Downloading AREDN® Firmware
Types of Firmware
Stable Release firmware has been tested and shown work on the devices that were supported at the time of the release. This firmware is considered to be stable and suitable for production devices deployed in the field. Stable Release firmware is identified by numbers such as
18.104.22.168. In this example
23.4 indicates the year (2023) and month (April) of the Stable Release.
Nightly Build firmware contains the latest bug fixes, features, and support for new devices. It allows the wider mesh community to test new code before it is included in a Stable Release. The Nightly Build is considered more experimental or cutting-edge and may not be suitable for production nodes. However, it might make sense to install the Nightly Build if you are having a specific issue that has been addressed in newly developed code or if you are loading AREDN® firmware onto a device that is newly supported. The Nightly Build firmware will have a series of alphanumeric characters such as
2526-e8911a9 indicating the software commit identifier for that specific firmware build.
Choosing Firmware to Download
The first step is to choose the AREDN® firmware image for your specific hardware. You can find the available firmware images for your device by using the AREDN Firmware Selector (AFS).
Enter the first few characters of the hardware manufacturer in the Model search field (case insensitive), then click the firmware image dropdown on the right to choose the firmware release that you want to download. Next, find your device model in the search results list and click the row for your hardware.
There are usually two types of firmware images shown for each device: one for the first-time replacement of the manufacturer’s firmware, and the other for upgrades of nodes that are already running AREDN® firmware.
- TP-LINK or Ubiquiti
If you are loading firmware on TP-LINK or Ubuquiti devices for the first time you must download the FACTORY firmware. Otherwise download the SYSUPGRADE firmware image.
If you are loading firmware on Mikrotik devices for the first time you must download both the KERNEL and SYSUPGRADE images. Otherwise download only the SYSUPGRADE firmware image.
For GL.iNet devices you will only see the SYSUPGRADE image for both first-time installs or firmware upgrades.
Click the appropriate button to download the image file to your local computer. Make a note of the download location on your computer, since you will use the downloaded image(s) to install the AREDN® firmware on your device.
- Features Inherited from OpenWRT for New Architectures
The latest AREDN® firmware contains features which are inherited from the newest OpenWRT upstream releases. The OpenWRT *Release Notes* describe these new features. One important change is the inclusion of new target architectures for the firmware. The legacy “ar71xx” target has been retired and is replaced by the “ath79” and “ipq40xx” targets.
All supported devices have been migrated to the new targets. You should select the latest recommended target image based on the type of hardware on which it will be installed. Refer to the latest Supported Devices in order to ensure you have the correct firmware image for your specific device.
- Nightly Build Direct Download
To download the Nightly Build directly, navigate to http://downloads.arednmesh.org/snapshots/targets/. Nightly Build filenames are prefixed with aredn-XXXX-yyyyyyy, where XXXX identifies the build number and yyyyyyy is a unique software commit identifier. As explained above, select the correct target and subtarget for the device you will be flashing. To return your device to the current stable release, download the correct Stable Release firmware and reflash your device.
Be aware that when a new nightly build becomes available, any older builds automatically become obsolete. If you want to install add-on packages for nodes running a nightly build, understand that specific packages will not be available for an older build if a newer build has superseded it. Be sure to upgrade to the current nightly build before installing packages.