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open wrt,
OpenWrt is an embedded operating system based on Linux, primarily used on embedded devices to route network traffic The main components are Linux, util-linux, uClibc or musl,5 and BusyBox All components have been optimized for size, to be small enough for fitting into the limited storage and memory available in home routers

OpenWrt is configured using a command-line interface ash shell, or a web interface LuCI There are about 3500 optional software packages available for installation via the opkg package management system

OpenWrt can run on various types of devices, including CPE routers, residential gateways, smartphones, pocket computers eg Ben NanoNote, and laptops It is also possible to run OpenWrt on personal computers, which are most commonly based on the x86 architecture


  • 1 History
    • 11 Releases
    • 12 Hardware incompatibilities
  • 2 Features
    • 21 Web interface
  • 3 Development
  • 4 Hardware compatibility
  • 5 Adoption
    • 51 Derivatives
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links


The project came into being because Linksys built the firmware for their WRT54G series of wireless routers from publicly available code licensed under the GPL6 Under the terms of that license, Linksys was required to make the source code of its modified version available under the same license,78 which in turn enabled independent developers to create additional derivative versions Support was originally limited to the WRT54G series, but has since been expanded to include many other chipsets, manufacturers and device types, including Plug Computers and Openmoko mobile phones

Using this code as a base and later as a reference, developers created a Linux distribution that offers many features not previously found in consumer-level routers Some features formerly required proprietary software Before the introduction of OpenWrt 809, using Linux 2625 and the b43 kernel module, WLAN for many Broadcom-based routers was only available through the proprietary wlo module that was also provided for Linux 24x only

The code names of OpenWrt branches are named after alcoholic beverages, usually including their recipes in the MOTD as well, cf White Russian, Kamikaze, Backfire, Attitude Adjustment, Barrier Breaker


Tagged Code Name Version Release date Linux kernel C standard library Binary packages Source packages Notes
default available
N/A Old version, no longer supported: pre Buildroot-NG 0x N/A N/A uClibc 474 ≈ 310
r6268 Old version, no longer supported: White Russian 09 January 2006 2430 ≈ 360 ≈ 140 NVRAM-based, nas, wl Supported platform: brcm-24
r7428 Old version, no longer supported: Kamikaze 706 June 2007 2619 ≈ 750 ≈ 450 Using opkg Supported platforms: atheros-26, au1000-26, brcm-24, brcm47xx-26, ixp4xx-26, imagicbox-26, rb532-26 and x86-26
r7832 Old version, no longer supported: Kamikaze 707 July 2007 2621 ≈ 790 ≈ 475 New platform: amcc-26
r8679 Old version, no longer supported: Kamikaze 709 September 2007 ≈ 630 ≈ 500
r14547 Old version, no longer supported: Kamikaze 809 September 2008 2626 ≈ 1,400 ≈ 875 New platform: ar71xx
r16279 Old version, no longer supported: Kamikaze 8091 June 2009 ≈ 1,400 ≈ 875
r18961 Old version, no longer supported: Kamikaze 8092 January 10, 20109 ≈ 1,400 ≈ 875
r20742 Old version, no longer supported: Backfire 1003 April 7, 201010 2632 ≈ 2,350 ≈ 1,050 Supported platforms: adm5120_mips, adm5120_mipsel, ar7, ar71xx, atheros, au1000, avr32, brcm-24, brcm47xx, brcm63xx, cobalt, ep80579, ifxmips, ixp4xx, kirkwood, octeon, orion, ppc40x, ppc44x, rb532, rdc, x86 and xburst
r29594 Old version, no longer supported: Backfire 10031 December 21, 201111 eglibc
≈ 2,950 ≈ 1,175
r36088 Old version, no longer supported: Attitude Adjustment 1209 April 25, 201312 33 eglibc ≈ 3,450 ≈ 1,150 CoDel network scheduler backported from Linux 35 to 33 New platforms: ramips, bcm2708 Raspberry Pi and others
r42625 Old version, no longer supported: Barrier Breaker 1407 October 2, 201413 3104914 musl
New platforms: iMX23, iMX615 and mvebu
r46767 Old version, no longer supported: Chaos Calmer 1505 September 11, 201516 3182017 musl
nftables available since Linux kernel 312; New platforms: TBA if any
Current stable version: Chaos Calmer 15051 March 16, 201619 3182320
trunk Future release: Designated Driver21 development N/A ≥41 musl22 uClibc
Legend: Old version Older version, still supported Latest version Latest preview version Future release

