OpenWrt Forum Archive

Topic: [New Users] If you're new or a first time poster, please read

The content of this topic has been archived on 26 Apr 2018. There are no obvious gaps in this topic, but there may still be some posts missing at the end.

Introduction:

Many questions that new users ask on these forums have been answered (many times) before, or are already answered better and more simply in The Fine Manual.

OpenWRT has what is likely the most comprehensive usage and technical documentation for open router firmware, and for a great deal of routers as well.  So please make use of the available resources before asking on these boards.  Both you and the OpenWRT project will benefit! big_smile

Getting started:

- Main Website

- MANDATORY: OpenWRT wiki -- With links to supported devices, the Beginner's Guide, HOWTOs and FAQs, etc.

- Downloads -- After you've Read The Fine Manual

Other important links, before you flash your firmware, or before you ask a question when you run into trouble:

- Documentation portal -- Please look here for information or answers before asking questions.  There are links to Installation Guides, Configuration Guides, HOWTOs and Recipes, etc.  Very useful and rich!

- Forum Search function -- Please do a cursory search before starting a new thread or asking a question in an existing thread

- Advanced Search -- Advanced help for finding detailed information in existing forum threads

Asking a question (so that someone takes time to reply):

- Efficient, helpful way to ask a question:

"Could someone help me, please?  I'm having a problem with                                    .  The bad thing I'm seeing is                                    .  Has anyone seen this problem before?  I searched the forums but didn't find anything related to this.  Thank you."

- Inefficient, unhelpful way to ask a question:

"There's a problem with OpenWRT because I can't get it to work.  One of you experts, fix this for me.  What, can't any of you geniuses here figure out what's wrong???"

If you don't receive an answer right away:

- Please be patient!  There are many regular forum readers who have the knowledge and experience to help you.  However, not all of them check the boards every day.  Even regulars might only catch up on posts a couple of times a week.  To quote user tapper, "I know it can be a bit scary when your router will not boot or do what you want it to do but posting over and over will not get you an answer any faster."

So, if you don't get any replies or offers of help, please wait a few days.  Your patience will often be rewarded.  In the mean time, keep searching, via Google or the forums, and refining your search.  You may find the answer yourself if you dig a little deeper smile

After you get an answer or solve your problem:

1.) Please come back to the thread where you asked questions and post the answer or solution that worked for you.  This will help future users search for and find information.

2.) If you started the thread, please edit the "Topic subject" so it starts with "[Solved]".

In summary:

Even though you're a newbie, please don't be afraid to ask questions in the Forums.  They are, in general, a very friendly place!  However, please do try to do some homework first using the above resources.

We hope you enjoy and benefit from OpenWRT as much as the old hands do smile

(Last edited by cmsigler on 5 Mar 2016, 15:51)

Nice!

N.B. a number, probably a large number, of OpenWrt adopters are not native English speakers. Eschewing contractions and idiomatic constructions, e.g.,

  • more simply

  • what is likely

  • run into trouble

will improve the output from online translators.

However, please do try to do some homework first using the above resources.

This gentle prodding needs revisiting to amplify it's importance (it also needs a comma after 'first').

Thanks for the effort.

Awww, but then it would reduce the number of hilarious replies from Max Hopper to some questions!

Anyways, would be great to have this thread pinned.

PS. Maybe we should ask people to make sure to come back and post the solutions to the problems they've overcome?

One more thing, if you don't get a answer straight away just be patient as people on the forums don't log on every day. I know it can be a bit scary wen your router will not boot or do what you want it to do but posting over and over will not get you an answer any faster.

@stangri, @tapper:

Thank you for your input!  Very valuable big_smile

Will update my OP now.

Clemmitt

@cmsigler - Thanks for starting this topic. I second the motion for pinning it to the top. A couple more comments:

1) I would re-order your "Before you post - Getting Started" links like this:

  - Find your router on the Table of Hardware/Supported Devices page (https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/start)
  - Go to its "Device Page" (there's a link in the Device Page column). Read everything there - it contains information from others who have had success with that model
  - Search the forums for your router model, or for the text of the message you're seeing
  - Search Google for "OpenWrt" plus the text of the error message you're seeing

2) I would *not* point anyone to the OpenWrt home page (https://openwrt.org/) - the information presented there is not well formatted, and very outdated.

