How to install OpenWRT on a TL-WR703N that came with DD-WRT


I have only done this procedure once and sharing because of the lack of information on the web on how to do this.

Some of the sellers of the TL-WR703N are shipping the routers with DD-WRT pre-installed – some with a Chinese interface, some with an English interface.

Regardless, you need telnet or SSH access to the router as upgrading via the web interface will not work.

Step 1 :

Get the OpenWRT image onto the router.

root@DD-WRT:/tmp# wget
Connecting to (
openwrt-ar71xx-gener 100% |*******************************| 3840k 0:00:00 ETA

Other methods can be found here :-

Step 2 :

The TRICK is that the partition names are different between OpenWRT and DD-WRT.  Whereas all OpenWRT instructions will tell you to write to the ‘firmware‘ partition, this does not exist on DD-WRT and you have to use the ‘linux‘ partition instead.  Use the ‘mtd’ command as per the example below to write the OpenWRT image onto the router.  Note the ‘-r’ argument will reboot the router as soon as the flash is complete.  (As usual, do not power off or disconnect during the flashing!).

root@DD-WRT:/tmp# mtd -r write openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tl-wr703n-v1-squashfs-factory.bin linux
Unlocking linux ...
Writing from openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tl-wr703n-v1-squashfs-factory.bin to linux ... [e]
Connection closed by foreign host.

5 thoughts on “How to install OpenWRT on a TL-WR703N that came with DD-WRT”

  1. Hello.

    I found another easier way:
    Search for “Files for reverting from DD-WRT to STOCK FIRMWARE” forum thread on the dd-wrt website ( In this huge thread, there is a file for the wr703n, so called “wr703nv1_webrevert.bin”.
    After applying it, you will be back to the Chinese firmware.
    And you can then apply your great firmware for the wr703n.

    I did not test the other way yet: from openwrt to reverted Chinese firmware, then to dd-wrt.
    If anybody feels like doing it, I would be happy to know how it goes.

    By the way, I started following your work on the wr703n a few days ago and your firmware was a good start for customizing my wr703n, thanks.

    Best regards,

  2. Madox,

    Thanks for your info, quite usefull after a lot of reading with a clear answer of how to isntall Openwrt from dd-wrt.

    I have an original TP-Link WR842ND flashed by myself to dd-wrt and that wanted to move to Openwrt.

    I’ve followed your instruction (with the right firmware for this model) and everyting went perfect without any problem in a few minutes.

    Thanks again.

  3. Hey thanks for this! The only thing I might add (and maybe it’s just because I’m new to this and so I had to look it up) is to type in “cd /tmp” to get the “/tmp#”. I couldn’t figure it out why it wouldn’t do anything until I did that first!

  4. Is it possible to use this same method to flash from OpenWRT back to DD-WRT?

    So far the only method I’ve seen outlined for doing this from OpenWRT involves flashing back to stock via USB serial connection, which I don’t have.

  5. I’ve got a tl-wr703N came with dd-wrt. And I ‘d like to do a simple hotspot on it. Unfortunately, couldn’t find NoCatSplash on it. Thninking about change it to Openwrt and there is a noDoSplash can do on it. But don’t know how to make it and openwrt in one image and will it go over 4MB? Please help!

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