Hardware incompatibilitiesedit

With the Attitude Adjustment 1209 release of OpenWrt, all hardware devices with 16 MB or less RAM are no longer supported as they can run out of memory easily Older Backfire 1003 is recommended instead for bcm47xx devices, as issues for those devices came from dropping support for the legacy Broadcom target brcm-242324


OpenWrt follows the bazaar-philosophy and is known for an abundance of options Features include:

  • A writable root file system, enabling users to add, remove or modify any file This is accomplished by using overlayfs25 to overlay26 a read-only compressed SquashFS file system with a writable JFFS2 file system in a copy-on-write fashion JFFS2 supports flash wear leveling
  • The package manager opkg, similar to dpkg, enables users to install and remove software The package repository contains about 3500 packages This contrasts with Linux-based firmwares based on read-only file systems without the possibility to modify the installed software without rebuilding and flashing a complete firmware image
  • A set of scripts called UCI unified configuration interface intended to unify and simplify the configuration of the entire system27
  • Extensible configuration of the entire hardware drivers, eg built-in network switches and their VLAN-capabilities, WNICs, DSL modems, FX, available hardware buttons, etc
  • Exhaustive possibilities to configure network-related features, like:
    • IPv4 support
    • IPv6 native stack:
      • Prefix Handling,
      • Native IPv6 configuration SLAAC, stateless DHCPv6, stateful DHCPv6, DHCPv6-PD,
      • IPv6 transitioning technologies 6rd, 6to4, 6in4, ds-lite, lw4o6, map-e,
      • Downstream IPv6 configuration Router Advertisement, DHCPv6 stateless and stateful and DHCPv6-PD
    • Routing through iproute2, Quagga, BIRD, Babel etc
    • Mesh networking through BATMAN, OLSR and IEEE 80211s-capabilities of the WNIC drivers
    • Wireless functionality, eg make the device act as a wireless repeater, a wireless access point, a wireless bridge, a captive portal, or a combination of these with eg ChilliSpot, WiFiDog Captive Portal, etc
    • Wireless security: Packet injection, eg Airpwn, lorcon, ea
    • Stateful firewall, NAT and port forwarding through netfilter; additionally PeerGuardian is available
    • Dynamically-configured port forwarding protocols UPnP and NAT-PMP through upnpd, etc
    • Port knocking via knockd and knock
    • TR-069 CWMP client28
    • IPS via Snort software
    • Active queue management AQM through the network scheduler of the Linux kernel, with many available queuing disciplines CoDel has been backported to Kernel 3329 This encapsulates Traffic shaping to ensure fair distribution of bandwidth among multiple users and Quality of Service QoS for simultaneous use of applications such as VoIP, online gaming, and streaming media without experiencing the negative impacts of link saturation
    • Load balancing for use with multiple ISPs using source-specific routing
    • IP tunneling GRE, OpenVPN, pseudowire, etc
    • Extensible realtime network monitoring and statistics through eg RRDtool, Collectd, Nagios, Munin lite, Zabbix, etc
    • Domain Name System DNS and DHCP through Dnsmasq, MaraDNS, etc
    • Dynamic DNS services to maintain a fixed domain name with an ISP that does not provide a static IP address
    • Wireless distribution system WDS including WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK Mixed-Mode encryption modes
  • OpenWrt supports any hardware that has Linux support; devices that can be connected eg over USB to an embedded device include
    • Printers
    • Mobile broadband modems
    • Webcams
    • Sound cards
  • Notable software packages to use the hardware support are:
    • File sharing via SAMBA, Windows-compatible, NFS and FTP, printer sharing over the print server CUPS spooling or p910nd non-spooling
    • PulseAudio, Music Player Daemon, Audio/Video streaming via DLNA/UPnP AV standards, iTunes DAAP server
    • Asterisk PBX
    • MQ Telemetry Transport through Mosquitto
  • An extensive Ajax-enabled web interface, thanks to the LuCI project30
  • Regular bug fixes and updates, even for devices no longer supported by their manufacturers

Web interfaceedit

Before release 809, OpenWrt had a minimal web interface In OpenWrt releases 809 and newer, a more capable web interface is included31 This interface is based on LuCI, an MVC framework written in the Lua programming language30

