Preserving OpenWrt settings during firmware upgrade

While upgrading OpenWrt firmware using web interface, you can utilize the “Keep settings” checkbox. It performs OpenWrt backup before upgrade and restores it after upgrade.

If you do not precisely understand the button's use cases, uncheck “Keep Settings” every time you flash a new OpenWrt sysupgrade to your device, to not preserve settings.

  • Only check the “Keep settings” checkbox on minor OpenWrt → OpenWrt bug fix upgrades that are known to not change the config structure.
  • Only use it for the same firmware channel (release → release, snapshot → snapshot).
  • Checking it will preserve several specific config files on the upgrade, but not the whole overlay partition.
  • If you flash your device regularly, preferably consider unchecking “Keep Settings” every time you flash the router and instead create a custom installation script for your customization. Example: script.

Despite the warnings on this page, keeping settings in sysupgrade usually works for minor upgrades.

  • Cautiousness is mostly needed with major version upgrades, e.g. from 15.05 to 17.01, or from 15.05 to 18.06 etc.
  • It is possible that settings change critically inside a release branch, but that is rare.
  • Settings can change more often inside the master branch which reflects the bleeding edge development. But even with master branch snapshots, the settings change only rarely.

See also: Backup and restore

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  • Last modified: 2021/02/23 02:29
  • by mwynn