OpenWrt Forum Archive

Topic: [Howto] Install OpenWrt on a WRT54G V5.0

The content of this topic has been archived on 7 May 2018. There are no obvious gaps in this topic, but there may still be some posts missing at the end.

Here is how I managed to install OpenWrt on a WRT54G V5.0 (with 2MB flash and 8MB RAM).

Some might argue that what is the purpose and the things that you can do are limited. But if you have such device and you want to do something more than the stock firmware can do here is the way.

I used the following procedure which is meant for DD-WRT: … RT54G5_CFE

and this forum post as guides

I will quote the steps from the above procedures with my adaptations:

(However please read the above procedure completely to understand the whole process before you start following the steps given below).

1. You need to have the OpenWRT micro image to start with. Two ways to get it.
        a. Directly download from … uashfs.trx
        b. Go to and setup your build environment and build the image yourself. The advantage of this is that once you have flashed the initial image successfully, you can start experimenting by adding additional packages to the image itself and reflashing.

Make sure that you use the image with .trx extension in the steps given below.

2. Download and extract.

3. Download and extract, OR create a custom firmware image with your MAC address embedded in it.

See the 'Changing your MAC address' section at … RT54G5_CFE.

4. If you don't know how to use (or don't have) a console mode TFTP tool (i.e. tftp.exe), download the Linksys TFTP transfer tool from

5. You will want to assign your network adaptor a manual IP address, since you may loose your automatically configured one and have trouble TFTP'ing the firmware. To do this see the troubleshooting section or google it. It's done at the properties dialog of your network connection, in the 'Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)' properties.

6. Go to your router's web based interface and enter the 'Administration' tab. Then select 'Firmware Upgrade' and choose the vxworks_prep_v03.bin file. Hit apply. After a minute, your browser window will go blank. At this point, power cycle your router.

7. Again point your web browser to You'll see a different sort of firmware upgrade screen. This is the Management Mode. Select and apply the vxworks_killer_g_v06.bin firmware upgrade. WAIT for your browser window to turn to report 'Success'. Have troubles? Try a different web browser, the http daemon in management mode is very finicky.

8. Now unplug the power cord of your router, then plug it back in. The power LED should now be blinking.

9. Now you need to do a binary mode TFTP transfer of OpenWRT micro (openwrt-brcm-2.4-squashfs.trx) to your router. To do this you can use the Windows TFTP console mode utility, the Linksys TFTP Windows GUI utility, or some other TFTP client. You may have to disable your firewall if by some chance it is blocking outgoing connections on port 69. Many TFTP clients don't default to binary mode, so be sure to specify it (i.e. the -i switch with the Windows console mode TFTP utility).
                o For Windows TFTP console mode utility (example, adjust accordingly):
                      + tftp -i put openwrt-brcm-2.4-squashfs.trx
                o For the GUI utility
                      + simply enter your router's IP (, select openwrt-brcm-2.4-squashfs.trx, leave the password field blank, and initiate the transfer.

Do NOT reboot your router after TFTP'ing, this will happen automatically. It takes a couple minutes after the TFTP transfer finishes for the firmware to actually be flashed.

Skip to 'finalizing' or 'troubleshooting' sections from … RT54G5_CFE depending on the outcome.

I am hoping to experiment more on things that you can do with this box and will post here my findings.

The WRT54G (and WRT54GS) v5 and later are not supported.  To run OpenWrt on these devices you need to overwrite the stock bootloader (which is what the vxworks_killer file does.) You are on your own when it comes to these devices.

1. In the Table of Hardware Wiki page it is clearly stated that the WRT54G and WRT54GS >= v5 are NOT supported (with overwriting the stock VxWorks bootloader there is a very high risk to brick your router. and generelly, only routers with >= 4MB flash and 16MB RAM are supported by OpenWrt).
2. Please do NOT link to DD-WRT tutorials from here

Please accept the point that OpenWrt is not interested in supporting these devices anymore. Thanks.

(This thread should be removed)

(Last edited by forum2006 on 29 Sep 2007, 11:17)


I thought that this a public forum.

I did not post something irrelevant. Seems that you do not like DD-WRT. But that does not mean that there are people who do not like to have OpenWrt in a box with less than 4MB ROM.

And the links are not from DD-WRT web site.

I am quoting directly from that tutorial:

How to flash linux on to your router

The firmware options

At present there aren't many firmware options for these micro devices, but this is changing.

DD-WRT micro

DD-WRT is currently the only viable option for most users of micro devices.

OpenWrt micro - X-Wrt

Work is on-going to create a good micro build of OpenWrt which utilizes the new webif^2 http management console (a new generation of the original OpenWrt webif with vastly extended capabilities). This will be available soon. To encourage its development, donate.

So please do not jump up just because you saw the words DD-WRT.

This is not about OpenWrt vs DD-WRT.

This is about helping people who really like to have OpenWrt in their boxes even though there is no direct support.

And if ROMs less than 4MB are not supported, then may I ask why there is a OpenWrt micro image available for download?

The discussion might have continued from here.