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Sysupgrading an existing OpenWrt/LEDE device from the web admin GUI

Your device must already have an older LEDE or OpenWrt firmware installed, to be eligible for this “sysupgrade” procedure.

Locate and download the OpenWrt/LEDE firmware

  1. On the Table of Hardware: Firmware downloads page, locate your specific device.
  2. Download the sysupgrade file. Please note that not all devices do have a firmware image called sysupgrade.bin.


  • Some devices lack a sysupgrade image and require a special (and usually a bit more complex) installation procedure that is device-specific. This tutorial won't apply for such devices. Instead follow the custom installation description on the corresponding device page in the OpenWrt wiki.
  • If you don't find your device in the Table of Hardware or Device Pages/Techdata pages, you can also try alternative ways to find OpenWrt/LEDE firmware images.
  • If you have accidentally browsed the generic OpenWrt/LEDE download folders to locate your device, you might see some more download files matching your device.


  • If you want to preserve your existing OpenWrt/LEDE configuration, backup the configuration before flashing, by using the web admin GUI menu: (OpenWrt/LEDE default IP: → System > Backup/flash firmwareBackup/Restore section > Generate archive.
  • If you do not choose to backup, the existing OpenWrt/LEDE configuration will be lost and you have to start with a default OpenWrt/LEDE configuration after the upgrade.
  • If you have NAS storage attached to your OpenWrt/LEDE device, decide by yourself, whether you require a backup of files on that NAS.
  • The backup includes config files of manually installed packages but not the packages themselves. After flashing the firmware you will need to install those packages again.

Verify firmware file and flash the firmware

  1. Connect to the device via Ethernet cable (Use wireless only, if the device has no Ethernet connection options)
  2. Log into the OpenWrt/LEDE's web admin GUI and in the System → Backup/Flash Firmware menu, go to the “Flash new firmware image” section.
  3. Uncheck/clear the “Keep settings” checkbox especially for major version upgrades, so that new defaults will get applied. Keeping settings may be possible for minor upgrades, but there is always a risk of incompatible settings. (more info regarding the "Keep settings" checkbox and its use cases).
  4. Ensure that the OpenWrt/LEDE firmware file you are about to flash matches your router model and is called “….sysupgrade.bin” (the file type varies like .bin .tar.gz etc., but the key is “sysupgrade”), as you will upgrade an existing OpenWrt/LEDE system towards a newer OpenWrt/LEDE firmware version.
  5. In the “Flash new firmware image” section, click “Choose file” to select the image file, then click “Flash image…”. This displays a “Flash Firmware - Verify“ page, containing a SHA256 checksum of the image file just uploaded to the router.
  6. Check that the firmware-checksum displayed on the web GUI matches the SHA256 checksum from the OpenWrt/LEDE download page. If it does not match, do NOT continue, as it is a corrupt file and will likely brick your device. Note: If you are upgrading from OpenWrt 15.05, the 32 character displayed is an MD5 checksum, not SHA256. Please verify this MD5 checksum on your operating system before proceeding.
  7. If the checksum matches, click “Proceed”. This starts the “System - Flashing …” along with a spinning wheel and “Waiting for changes to be applied…”
  8. It can take several minutes, while the router uploads the firmware image and write it into its flash ROM and finally reboots.
  9. The new firmware has been installed. Continue with the next section to check the result.


  • if the checksum process failed, do NOT start flashing, as the download could be corrupt. A corrupt firmware file can brick your device! Instead repeat this howto with another download attempt from the download section.
  • 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.

Check flash result

  • After your device has finished flashing and rebooting, check if you can access the web admin GUI of OpenWrt/LEDE on it's default IP: (or the IP that you know of)


  • If you have flashed a development/snapshot firmware of OpenWrt/LEDE, you first need to manually enable the admin web GUI: development installation guide. Or verify the result by SSH-connecting to your OpenWrt/LEDE device IP
  • The router may have succeeded, but gotten a different IP address than you expected. Either scan your local network, check your regular router's status page (to find out about the IP address it has assigned to your OpenWrt/LEDE device) or use failsafe mode, to manually reset OpenWrt/LEDE's settings (which includes the network settings)
  • If you have checkmarked the “Keep settings” checkbox in the previous section and the system fails to boot after flashing, you need to consult the failsafe mode, to manually reset all settings.

Install additional packages

  • You may now want to reinstall the custom packages that you had before the sysupgrade, by using opkg.
  • If any package installs a system service, you also need to enable the corresponding service according to your needs.

Restore backed up OpenWrt/LEDE configuration

  • If you have chosen to backup your previous config in the previous step, you can now restore it, using LuCI's System > Backup/flash firmware menu.
    • :!: Restoring the settings backup archive after a major version upgrade can be dangerous. It is possible that some main settings in users/groups, network, switch etc. config has changed so that the old settings from 15.05 (or 17.01) will not be ok in 17.01 or 18.06 or later versions. After major version upgrades it may be better to create the critical config files from scratch by hand, starting from the new default config so that the current defaults form the starting base.
  • Otherwise you need to start configuring from scratch. In this case, remember to properly set your country code in the OpenWrt/LEDE WiFi configuration again, to comply with your country's WiFi legal regulation, e.g. see in basic WiFi setup.
docs/guide-quick-start/sysupgrade.luci.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/03 17:40 by tmomas