Thanks again for your efforts!

@cmsigler - Your original post seems to combine "First Post" tasks from the "Getting Started with OpenWrt". I wonder if you want to separate them into two (pinned) topics. If you did, the "Getting Started with OpenWrt" might have some of the same steps:

Getting Started with OpenWrt:

  - Find your router on the Table of Hardware/Supported Devices page (https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/start)
  - Go to its "Device Page" (there's a link in the Device Page column). Read everything there - it contains information from others who have had success with that model
  - Also read the Beginner's Guide https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/user.beginner for an overview of how to work with/install OpenWrt
  - Then download the firmware. Most Device Pages have links to the proper (working) firmware, along with instructions for installing it.

Also: Last summer, there was an effort to revise the top pages of the Wiki. Here's where we left things: https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/playground This is a draft of what could become the top-level wiki page, or even the main OpenWrt home page. We would encourage anyone to make tweaks, especially in the Newcomer's Guide, and making both pages' recommendations match "best practices" for new people coming to OpenWrt.

Hi Rich,

richbhanover wrote:

@cmsigler - Your original post seems to combine "First Post" tasks from the "Getting Started with OpenWrt". I wonder if you want to separate them into two (pinned) topics.

That sounds like a wise idea.  I will work on this ASAP in available time.

richbhanover wrote:

Also: Last summer, there was an effort to revise the top pages of the Wiki. Here's where we left things: https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/playground This is a draft of what could become the top-level wiki page, or even the main OpenWrt home page. We would encourage anyone to make tweaks, especially in the Newcomer's Guide, and making both pages' recommendations match "best practices" for new people coming to OpenWrt.

Newcomer's Guide -- that's excellent smile  I'll also take a look at this.  Assuming my input is helpful, I would enjoy contributing.

Hoping others will contribute as well because there are good ideas out there that will help new users with problems.  To me, it's the least we can all do to help a project that benefits us smile

Clemmitt

OK, I won't start a new thread but instead use this one to get input on and refine "new user" and "first time forum user" posts.  Draft posts follow.

I would appreciate further help and corrections.  TIA.

Clemmitt

(Last edited by cmsigler on 8 Mar 2016, 02:46)

-- [New Users] If you're a first time poster, please read --

For new users and first time posters to the OpenWRT boards:

Introduction:

Many questions that users ask on these forums have been answered (many times) before, or are already answered better and more simply in The Fine Manual.

OpenWRT has what is likely the most comprehensive usage and technical documentation for open router firmware, and for a large number of routers as well. So please make use of the available resources before asking on these boards. Both you and the OpenWRT project will benefit! big_smile

Important links, before you ask a question if you run into trouble or see something that looks "wrong":

- Documentation portal -- Please look here for information or answers before asking questions. There are links to installation guides, configuration guides, HOWTOs and recipes, etc. Very useful and rich!

- The OpenWRT wiki -- Primary documentation resource for the OpenWRT project

- Forum Search function -- Please do a cursory search before starting a new thread or asking a question in an existing thread.

- Advanced Search -- Advanced help for finding detailed information in existing forum threads

Asking a question (so that someone takes time to help you):

- Efficient, helpful way to ask a question:

"Could someone help me, please? I'm having a problem with                               .
The bad thing I'm seeing is                               . Has anyone seen this problem before? I searched the forums but didn't find anything related to this. Thank you."

- Inefficient, unhelpful way to ask a question:

"There's a problem with OpenWRT because I can't get it to work. One of you experts, fix this for me! What, can't any of you geniuses figure out what's wrong???"