The X-Wrt project provides an alternative web interface, named webif² in the package repositories, for the current and previous versions of OpenWrt

The Gargoyle Router Management Utility is a web interface for OpenWrt with a strong emphasis on usability It was originally available as a set of packages for OpenWrt As the author of Gargoyle started to make modifications to the base system layout of OpenWrt, the package system was dropped and only complete firmware images are nowwhen available for download Gargoyle makes extensive use of JavaScript to offload as much work as possible to the client computer, and is focused on ease of use, striving to reach a level comparable to the appliance feeling of commercial router firmware



OpenWrt's development environment and build system, known together as OpenWrt Buildroot, are based on a heavily modified Buildroot system OpenWrt Buildroot is a set of Makefiles and patches that automates the process of building a complete Linux-based OpenWrt system for an embedded device, by building and using an appropriate cross-compilation toolchain3233

Embedded devices usually use a different processor than the one found in host computers used for building their OpenWrt system images, requiring a cross-compilation toolchain Such a compilation toolchain runs on a host system, but generates code for a targeted embedded device and its processor's instruction set architecture ISA For example, if a host system uses x86 and a target system uses MIPS32, the regular compilation toolchain of the host runs on x86 and generates code for x86 architecture, while the cross-compilation toolchain runs on x86 and generates code for the MIPS32 architecture OpenWrt Buildroot automates this whole process to work on the instruction set architectures of most embedded devices and host systems3234

OpenWrt Buildroot provides the following features:3234

  • Makes it easy to port software across architectures
  • Uses kconfig Linux kernel menuconfig for the configuration of all options
  • Provides an integrated cross-compiler toolchain gcc, ld, uClibc etc
  • Provides an abstraction for autotools automake, autoconf, cmake and SCons
  • Handles standard OpenWrt image build workflow: downloading, patching, configuration, compilation and packaging
  • Provides a number of common fixes for known badly behaving packages

Besides building system images, OpenWrt development environment also provides a mechanism for simplified cross-platform building of OpenWrt software packages Source code for each software package is required to provide a Makefile-like set of building instructions, and an optional set of patches for bug fixes or footprint optimizations35

Hardware compatibilityedit

OpenWrt runs many different routers, and includes a table of compatible hardware on its website36 In its buyer's guide, it recommends Qualcomm Atheros chips over Broadcom chips37


OpenWrt, especially its Buildroot build system, has been adopted many times:

  • Freifunk and other mesh network communities
  • Bufferbloatnet Cerowrt
  • IETF IPv6 integration projects HIPnet and HomeNet are OpenWrt-based


See also: List of router firmware projects
  • LEDE is founded as a spin-off of the OpenWrt project and shares many of the same goals
  • CeroWrt – with a purpose to complement the debloat-testing kernel tree and provide a platform for real-world testing of bufferbloat fixes3839
  • Coova chilli – OpenWrt-based with focus on wireless hotspots, a fork of chillifire with focus on wireless hotspot management
  • Gargoyle – a web interface for OpenWrt with a strong emphasis on usability that later forked into a separate distribution
  • Flukso – Wireless sensor nodes using an Atheros AR2317 chipset running a patched OpenWrt OS for communication Sources and hardware schematics available on GitHub
  • Fon – OpenWrt-based wireless routers acting as hotspots Sources and toolchain available on fonosferaorg
  • Linino – OpenWrt-based distribution for the MIPS-based Arduino Yùn: GitHub Project
  • Midge Linux – an OpenWrt-based distribution for devices based on Infineon Technologies ADM-5120 SoCs, such as Edimax BR-6104K and BR-6104KP
  • OpenSAN – iSCSI target Storage Area Network realization
  • PacketProtector – OpenWrt-based security distribution that includes IDS, IPS, VPN, and web antivirus capabilities Packages included Snort, Snort-inline, FreeRADIUS, OpenVPN, DansGuardian and ClamAV These tools were accessible via the old web GUI management interface of OpenWrt, called X-Wrt or webif^2 Project ended on June 7, 201240
  • The Turris Omnia router runs on an OpenWrt derivative
  • Diverse grassroots projects for wireless community networks, including Freifunk, Libre-Mesh and qMp
  • libreCMC – OpenWrt-based distribution without non-free software or binary blobs, endorsed by the Free Software Foundation41


