Upgrade using Attended Sysupgrade

The Attended SysUpgrade (ASU) facility allows an OpenWrt device to update to new firmware while preserving the packages and settings. This dramatically simplifies the upgrade process: just a couple clicks and a short wait lets you retrieve and install a new image built with all your previous packages.

ASU eliminates the need to make a list of packages you installed manually, or fuss with opkg just to upgrade your firmware.

Because it is initiated by a person who waits until it's complete, it's called “attended” sysupgrade. You can see Attended Sysupgrade in action in a video from OneMarcFifty at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFTPA6GkJjg&t=1034s

There is both a LuCI (web page interface) and command-line package for Attended Sysupgrade.

The luci-app-attendedsysupgrade package provides a page in the router's web interface. It requests a new firmware image built with the current set of packages, waits until it's ready, then downloads and flashes the image. If “Keep Configuration” is checked in the GUI, the device preserves all the settings.

To install luci-app-attendedsysupgrade, go to System → Software, update the package list, and search for luci-app-attendedsysupgrade. Install it in the usual manner.

To upgrade your firmware:

  • Make a backup! Go to System → Backup/Flash firmware. Click Generate archive (Just do it. Every time…)
  • Go to System → Atttended Sysupgrade. You'll see the main Attended Sysupgrade window
  • Click Search for sysupgrade You will see choices for the firmware version that are available.
  • Select the desired version from the dropdown, and click Request Sysupgrade
  • There may be a wait as the server builds a custom image that includes all the packages that are currently installed.
  • When that completes, you will see a window describing the new firmware:
    • If you wish to keep settings, check the box. Otherwise, settings will be erased and set to factory default.
    • Click Install Sysupgrade and the router will download the new image, flash it, and reboot.
    • You'll be running the new firmware, with all your packages and settings intact.

  This is the main window. Click Search for sysupgrade

  Choose one of the available releases and click Request Sysupgrade

  Verify the parameters of the newly-generated image,
choose Keep Settings (or not) and click Install Sysupgrade

The auc package performs the same process as the luci-app-attendedsysupgrade from SSH/the command line.

To install the auc package, ssh into the router and enter opkg install auc or in the web intrface, go to System → Software, update the package list, and search for auc. Install it in the usual manner.

To upgrade your device firmware, first Make A Backup (see first step above) Then enter auc on the command line. The default is to get the next version. You can specify the following options on the command line.

root@openwrt.lan:~# auc --help
auc (0.2.4-8)
auc: Attended sysUpgrade CLI client
Usage: auc [-b <branch>] [-B <ver>] [-c] [-f] [-h] [-r] [-y]
 -b <branch>	use specific release branch
 -B <ver>	use specific release version
 -c		only check if system is up-to-date
 -f		use force
 -h		output help
 -n		dry-run (don't download or upgrade)
 -r		check only for release upgrades
 -F <fstype>	override filesystem type
 -y		don't wait for user confirmation

Please report issues to improve the server:
https://github.com/aparcar/asu/issues

The ASU Server listens for image requests and, if valid, automatically generates them. It coordinates several OpenWrt ImageBuilders and caches the resulting images in a Redis database. If an image is cached, the server can provide it immediately without rebuilding.

The ASU Server provides an API to request custom firmware images with any selection of packages pre-installed. This avoids the need to set up a build environment, and makes it possible to create a custom firmware image even using a mobile device.

  • The current production ASU Server is sysupgrade.openwrt.org It provides released versions, release candidates, and the current nightly snapshot.
  • There is an development server at asu.aparcar.org that may or may not always be running
  • chef.libremesh.org is an old server name that currently is a CNAME to asu.aparcar.org
  • The OpenWrt Firmware Selector is a client of the ASU server, as are the LuCI web page and auc.

ASU relies on significant updates over the last several years to the ImageBuilder, primarily by @aparcar. Github repo

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  • Last modified: 2022/09/04 08:17
  • by richb-hanover