Factory install: First-time installation on a device

Your device must still have the vendor firmware to be eligible for this so-called “factory installation” procedure.

  • Devices with >=8 MBytes Flash memory and >=64 MBytes RAM allow a full-featured OpenWrt installation with GUI.
  • Devices with 4 MByte or less Flash memory can install OpenWrt as well, but with a limited feature set. They cannot use optional packages and in some cases may also not have a web GUI, due to limited flash space and may therefore have to stick to command line administration only. The creation of individual custom packages may help to avoid some of these limitations on such 'small' devices, but such a custom-package-creation is not part of this howto.
  • If you want to purchase a new router for OpenWrt, stick to devices with >=8 MBytes Flash memory and >=64 MBytes RAM.
  1. Head over to the Supported Devices page and click the question that fits most on your research.
  2. Read and familiarize yourself with the Device Page for your device (it's listed in the table of devices you open above).
    There you will find specific installation information, caveats, tips and tricks and other information that is important to know BEFORE you go out and buy a new device. It also serves as a way to eyeball the “popularity” of the device, as the more popular devices will have good and thorough device pages.
  1. On the Table of Hardware: Firmware downloads page, locate your specific device. If you are a newcomer, use the stable release version for your first-time device installations. Do not initially use a (clearly marked) develop/snapshot version from other subfolders. This ensures that you get the easiest possible first-time OpenWrt installation experience.
  2. When you have located your device in this list, click on the “View/edit data” link of the device record. This will open a new page with several details for your specific device. We recommend to bookmark that page, as it has lots of helpful information about your router.
  3. On this device-specific Techdata page, at the bottom locate the line called “Firmware OpenWrt Install URL that links to a downloadable file called ”...factory.bin” or “...factory.img” file.
    Please mind that only 30% of all supported devices have “factory” in their installation image name. The other 70% have different names.
  4. Download this file.
  • If you can not find “factory.bin” firmware file (true for 70% of all supported devices), a device-specific custom installation procedure is required (Assuming your device does not already have an older LEDE or OpenWrt version installed). You can find custom installation instructions at the following locations:
    1. On the OpenWrt Techdata page of the device, check the fields “Forum Topic URL” and “Comment” for any external links or comments regarding custom installation procedures.
    2. Look for the corresponding device page in the OpenWrt wiki, if that has any custom installation descriptions.
    3. Search the OpenWrt forum for existing discussion threads about the device name or open a new topic in the OpenWrt forum, asking for instructions.
  • If you can't find your device in the Table of Hardware, you can consult the "Installing and Using OpenWrt" Forum for help. You can also try alternative ways to locate OpenWrt firmware images.

You will now use a checksum tool, to calculate a checksum from your downloaded file and then compare this calculated checksum with the file-specific checksum listed on the firmware download site. This ensures that you have a 100% correct download and that you will not brick your device by applying a faulty download.

  1. Check your downloaded “...factory.bin” file according to checksum verification of downloaded OpenWrt firmware files.
  2. Only continue with flashing, if the firmware checksum of your download matches the checksum stated on the download site!


  • if the checksum process has reported a checksum mismatch, do NOT start flashing, as the download could be corrupt. A corrupt firmware file can brick your device! Instead retry with another download attempt and retry the checksum step.
  • if the checksum step fails repeatedly, you can consult the "Installing and Using OpenWrt" Forum for help. Be sure to include the exact brand, model, and version of your device.
  1. Connect to the device via Ethernet cable (Only fallback to wireless, if the device has no Ethernet connection options)
  2. Ensure that the OpenWrt firmware file that you are about to flash, matches your router model and is called “....factory.bin” (only true for 30% of all supported devices; 70% of devices have different image names, see above), as you will use it to modify a vendor's factory firmware towards OpenWrt.
  3. Log into the device's admin web interface and locate the device-specific firmware installation function. Follow the device-specific instructions of your manufacturer's user guide for installing firmware and use this to install the “...factory.bin” firmware file of OpenWrt.
  4. Wait while the device writes the firmware image to its flash memory. This can take several minutes (the Device Page may state an expected time for this process). At the end, the device will reboot automatically.
  5. The new firmware has been installed.

Next step: Log into your Router Running OpenWrt ->

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  • Last modified: 2019/12/14 02:47
  • by bluby