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.

8 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!

  6. My TP link came with Chinese version 1.00
    What should I do to flash openwrt ? I have the firmware of openwrt

  7. Hello,
    Thanks for this guide. I have a question that I’ve tried to resolve for the past few days but cannot figure it out. When you write the first command in step one: “wget
    Where is the router getting the file from? I tried using the ip address the router assigned my computer and followed the folder structure but it never seems to find the openwrt.bin. The telnet window just stays “Connecting to (” in my case. Please help me figure out what my mistake is. How do I get the .bin into the router. Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Wally,

      You’ll need to change the URL to point to either the internet or webserver with the image. The 142 address I had in my example must have just been my laptop where I have a webserver set up with the file.
      You can also ftp/tftp the image on as well.


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