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Reunited with LEDE, OpenWrt releases stable 18.06 version

Aug 1, 2018 — by Eric Brown 3,593 views

The OpenWrt project released version 18.06 of its router-oriented Linux distro, representing the first stable release since the reunification with the forked LEDE project. OpenWrt 18.06 moves to Linux 4.9.111 for some targets and adds Spectre and Meltdown fixes.

The OpenWrt project released a stable version 18.06 of the venerable OpenWrt Linux distribution for networking and low-end hardware. Users of OpenWrt 15.05 or LEDE 17.01 can upgrade without requiring an entirely new install.

This is the first release since OpenWrt 15.05.1 in March 2016 and the first since the LEDE (Linux Embedded Development Environment) project split off from OpenWrt a few months later in an attempt create an open source community with greater transparency and inclusiveness. The two groups reunited in January of this year under the OpenWrt name. OpenWrt has long been used in Linksys routers such as the circa 2015 WRT1900ACS, among many others.



OpenWrt 18.06 advances to Linux Kernel 4.9.111 for some targets and 4.14.5 for others. Toolchain updates include musl libc 1.1.19, uClibc-ng 1.0.30, glibc 2.26+, gcc 7.3.0, and binutils 2.29.1.

Major enhancements include a new auto rollback function that reverts configuration changes when access to the router is lost. There are also IPv6 related fixes in DHCPv6 client and servers, as well as support for user DHCPv6 client options in sent packets.

The project as added mitigations for x86 Spectre and Meltdown security flaws, and added microcode loading support to x86. Improvements have been made to the system upgrade procedure, and there are bugfixes for the process manager, system message bus, embedded webserver, and configuration management library

The rift with LEDE began as OpenWrt was expanding beyond being a firmware replacement for routers and NAS devices to acting as a broader platform for mostly MIPS-based SBCs and gizmos aimed at Internet of Things applications. Over the last two years, however, we’ve noted a slowdown in new embedded IoT products supporting OpenWrt, at least outside of the router realm.

In part, this apparent decline is due to the uncertainty caused by the LEDE rift, as well as the reduced usage of MIPS processors in IoT designs. In addition, low-end gateways and other IoT gizmos that would have run OpenWrt back in 2015 are often running stacks based on Yocto Project code or other lightweight distros such as Ubuntu Core.

Arduino Yun
Rev 2

It will be interesting to see if OpenWrt regains some IoT adopters in the wake of its reunification. Some recent OpenWrt entries include the open source Turris MOX router, which funded on Indiegogo on June 1st, as well as the Arduino Yun Rev 2 SBC. For more background on OpenWrt see our May 2016 story about the LEDE fork.

Further information

OpenWrt 18.06 stable is now available for download. More information may be found on the OpenWrt website.

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One response to “Reunited with LEDE, OpenWrt releases stable 18.06 version”

  1. Bishop Clark says:

    Does it work on a wrt54gl again? Does it respect the nvram again? I’m thinking the answers to these will keep me searching for something I can upgrade from 4000mi away.

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