Starting with OpenWrt 19.07, there is a new device-tree-based target called ath79 that deprecates the ar71xx target. For 19.07, both targets are still built, but future releases of OpenWrt will drop support for the ar71xx target.
Lastly, you can directly check the download page for ath79 (but be aware: images for some devices are not built for releases, because of issues with limited flash size)
You absolutely need to backup your configuration before making any change, unless you are fine starting with a default OpenWrt configuration from scratch.
See backup and restore documentation.
Download the ath79 sysupgrade image of 19.07 for your device, and copy it to
/tmp/ on your router if necessary.
Make really sure that you download the right image for your device!
sysupgrade -n <your-device-19.07-image-sysupgrade.bin>
At that point, there is little risk for your device: if the image is accepted, the upgrade will likely work as expected. Once the upgrade succeeded the device should be available on openwrt's default ip-address.
If the image check fails, don't force upgrade and continue reading below.
You may encounter the error “Device not supported by this image” or “Image check failed”. In that case:
Because settings were not saved in the upgrade the device is now on openwrt's default ip address. Check basic functionality after rebooting: connect to device with HTTP or SSH, connect the WAN port to the Internet, enable Wi-Fi, etc.
If your device stays unresponsive several minutes after upgrading: report the issue and go to section “Flashing from bootloader / TFTP / serial”.
First, check that generic failsafe works so that you can always fix configs if anything goes wrong.
Then you can import your configuration:
wireless, interface names in
networkand LEDs in
Congratulations, your upgrade was successful!
You can use support from the bootloader to flash the new image. Find your device page from Table of Hardware and proceed with whatever device-specific flashing methods are available.
Forcing the upgrade will allow you to upgrade with an image that is not matching your device: do this at your own risk!
If you decide to do it anyway, make really really sure again that you downloaded the right image for your device!
sysupgrade -F -n <your-device-19.07-image-sysupgrade.bin>
If the device is unresponsive several minutes after upgrade: you were warned! Your last resort is “Flashing from bootloader / TFTP / serial”.
Potential incompatible changes between ar71xx and ath79:
Devices listed here will have config changes that are not treated by any migration scripts, so using sysupgrade without “-n” option will definitely lead to a configuration not matching the rest any more. So, be sure to stick to the guide above for these devices in particular.