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things I break/fix for fun and learning

Jun 23, 2018 - 2 minute read - Comments

Testing Upcoming Firmware OpenWRT 18.06

I am browsing the OpenWRT forums and the upcoming firmware will be 18.06. Notable improvements are kernel 4.9.x as opposed to kernel 4.4x which the current firmware 17.01.04 is running on. I am sure there are more improvements under the hood, as this is the first release after OpenWRT and LEDE merger! Just gotta wait for the official changelog / README, but being thirsty for bleeding edge stuff, I decided to flash the snapshot version. I also feel confident that nothing will go wrong or it won’t brick my device. Snapshot builds means it is almost ready for production, just ironing out some bugs but non-show stoppers. If in case it does brick, I am still safe as my router is unbrickable. I have flashed a modified uboot that will easily recover it from bad flash / bricks! This is what I like about the open source community, the products keep getting better due to the contribution of the community. The official vendor TPLINK though, does not provide this things in their official firmware. And TPLINK also stopped making firmware updates for this particular model years ago.

So I downloaded the snapshot version yesterday June22 from this link - http://downloads.openwrt.org/releases/18.06-SNAPSHOT/targets/ar71xx/generic/ and flashed it without issues. Upon checking today though, RC-1 is now available, which is much better! RC-1 means Release Candidate 1, almost all bugs present in the snapshot builds are squased and this is almost ready for production and public consumption. Most probably just fixing minor bugs and checking if new bugs creeped in. Maybe RC-2 in the next few days and then we will get the stable 18.06 release, and from then on 18.06.01, 18.06.02 and so on for minor updates / security fixes.

Since RC-1 is now available, I am going to download it and flash on my WDR3600. Dowload link for my WDR3600 -

https://downloads.lede-project.org/releases/18.06.0-rc1/targets/ar71xx/generic/openwrt-18.06.0-rc1-ar71xx-generic-tl-wdr3600-v1-squashfs-factory.bin

Once downloaded, access the WDR3600 GUI and flash from there. Here is my WDR3600 before flashing the RC-1 firmware. Note that on Firmware Version it states SNAPSHOT.

Ready to flash!

Flashing in progress! Do not remove power or else it will soft brick, but since I have flashed a modified uboot, this router is unbrickable!

Flash successful! Router is now running 18.06 RC1.

And there you have it! Just gonna wait for RC2 or hopefully a stable release before the end of June. Enjoy!

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Gigabit Upgrade for my Homelab OpenWRT 18.06 for WDR3500

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