OpenWrt Version History

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 and to program the VLAN-capable switch via the proc filesystem.

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 Downloads column at the right. Information about the various types of builds is available on the Choosing an OpenWrt version page.

The following is a complete history of OpenWrt releases:

Announcement / Release notes Downloads Release date Revision
Bleeding Edge
Master snapshots Downloads Continuously
Release Candidate
- - - -
Stable Release
Openwrt 21.02.0 Downloads 2021 September r16279-5cc0535800
OpenWrt 19.07.8 Downloads 2021 August r11364-ef56c85848
OpenWrt 19.07.7 Downloads 2021 February r11306-c4a6851c72
OpenWrt 19.07.6 Downloads 2021 January r11278-8055e38794
OpenWrt 19.07.5 Downloads 2020 December r11257-5090152ae3
OpenWrt 19.07.4 Downloads 2020 September r11208-ce6496d796
OpenWrt 19.07.3 Downloads 2020 May r11063-85e04e9f46
OpenWrt 19.07.2 Downloads 2020 March r10947-65030d81f3
OpenWrt 19.07.1 Downloads 2020 January r10911-c155900f66
OpenWrt 19.07.0 Downloads 2020 January r10860-a3ffeb413b
OpenWrt 18.06.9 Downloads 2020 December r8077-7cbbab7246
OpenWrt 18.06.8 Downloads 2020 March r7989-82fbd85747
OpenWrt 18.06.7 Downloads 2020 January r7976-ca47026b7d
OpenWrt 18.06.6 Downloads 2020 January r7957-d81a8a3e29
OpenWrt 18.06.5 Downloads 2019 November r7897-9d401013fc
OpenWrt 18.06.4 Downloads 2019 July r7808-ef686b7292
OpenWrt 18.06.3 Skipped in favor of 18.06.4 due to a last minute 4.14 kernel update
OpenWrt 18.06.2 Downloads 2019 February r7676-cddd7b4c77
OpenWrt 18.06.1 Downloads 2018 August r7258-5eb055306f
OpenWrt 18.06.0 Downloads 2018 July r7188-b0b5c64c22
LEDE 17.01.6 Downloads 2018 September r3979-2252731af4
LEDE 17.01.5 Downloads 2018 July r3919-38e704be71
LEDE 17.01.4 Downloads 2017 October r3560-79f57e422d
LEDE 17.01.3 Downloads 2017 August r3533-d0bf257c46
LEDE 17.01.2 Downloads 2017 June r3435-65eec8bd5f
LEDE 17.01.1 Downloads 2017 April r3316-7eb58cf109
LEDE 17.01.0 Downloads 2017 February r3205-59508e3
Chaos Calmer 15.05.1 Downloads 2016 March r48532
Chaos Calmer 15.05 Downloads 2015 September r46767
Barrier Breaker 14.07 Downloads 2014 October r42625
Attitude Adjustment 12.09 Downloads 2013 April r36088
Backfire 10.03.1 Downloads 2011 December r29592
Backfire 10.03 Downloads 2010 April r20728
Kamikaze 8.09.2 Downloads 2010 January r18801
Kamikaze 8.09.1 Downloads 2009 June r16278
Kamikaze 8.09 Downloads 2008 September r14510
Kamikaze 7.09 Downloads 2007 September r7831
Kamikaze 7.07 Downloads 2007 July
Kamikaze 7.06 Downloads 2007 June r7204
White Russian 0.9 Downloads 2007 January r6257

Only supported OpenWrt releases are considered safe. Any use of unsupported versions is strongly discouraged due to multiple, severe, well-known, actively exploited security vulnerabilities in the kernel, third-party applications, and 802.11 protocols.

OEM devices may indicate a specific OpenWrt or LEDE release name in banners or other locations that are built using Qualcomm Atheros' QSDK. These builds, while based on OpenWrt code are not OpenWrt and are often not compatible with OpenWrt configuration approaches. QSDK builds are often very good builds, incorporating proprietary code from Qualcomm Atheros. Support for these OEM builds is best sought from the OEM.

2007: The codename of the first OpenWrt release is White Russian. White Russian is a popular cocktail. Subsequent release names in 2007-2016 were based on other cocktails, and the recipe was shown in /etc/banner.

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.

White Russian is no longer maintained or supported.

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.

Kamikaze and Buildroot-NG are no longer maintained or supported.

2010-2011: The first Backfire release, OpenWrt 10.03, was released in April 2010:

Backfire is no longer maintained or supported.

2013: Attitude Adjustment (AA) was released on 25 April 2013:

Attitude Adjustment is no longer maintained or supported.

2014: Barrier Breaker (BB) was released in October 2014:

Barrier Breaker is no longer maintained or supported.

2015-2016: Chaos Calmer (CC) was compiled at the end of January 2016, but hardware problems delayed the release until March.

The maintenance release of Chaos Calmer was released on 16 March 2016:

Chaos Calmer is no longer maintained or supported.

2017-2018: Most recent 17.01 release is 17.01.6 in September 2018:

LEDE 17.01 is no longer maintained or actively supported.

2018-2020: Most recent 18.06 release is the final service release 18.06.9 in December 2020:

OpenWrt 18.06 has been declared End-of-Support in December 2020 and is no longer maintained or actively supported.

2020-2021: Most recent 19.07 release is 19.07.8 in August 2021:

OpenWrt 19.07 is the old stable release, only supported with security updates.

2021: The stable release 21.02.0 was published in September 2021:

OpenWrt 21.02 is the current stable release, fully supported by the OpenWrt team providing updates for the core packages and fixing security and other problems.

The bleeding edge aka trunk where the main development is being made, is called as the master branch in the Git repository. Snapshot images are considered unstable and potentially can brick the device, so they are only supposed to be used by developers or experienced users.

Openwrt follows this branch strategy:

  • All development happens in master. It progresses on, but no releases are made from it. Buildbot development snapshots are made from master. New devices are added to master.
  • Before major releases, a release branch is branched off from master. This branch will get separate fix commits and the releases are made of that. No new features are normally added to the release branches after the branching.

Approximate branching dates of the recent release branches, reflecting the date from which the bulk of the source code is based on:

  • 18.06: May 2018
  • 19.07: June 2019
  • 21.02: February 2021

In the picture below, you can see 18.06, 19.07 and 21.02 branches with the historical releases made from them.

Branching logic

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  • Last modified: 2021/09/29 10:03
  • by vgaetera