Connect OpenWRT to OpenWISP

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 OpenWISP

Refer to the instructions described in Install the OpenWISP server application.

2. Flash OpenWRT on a device

If you have a physical OpenWRT compatible hardware, follow the instructions in the official OpenWRT flashing guide.

If you don’t have a physical device, you can install OpenWrt on a VirtualBox Virtual Machine.


It’s required to enable SSH access and connect the device or VM to the internet.

Note that when using Virtualbox, 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


Install openwisp-config on your OpenWRT system. For this guide.

We recommend to install one of the latest stable builds from, copy the URL of the ipk file you want to download in your clipboard and then run the following commands on your OpenWrt device:

cd /tmp  # /tmp runs in memory
wget <URL-you-just-copied>
opkg update
opkg install ./<file-just-downloaded>

If you’re running at least OpenWRT 19.07, you can install openwisp-config from the official OpenWRT packages:

opkg update
opkg install openwisp-config

We recommend installing from our latest builds or compiling your own firmware image. The OpenWrt packages are not always up to date.


Once openwisp-config is 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 management_interface 'tun0'
    #option merge_config '1'
    #option test_config '1'
    #option test_script '/usr/sbin/mytest'
    #option hardware_id_script '/usr/sbin/read_hw_id'
    #option hardware_id_key '1'
    option uuid ''
    option key ''
    # curl options
    #option connect_timeout '15'
    #option max_time '30'
    #option capath '/etc/ssl/certs'
    #option cacert '/etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt'
    # hooks
    #option pre_reload_hook '/usr/sbin/my_pre_reload_hook'
    #option post_reload_hook '/usr/sbin/my_post_reload_hook'

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/.

  • management_interface: the name of the interface which OpenWISP can use to reach the device when it needs to, for more information we highly recommend to read: how to make sure OpenWISP can reach your devices.


When testing or developing using the Django development server directly from your computer, make sure the server listens on all interfaces (./ runserver and then just point openwisp to use your local IP address (e.g.

Save the file and start openwisp-config:

/etc/init.d/openwisp_config restart

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 in 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.