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||Revision|
|Master||Master snapshots (trunk)||continuously|
|OpenWrt 18.06.4||Download images||2019 July||r7808-ef686b7292|
|OpenWrt 18.06.3 1)|
|OpenWrt 18.06.2||Download images||2019 February||r7676-cddd7b4c77|
|OpenWrt 18.06.1||Download images||2018 August||r7258-5eb055306f|
|OpenWrt 18.06.0||Download images||2018 July||r7188-b0b5c64c22|
|LEDE 17.01.6||Download images||2018 September||r3979-2252731af4|
|LEDE 17.01.5||Download images||2018 July||r3919-38e704be71|
|LEDE 17.01.4||Download images||2017 October||r3560-79f57e422d|
|LEDE 17.01.3||Download images||2017 August||r3533-d0bf257c46|
|LEDE 17.01.2||Download images||2017 June||r3435-65eec8bd5f|
|LEDE 17.01.1||Download images||2017 April||r3316-7eb58cf109|
|LEDE 17.01.0||Download images||2017 February||r3205-59508e3|
|Chaos Calmer 15.05.1||Download images||2016 March||r48532|
|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.
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:
git clone https://git.openwrt.org/12.09/openwrt.git 1209 cd 1209 [Now edit feeds.conf.default commenting out "src-svn packages ..." and adding the pull from git.] #src-svn packages svn://svn.openwrt.org/openwrt/branches/packages_12.09 src-git packages https://git.openwrt.org/12.09/packages.git [save and exit] ./scripts/feeds update ./scripts/feeds install -a make menuconfig
As of 160415, this retrieves r42647.
2014: Barrier Breaker was released on October 2nd, 2014.
2015-2016: The Chaos Calmer (CC) release uses 3.18 LTS kernel as baseline.
The maintenance release of 15.05.1 was released on 16 March 2016:
2017-2018: The LEDE 17.01 releases uses 4.4 kernel as baseline.
Most recent 17.01 release is 17.01.6 in September 2018:
2018: The OpenWrt 18.06 is the current stable release. It uses kernel 4.9 or 4.14 depending on target.
Most recent 18.06 release is 18.06.4 in July 2019:
2019: The bleeding edge development master (trunk), where the main development is being made, is called as “master” in the GIT repository. Trunk is under heavy development, and should not be used except by developers or experienced users who accept occasional bricking of the device.