Installing OpenWrt isn't as simple as turning the key on your new car: you'll need to do some reading to be successful. But there is lots of information available to ease the process. Here are some steps:
0.) MANDATORY: The OpenWrt wiki, a.k.a, The Fine Manual – With links to supported devices, the Beginner's Guide, HOWTOs and FAQs, etc. Please read this page and use the resources given there. Your task will be easier to complete without causing problems with your router.
– You should get started by reading through The Installing OpenWrt HOWTO – This includes another checklist for installing OpenWrt on your router, as well as purchasing a router for OpenWrt use, initially connecting to and configuring your router, etc.
– The Documentation portal – Please look here for information or answers before flashing your router or asking questions. There are links to installation guides, configuration guides, HOWTOs and recipes, etc. Very useful and rich!
1.) Find your router on the Table of Hardware/Supported Devices page. Your model may be supported, it may not be supported at this time, it may be a WIP (work-in-progress), or it may be unsupportable due to hardware or built-in firmware limitations or incompatibilities. Find out about OpenWrt on your router here.
2.) Go to the webpage link given for your router under the "Device Page" column of the table. Please read that page and understand it completely before trying to install OpenWrt. This is most important if this is your first time installing and using OpenWrt. A thorough understanding will save you, and others who may need to help you, lots of time, effort and worry!
3.) To improve your planning before you install, go to the Forum Search function and search for your router model. There may be some hiccups with installing OpenWrt on the newest version of your router, etc. By doing a search, you can find out if others have had problems before you have them
– An Advanced Search is available to refine the results if too many are returned to make sense of them.
4.) A final step to prepare yourself is to do a Google search with terms 'openwrt' and your router make, model and version number. (If you get an error when you install, search for 'openwrt' and the complete text of your error message, etc., on Google, and use the Forum Search.)
5.) Downloads – After you've Read The Fine Manual and your router's hardware page and searched for detailed info. When you understand what to do to flash your router, go to Downloads to get the correct firmware for your router make, model and version.
Good luck! And don't be afraid to ask for help in the OpenWrt Forums, but please do your homework first. We hope you enjoy OpenWrt! – cmsigler, 2016/03/08
Note: Polished versions of this information should be fed back to the this thread in the OpenWrt Forum, especially for consideration as a sticky topic.