  1. ^ "Chaos Calmer 15051" 16 March 2016 Retrieved 21 March 2016 
  2. ^ "Chaos Calmer 1505-rc3" OpenWrt Forum 13 June 2015 Retrieved 13 June 2015 
  3. ^ "LuCI Translation Portal" 2004-09-01 Retrieved 2010-12-31 
  4. ^ "Configin in trunk/target – OpenWrt" DevOpenWrtorg 2013-11-22 Retrieved 2014-02-13 
  5. ^ Fietkau, Felix 16 June 2015 "OpenWrt switches to musl by default" Retrieved 16 June 2015 
  6. ^ Linksys WRT54G and the GPL on lkml 7 Jun 2003
  7. ^ The Open Source WRT54G Story By Aaron Weiss November 08, 2005
  8. ^ Linksys Releases GPLed Code for WRT54G on slashdot July 2003
  9. ^ "Release Notes Kamikaze 8092" openwrtorg 2010-01-10 Retrieved 2013-04-26 
  10. ^ "Release Notes Backfire 1003" openwrtorg 2010-04-07 Retrieved 2013-04-26 
  11. ^ "Release Notes Backfire 10031" openwrtorg 2011-12-21 Retrieved 2013-04-26 
  12. ^ "Release Notes Attitude Adjustment 1209" openwrtorg 2013-04-25 Retrieved 2013-04-26 
  13. ^ "OpenWrt BarrierBreaker 1407" openwrtorg October 2014 
  14. ^ "kernel: update to 31049 – OpenWrt" devopenwrtorg 2014-07-20 
  15. ^ Freescale iMX support
  16. ^ "OpenWrt Chaos Calmer 1505" openwrtorg September 2015 
  17. ^ "OpenWrt-Devel Chaos Calmer 1505-rc3" 2015-07-16 
  18. ^ "OpenWrt-Devel PATCH 1/2 toolchain: The glorious return of glibc, ver 221" 2015-03-11 
  19. ^ "Chaos Calmer 15051" 16 March 2016 Retrieved 21 March 2016 
  20. ^ "Chaos Calmer 15051" 16 March 2016 Retrieved 21 March 2016 
  21. ^ "Changeset 46846: change banner to Designated Driver release" 2015-09-11 
  22. ^ "OpenWrt-Devel OpenWrt switches to musl by default" 2015-06-16 
  23. ^ "Release Notes for Attitude Adjustment 1209 final" openwrtorg 2013-04-25 Retrieved 2013-09-26 
  24. ^ "OpenWrt: Table of Hardware" openwrtorg Retrieved 2013-09-26 
  25. ^ "Debating overlayfs" June 15, 2011 
  26. ^ "OpenWrt partition layout" 
  27. ^ "OpenWrt Unified Configuration Interface" 
  28. ^ freecwmp is a CWMP client for OpenWrt
  29. ^ "Changeset 31756 – OpenWrt" DevOpenWrtorg 2012-05-16 Retrieved 2014-02-13 
  30. ^ a b "LuCI project" Retrieved February 28, 2009 
  31. ^ "OpenWrt 809 release notes" Retrieved February 23, 2009 
  32. ^ a b c "OpenWrt Buildroot – About" openwrtorg Retrieved 2013-10-21 
  33. ^ "OpenWrt Buildroot - Usage and documentation" openwrtorg 2006-01-08 Retrieved 2013-10-21 
  34. ^ a b Tao Jin 2012-02-13 "OpenWrt Development Guide" PDF Wireless Networks Lab, CCIS, NEU Retrieved 2013-10-21 
  35. ^ "Creating packages" openwrtorg Retrieved 2013-10-21 
  36. ^ "Table of Hardware OpenWrt Wiki" wikiopenwrtorg Retrieved 2016-10-06 
  37. ^ "Buyers' Guide OpenWrt Wiki" wikiopenwrtorg Retrieved 2016-10-06 
  38. ^ "CeroWrt Wiki" Retrieved 2015-09-16 
  39. ^ "ANNOUNCE: debloat-testing kernel git tree" LWNnet Retrieved 2014-02-13 
  40. ^ ""closing time" message from author on PacketProtector forum" 
  41. ^ "Free Software Foundation adds libreCMC to its list of endorsed distributions" FSForg 2014-09-04 Retrieved 2014-12-21 

External linksedit

  • Linux portal
  • Official website
  • LuCI project
  • GPL Code Center at Cisco formerly Linksys Home Products

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