The beginner's guide should hook you up.
Please check current TableOfHardware for the list of supported devices.
Flash devices can be written to, at minimum, anywhere between 100,000 and 1,000,000 times (according to the manufacturers). Keep in mind we have a normal distribution and also, that Flash never ever just stops working, but merely distinct blocks do. I.e. you won't be able to write to them any longer, but you should be able to still read them.
Start here → toolchain
There are claims all over the web, that OpenWrt can only be handled by command-line. There is a beginners guide available:CLI.
There is one WebUIs available LuCI, LuCI2 is in development.
wl(or wl-mimo) proprietary driver,
b43reverse engineered FOSS driver,
wpad(hostapd + wpa_supplicant), standard linux utilites (
It is reported as still debatable which wireless driver is better for stability and performance. brcm-2.4 is still available in the latest OpenWrt stable, but has been abandoned in trunk as of Rxxxxx.
*Note* At least as of 10.3.1 stable, it is possible to build 2.6 kernel with proprietary Broadcom drivers. No precompiled images have been posted yet though. If your target is brcm47xx, it will build 2.6 kernel, no matter what the wireless drivers are. — sup 2012/05/07 11:53
brcm47xx stability issue It has been reported that brcm47xx has issues when router is under heavy load.
ifdef CONFIG_MADWIFI_DEBUG MADWIFI_APPLETS += athdebug 80211debug endif
So first enable the "Advanced configuration options (for developers)" item, then navigate to the kmod-madwifi submenu and tick "Enable compilation of debugging features" on or add/replace "CONFIG_DEVEL=y" plus "CONFIG_MADWIFI_DEBUG=y" manually in .config
CONFIG_ALL=y + make V=99 IGNORE_ERRORS=m
The two have the same content, but a factory image would have extra header information or whatever the platform needs. Generally speaking, the factory image is to be used with the OEM GUI or OEM flashing utilities to convert the device to OpenWrt. After that, use the sysupgrade images.