008.
2010-2011: The first Backfire release, OpenWrt 10.03, was released in April 2010. A maintenance release (Backfire 10.03.1) was released in December 2011.
2013: The 12.09 "Attitude Adjustment" version was released on 25 April 2013. It is based on
Attitude Adjustment is the version recommended for devices with 4mb of flash. To build a version to which important security updates have been added, download a later version than the original final release, for instance:
svn co -r 39407 svn://svn.openwrt.org/openwrt/branches/attitude_adjustment aa_r39407
2014: Release preparations began with branching Barrier Breaker in July 2014 (r41864). It was released on October 2nd, 2014. See Barrier Breaker
2015: CURRENT STABLE RELEASE The Chaos Calmer (CC) release uses 3.18 LTS kernel as baseline. Developers had voiced the intention of releasing before the end of 2014, but there was a delay. On September 11, 2015, Chaos Calmer was released. See Chaos Calmer
2015: The bleeding edge development trunk, where the main development is being made, is called as "trunk" in the SVN repository. Trunk was renamed to "Designated Driver" (or "DD") after Chaos Calmer was released. Trunk is under heavy development, and should not be used except by developers.
The name of the currently installed version is displayed in the console