If you don't receive an answer right away:

- Please be patient! There are many regular forum readers who have the knowledge and experience to help you. However, not all of them check the boards every day. Even regulars might only catch up on posts a couple of times a week. To quote user tapper, "I know it can be a bit scary when your router will not boot or do what you want it to do but posting over and over will not get you an answer any faster."

So, if you don't get any replies or offers of help, please wait a few days. Your patience will often be rewarded. In the mean time, keep searching, via Google or the forums, and refining your search. You may find the answer yourself if you dig a little deeper smile

After you get an answer or solve your problem:

i.) Please come back to the thread where you asked questions and post the answer or solution that worked for you. This will help future users search for and find a solution.

ii.) If you started the thread, please edit the "Topic subject" so it starts with "[Solved]".

In summary:

Even though you're a newbie, please don't be afraid to ask questions in the Forums. They are, in general, a very friendly place! However, please do try to do some homework first using the above resources.

We hope you enjoy and benefit from OpenWRT as much as the old hands do smile

-- [New users] Getting started with OpenWRT --

How to get started with OpenWRT:

0.) MANDATORY: The OpenWRT wiki, a.k.a, The Fine Manual -- With links to supported devices, the Beginner's Guide, HOWTOs and FAQs, etc. Please read this page and use the resources given there. Your task will be easier to complete without causing problems with your router.

-- You should get started by reading through The Installing OpenWRT HOWTO -- This includes another checklist for installing OpenWRT on your router, along with purchasing a router for OpenWRT use, initially connecting to and configuring your router, etc.

-- The Documentation portal -- Please look here for information or answers before flashing your router or asking questions. There are links to installation guides, configuration guides, HOWTOs and recipes, etc. Very useful and rich!

1.) Find your router on the Table of Hardware/Supported Devices page. Your model may be supported, may not be supported at this time, it may be a WIP (work-in-progress), or it may be unsupportable due to hardware or built-in firmware limitations or incompatibilities. Find out about OpenWRT on your router here.

2.) Go to the webpage link given for your router under the "Device Page" column of the table. Please read that page and understand it completely before trying to install OpenWRT. This is most important if this is your first time installing and using OpenWRT. A thorough understanding will save you, and others who may need to help you, lots of time, effort and worry!

3.) To improve your planning before you install, go to the Forum Search function and search for your router model. There may be some hiccups with installing OpenWRT on the newest version of your router, etc. By doing a search, you can find out if others have had problems before you have them smile

An Advanced Search is available to refine the results if too many are returned to make sense of them.

4.) A final step to prepare yourself is to do a Google search with terms 'openwrt' and your router make, model and version number. (If you get an error when you install, search for 'openwrt' and the complete text of your error message, etc., on Google, and use the Forum Search.)

5.) Downloads -- After you've Read The Fine Manual. When you understand what to do to flash your router, go to Downloads to get the correct firmware for your router make, model and version.

Good luck smile And don't be afraid to ask for help in the OpenWRT Forums, but please do your homework first.  We hope you enjoy OpenWRT!

(Last edited by cmsigler on 8 Mar 2016, 20:47)

richbhanover wrote:

Also: Last summer, there was an effort to revise the top pages of the Wiki. Here's where we left things: https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/playground

I've added these two lists to the Wiki playground Newcomer Guide.  Please do edit and improve, experienced hands and developers.  I'm also open to suggestions.  HTH smile

I would love to get some form of "new user" and "new poster" lists stickied on the boards with the most traffic.  It won't silence every noisy post, but it should help newcomers.

Clemmitt

(Last edited by cmsigler on 9 Mar 2016, 15:03)

A couple thoughts:

1) I like the having each of these articles as "[New User] ..." topics in the forum, especially if we can get them pinned to the top. (These would arguably be more important/useful that most of the topics already listed there...)

2) Although I always hope people will read my fine prose, I think the tone of these two is a little too strong. Asking someone to understand a Device Page *completely* seems overly burdensome, especially since not all those Device Pages are well written, or even correct. (My rule is that if you have spent 10-15 minutes reading whatever you can find that seems relevant, then *we* have failed you, because we haven't got the right information in the right place. After taking that time, you've earned the right to ask someone :-)

3) I have reservations about sending someone to the top level of the Wiki as a starting point. It is a jumble of information that hasn't had serious moderation/editorial in ages. The playground might be a much better place to start someone off.

