Connect OpenWRT to OpenWISP2

This page will guide you through the installation of openwisp-config on a device which supports OpenWRT.

If you don’t have a physical device available but you still want to try out OpenWISP, you can use a Virtual Machine.

1. Install OpenWISP2

Refer to the OpenWISP 2 installation tutorial

2. Install OpenWRT on VirtualBox


You can skip this part if you plan on installing openwisp-config on a physical device.

Download combined-ext4.img.gz from this page. The other images may not work well.

Extract the downloaded file and convert the image file to a VirtualBox disk:

VBoxManage convertfromraw --format VDI \
openwrt-18.06.1-x86-64-combined-ext4.img \

If you encounter an error about VERR_ID_INVALID_SIZE, you need to pad the image with the following command:

dd if=openwrt-18.06.1-x86-64-combined-ext4.img \
of=openwrt-18.06.1-x86-64-padded.img bs=128000 conv=sync

And then try to convert the padded image using the previous command.

Next, open up VirtualBox and create a VM. Load up the VDI and then start the machine. If done correctly, it should boot to a GRUB menu and then proceed with initialization. When the text stops scrolling, simply press Enter to activate the terminal.


Continue with the procedures in

the OpenWRT virtualbox guide. It’s required to enable SSH access and connect the VM to the internet.

Note that both Adapter1 and Adapter2 use “Adapter Type: Intel PRO/1000 MT Desktop”. Also, please do not use the same IP Address that you used for the local OpenWISP website you hosted before. That suggested change applies only when you boot into the OpenWRT device as per the description of the above link (for example, if you set as the IP Address of your local OpenWISP website, please use another IP such as for the IP Address of the OpenWRT device).

3. Install openwisp-config on your OpenWRT instance


Run the following commands on your device:

opkg update
opkg install <URL>

Replace <URL> with the link to one of the latest build, available on For this guide, let’s choose the openssl variant.


Once it’s installed, we need to configure it to connect to our OpenWISP2 controller. To do that, edit the config file located at /etc/config/openwisp.

You will see the default config file, something like the following (if your instance lacks some of the lines in the following, please add them):

# For more information about the config options please see the README
# or

config controller 'http'
    #option url ''
    #option interval '120'
    #option verify_ssl '1'
    #option shared_secret ''
    #option consistent_key '1'
    #option mac_interface 'eth0'
    #option merge_config '1'
    #option test_config '1'
    #option test_script '/usr/sbin/mytest'
    #option uuid ''
    #option key ''
    list unmanaged 'system.@led'
    list unmanaged 'network.loopback'
    list unmanaged 'network.@switch'
    list unmanaged 'network.@switch_vlan'
    # curl options
    #option connect_timeout '15'
    #option max_time '30'
    #option capath '/etc/ssl/certs'

Uncomment and change the following fields:

  • url: the hostname of your OpenWISP2 controller (for example, if you are hosting your OpenWISP server locally and you set the IP Address to “”, the url would be
  • verify_ssl: set to 0 if your controller’s SSL certificate is self-signed; in production you will need a valid SSL certificate to keep your instance secure
  • shared_secret: you can retrieve this from OpenWISP2 admin panel, in the Organization settings. The list of organizations is available at /admin/openwisp_users/organization/.

Save the file and start openwisp-config:

/etc/init.d/openwisp_config start

Your OpenWRT instance should register itself to your openwisp2 controller. Check the devices menu on the admin panel to make sure your OpenWRT instance is registered.

Compile your own OpenWRT image

You may want to compile a custom OpenWRT image to save time on configuring new devices. By compiling a custom image, you can pre-install openwisp-config, including your configurations (e.g. url and shared_secret), so that you won’t have to go through the configuration process again.

This will make you save a lot of time if you need to manage many devices!

A guide on how to compile a custom OpenWRT image available in the openwisp-config documentation.