LuCI essentials

While OpenWrt can be managed completely using SSH and the terminal, the LuCI WebUI makes many administration tasks easier. The OpenWrt full releases, such as the current 21.02.x series, ship with the LuCI WebUI installed. But for lower-memory devices, such as those with 4MBytes Flash and/or 32MBytes of RAM, the full install may fail because of lacking sufficient Flash memory so you will have to build your own image with LuCI included. More info on this can be obtained here.

Install the required packages.

opkg update
opkg install luci

Now you can open LuCI interface.

Install the required packages.

opkg update
opkg install luci-ssl
/etc/init.d/uhttpd restart

Reload LuCI interface and verify that you are using HTTPS.

LuCI uses English by default. You can search and install additional packages for native language support.

opkg update
opkg list luci-i18n-\*
opkg install luci-i18n-hungarian

You can also install multiple language packs and switch between them in the LuCI settings.

LuCI is being actively translated into many languages by volunteers.

Search and install luci-app-* packages if you want to configure services via LuCI.

opkg update
opkg list luci-app-\*

Use alternative ports:

  • HTTP - 8080/TCP
  • HTTPS - 8443/TCP
uci -q delete uhttpd.main.listen_http
uci add_list uhttpd.main.listen_http=""
uci add_list uhttpd.main.listen_http="[::]:8080"
uci -q delete uhttpd.main.listen_https
uci add_list uhttpd.main.listen_https=""
uci add_list uhttpd.main.listen_https="[::]:8443"
uci commit uhttpd
/etc/init.d/uhttpd restart

LuCI is installed as a 'meta package' which installs several other packages by having these defined as a dependency. Notably, it installs the uHTTPd web server, configured for use with LuCI.

In case you want to use uHTTPd, there is little configuration necessary as uHTTPd is configured with CGI to make LuCI work with the Lua interpreter. By default this is organised as follows. By default /www is the standard document root. Thus, by requesting this docroot (by pointing your browser to the devices IP address) an index file such as index.html is searched for (per uHTTPd settings). The file /www/index.html (installed with LuCI) is prepared such that when requested, it redirects you to /cgi-bin/luci, which is the default CGI gateway for LuCI. This is just a script, which basically calls Lua at /usr/bin/lua. uhttpd is configured by default to load pages as CGI in the /cgi-bin path, and thus starts serving these pages with the /cgi-bin/luci script.

It is also possible to run LuCI with Lua as an embedded process. uhttpd supports this; see the corresponding section of the uHTTPd Web Server Configuration article on the UCI configuration of uhttpd.

LuCI by default comes with the bootstrap theme. There are additional themes available and you can create your own if you wish - luci.themes

LuCI on lighttpd

LuCI on nginx

For routers without significant space constraints running on snapshots/master or v19 or later, it is possible to install using nginx. LuCI on nginx is currently supported by using uwsgi as plain-cgi interpreter. You need to install one of this 2 variants of the LuCI meta-package:

  • luci-nginx - Autoinstall nginx, uwsgi-cgi and the default config file to make luci work on nginx.
  • luci-ssl-nginx - Autoinstall nginx-ssl, uwsgi-cgi and the default config file to make luci wok on nginx.

It does also create a self-signed certificate for nginx and redirect http traffic to https by default. Note that even when using nginx, exposing the LuCI interface to the Internet or guest networks is not recommended.

Currently LuCI on nginx is fully supported (maybe only in master snapshots for now, as of 16-Feb-2019). If any problem is found, report them to the support forum.

LuCI on BusyBox httpd

If you have a very limited space then you can compile OpenWRT image with BusyBox httpd instead of uhttpd. LUCI works fine but you'll need some manual configuration. Also this setup is not widely used and tested. If any problem is found, report them to the support forum.

Download the following packages from the package repository using your platform and release version:



Transfer the downloaded packages to your router onto the RAM disk and install them.

# Upload packages to the router
ssh root@openwrt.lan mkdir -p /tmp/luci-offline
scp *.ipk root@openwrt.lan:/tmp/luci-offline
# Install packages
ssh root@openwrt.lan opkg install /tmp/luci-offline/*.ipk
# Clean up
ssh root@openwrt.lan rm -f -R /tmp/luci-offline

Or use this script bellow. Note, the script assumes you have internet access through the router where you are installing LuCI. If you do not, then you will need to either manually download required .ipk packages, or run the script in two parts. First part till the last done statement to be executed when connected to the internet:

cat << "EOF" >
# Exit on error
set -e
# Configuration parameters
OWRT_PKGS="libiwinfo20210430 libiwinfo-lua liblua5.1.5 \
liblucihttp0 liblucihttp-lua libubus20220601 libubus-lua \
libuci-lua lua luci-base luci-lib-ip luci-lib-jsonc \
luci-lib-nixio luci-mod-admin-full luci-mod-network \
luci-mod-status luci-mod-system luci-theme-bootstrap \
rpcd uhttpd"
# Fetch OpenWrt release
eval $(ssh "${OWRT_USER}@${OWRT_HOST}" cat /etc/os-release)
# Fetch LuCI packages
case "${VERSION_ID}" in
(snapshot) REPO_DIR="downloads/snapshots" ;;
(*) REPO_DIR="downloads/releases/${VERSION_ID}" ;;
do mkdir -p "${REPO_LOCAL#*//}${REPO_DIR#*/}"
rsync -n --bwlimit="8M" --del -r -t -v \
--include="*/" --include-from="-" --exclude="*" \
"${REPO_URL/https/rsync}${REPO_DIR}/" \
"${REPO_LOCAL#*//}${REPO_DIR#*/}/" << EOI
$(echo "${OWRT_PKGS// /$'\n'}" \
| sed -e "s|^|/**/|;s|$|_*.ipk|")
# Upload packages to OpenWrt
ssh "${OWRT_USER}@${OWRT_HOST}" "mkdir -p ${OWRT_TEMP}"
find "${OWRT_TEMP}" -name "*.ipk" -exec scp "{}" "${OWRT_USER}@${OWRT_HOST}:${OWRT_TEMP}" ";"
ssh "${OWRT_USER}@${OWRT_HOST}" "opkg install ${OWRT_TEMP}/*.ipk"
ssh "${OWRT_USER}@${OWRT_HOST}" "rm -f -R ${OWRT_TEMP}"
rm -f -R "${OWRT_TEMP}"
chmod +x

See also: Local repository

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  • Last modified: 2023/04/03 08:32
  • by vgaetera