4) I also think that people's first steps should be to look at the Device Page, since that's has information written by others who own the equipment, and it will be most tuned to the router.

5) I see that you've added both messages to the Newcomer's Guide. I think the "First-time Poster" article deserves to be its own page, perhaps called "Getting Help with OpenWrt". It should definitely be linked from the Newcomer Guide main page.

6) I was hoping that your new "How to get started..." article could be melded into the existing newcomer guide home page. (I wrote that guide, and I'm surely not an expert in OpenWrt...)

Thanks again for doing this!

Hi,

richbhanover wrote:

2) I think the tone of these two is a little too strong. Asking someone to understand a Device Page *completely* seems overly burdensome.... (My rule is that if you have spent 10-15 minutes reading whatever you can find that seems relevant, then *we* have failed you, because we haven't got the right information in the right place. After taking that time, you've earned the right to ask someone :-)

Makes perfect sense.  I'll do some rewording to emphasize that some homework is necessary, and this and that are the best places to start, etc., but then please ask questions.

richbhanover wrote:

3) I have reservations about sending someone to the top level of the Wiki as a starting point. It is a jumble of information that hasn't had serious moderation/editorial in ages. The playground might be a much better place to start someone off.

Actually, I don't think the top level Wiki page is that bad hmm  I'll think about how to do it better and link to the Playground and Newcomer's Guide where it makes sense.  But please redo anything I've written to anyone's heart's content.  I'm really a n00bie around here.

richbhanover wrote:

4) I also think that people's first steps should be to look at the Device Page, since that's has information written by others who own the equipment, and it will be most tuned to the router.

Agreed.  Will make sure the ToH and how to find a Device Page are top of the checklist.

richbhanover wrote:

5) I see that you've added both messages to the Newcomer's Guide. I think the "First-time Poster" article deserves to be its own page, perhaps called "Getting Help with OpenWrt". It should definitely be linked from the Newcomer Guide main page.

That's a very good idea, more in keeping with what other projects do for their new users' help.  Will move, etc.

richbhanover wrote:

6) I was hoping that your new "How to get started..." article could be melded into the existing newcomer guide home page. (I wrote that guide, and I'm surely not an expert in OpenWrt...)

I was hoping somebody else "in charge" of the Playground would do that for me! wink  But I'll edit and merge when I have an afternoon to devote to it.

Should there be a plan to take the playground changes "live," perhaps after asking for a review by developers and grey beards?  It is a wiki, after all....  Perhaps make the finished playground the new wiki portal with a BIG link at the top of the page to the old wiki for anyone who needs to access the previous version?

Thanks again.

Clemmitt

cmsigler wrote:

I was hoping somebody else "in charge" of the Playground would do that for me! wink  But I'll edit and merge when I have an afternoon to devote to it.

Yes, please feel free to take a whack at merging...

cmsigler wrote:

Should there be a plan to take the playground changes "live," perhaps after asking for a review by developers and grey beards?  It is a wiki, after all....  Perhaps make the finished playground the new wiki portal with a BIG link at the top of the page to the old wiki for anyone who needs to access the previous version?

It has been extremely difficult to get any review of proposed changes from the core development team. After you incorporate your changes, it may be time to solicit help more widely to polish up the Newcomer's Guide and then make another push to update the entire top-level of the wiki. Thanks again for this work!

@cmsigler: As part of updating the Documentation page https://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/start , I factored out your instructions into separate "Advice" pages linked from the Newcomer Guide.

Everyone should feel free to keep editing (it's a wiki, after all!)

Hi,

richbhanover wrote:

Everyone should feel free to keep editing (it's a wiki, after all!)

Sorry, Real Life intruded, as it does.  Still on my list to review and update if I can improve.

Clemmitt

The discussion might have continued from here.