OpenWRT: Install and start the OpenWRT

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OpenWRT: Install and start the OpenWRT

December 3, 2015 | Article | 2 Comments

This is first point and must see article before we advance to other articles.

Why are we building machine with OpenWRT inside? There are plenty reason, but most of them are:

  1. It’s interesting! As hardware hacker, creating a new machine with all you’ve got will gives you extra excitement.
  2. Cheap! A $20 machine equivalent to $70 machine. Why not?
  3. Small box! Imagine you have small linux box capable for doing (almost) anything

In this article we will discuss about installation of OpenWRT into wireless router. The devices I used for this article (and later if I have not describe it explicitly) would be:

  1. Linux Box. Any linux PC or notebook with Linux installed (although you can do it with Windows box)
  2. 3G Wireless Router – TP-Link MR3020. We will install OpenWRT on this box. I bought this device for Rp 190.000 or about $20.
  3. Optionally you need internet connection for downloading the image.

Before we start, I warn you for last time:

Any change we made to our device would void the warranty. I won’t take any responsibility for any damage you may cause. It’s your own risk!!

I have warn you. So if you still want to follow me, let’s start hacking.

To install an OpenWRT, of course we need image. In general what we want to accomplish is to flash the firmware and replace it with OpenWRT. Before we start, see the table of supported device for your device. Please make sure the device is supported by OpenWRT. You can visit this link (

Read the information and download the correct firmware. In our case we use this image

OpenWRT is a linux-based firmware and the one we download is version 12.09-rc1 which compatible with our device (TP-Link MR3020). Again, search the correct file if you have different device.
Please note: while upgrading / flashing firmware the device must supplied by stable electricity. If in the process the power is out, you may say goodbye to your device.

Then, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the device with laptop. Use ethernet cable and connect one end of cable to device and another one to our laptop. The ethernet cable should be included int the package. If not, any cross cable should be enough.
  2. Open administrator page. For TP-Link MR3020 device, you can point to It may differ if you have change it before.
  3. Login to admin user. The device will prompt you and ask for username and password. Fill it with username: admin and password: admin. It also may differ if you have changed it before
  4. Locate the upgrade firmware menu. This is platform dependent so it may differ for your device. For TP-Link MR3020 device, go to System Tools -> Firmware.
  5. Choose the image file. In this case we choose our downloaded file.
  6. Upgrade. Choose upgrade or any button with similiar mean.

If you follow those steps above, then you should have OpenWRT router now. The address of the router now would be Now change your IP address to and try to telnet the device. If you success, you might have similar to this.

Cheers! You have installed the OpenWRT. Take look for next article for configuring OpenWRT.


About Author

about author


A man who is obsessed to low level technology.

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