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Download and Flash OpenWrt

We're going to download and flash OpenWrt on the router. This will be the beginning of the installation process of OpenWrt on the router.


You might be wondering what the word "flash" means in this context. When we talk about "flashing OpenWrt" onto a router, we mean we're going to replace the original software on the router with OpenWrt.

The word "flash" in this case comes from the fact that the storage space on a router is in a type of chip called "flash memory". People also use the term "burning" the software - same thing.

Connect your computer to your router using Ethernet (not wireless)

Before getting started, you should connect your computer to your router with a standard Ethernet (network) cable. Flashing your router over Wifi has a higher risk of a corrupt transfer that can lead to a non-functional router. Connect with an Ethenet cable. Not only does it substantially reduces the risk of corruption, but it makes these first steps much easier.

Go to the Device Page for your router

Go to the Table of Hardware and search for your router and model. The Device Page column for your router takes you to a page that provides specific information for your router.

If you're visiting the router page on a computer connected to your router, you may want to print out the page for reference purposes. Alternatively, you may want to open the router page on a smartphone or other device to refer to while installing.

Download the firmware image from the Device Page

Most Device Pages will provide a link to the latest firmware image that has been tested for the router. Follow the link to download the firmware image file. Once you download, remember the location where the file was saved; we'll need it in just a few minutes!

Note: Every router model requires a slightly different copy of OpenWrt due to the unique configuration of the router hardware. Installing the wrong image can leave your router inoperable.

Note: Some router models have version numbers. Make sure you get the proper image for your model and version. Flashing an incorrect firmware file for your version can leave your router inoperable.

Visit your router's web page

Now that we have a copy of OpenWrt image, we'll need to visit the router's administration page. This is where an administrator could change settings for the wifi, the firewall or other features. OpenWrt will be able to give you far more flexibility though! Your router information page should have a URL or a link to the your router's web administration page. If it doesn't, we recommend you try the following until you find one for your router:

If one of those pages is found, it's very likely you've found the correct one.

Next you'll need to login to your router. Often, routers will have a login set by default. If you don't think you've changed it, you should try find the default username and password on the router page. If it's not there, we recommend some of the following common choices:

  • root - root
  • admin - admin
  • admin - <empty>

Upload the firmware image

The last step in the process is to upload our firmware image to the router. We have to go through the original web administration. Since each router's web administration system is somewhat different, you should look on for instructions on the router page. If the router page is missing instructions, here are some tips on how to find the firmware upload page.

  • Look for advanced options
  • (Other points)

Once you find the firmware upload page, select the OpenWrt firmware file you downloaded earlier. By default, it will be in your download folder.

Once you've selected your file, upload the file using the page. It's possible you may get a warning saying that the firmware is not from the manufacturer; this is normal and expected and you'll want to confirm that it's okay to continue the upload process. If you get a warning where it is claimed you did not selected a file try to rename the .bin file and give it a shorter file name. Some routers supposedly have issues with long file names.

Once it starts, don't interrupt the process. You may not receive any notification that it's complete; that's normal. If the upload has taken more than 5 minutes, it should be done. Congratulations, you have OpenWrt on your router!

Next step: Login to OpenWrt ->

doc/walkthrough_flash.txt · Last modified: 2016/10/02 18:57 by richbhanover