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An image on demand server for OpenWrt based distributions

Project description

Attendedsysupgrade Server for OpenWrt (GSoC 2017)

codecov Code style: black PyPi

This project simplifies the sysupgrade process for upgrading the firmware of devices running OpenWrt or distributions based on it. These tools offer an easy way to reflash the router with a new firmware version (including all packages) without the need to use opkg.

It's called Attended SysUpgrade (ASU) because the upgrade process is not started automatically, but is initiated by a user who waits until it's done.

ASU is based on an API (described below) to request custom firmware images with any selection of packages pre-installed. This avoids the need to set up a build environment, and makes it possible to create a custom firmware image even using a mobile device.

Clients of the Sysupgrade Server

OpenWrt Firmware Selector

Simple web interface using vanilla JavaScript currently developed by @mwarning. It offers a device search based on model names and show links either to official images or requests images via the asu API. Please join in the development at GitLab repository


LuCI app

The package luci-app-attendedsysupgrade offers a simple tool under System > Attended Sysupgrade. It requests a new firmware image that includes the current set of packages, waits until it's built and flashes it. If "Keep Configuration" is checked in the GUI, the device upgrades to the new firmware without any need to re-enter any configuration or re-install any packages.



The auc package performs the same process as the luci-app-attendedsysupgrade from SSH/the command line.



The server listens for image requests and, if valid, automatically generates them. It coordinates several OpenWrt ImageBuilders and caches the resulting images in a Redis database. If an image is cached, the server can provide it immediately without rebuilding.

Active server

Run your own server

Redis is required to store image requests:

sudo apt install redis-server tar

Install asu:

pip install asu

Create a You can use misc/ as an example.

Start the server via the following commands:

export FLASK_APP=asu.asu  # set Flask app to asu
flask janitor update      # download upstream profiles/packages - this runs forever
flask run                 # run development server - this runs forever

Start the worker via the following comand:

rq worker                 # this runs forever


Run the service inside multiple Docker containers. The services include the _ ASU_ server itself, a janitor service which fills the Redis database with known packages and profiles as well as a rqworker which actually builds images.

Currently all services share the same folder and therefore a very "open" access is required. Suggestions on how to improve this setup are welcome.

mkdir ./asu-service/
chmod 777 ./asu-service/
cp ./misc/ ./asu-service/
docker-compose up

A webserver should proxy API calls to port 8000 of the server service while the asu/ folder should be file hosted as-is.


It is recommended to run ASU via gunicorn proxied by nginx or caddyserver. Find a possible server configurations in the misc/ folder.

The ASU server will try $PWD/ and /etc/asu/ to find a configuration. Find an example configuration in the misc/ folder.

pip install gunicorn
gunicorn "asu.asu:create_app()"

Ideally use the tool squid to cache package indexes, which are reloaded every time an image is built. Find a basic configuration in at misc/squid.conf which should be copied to /etc/squid/squid.conf.

If you want to use systemd find the service files asu.service and worker@.service in the misc folder as well.


After cloning this repository, create a Python virtual environment and install the dependencies:

python3 -m venv .direnv
source .direnv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt
export FLASK_APP=asu.asu  # set Flask app to asu
export FLASK_APP=tests.conftest:mock_app FLASK_DEBUG=1 # run Flask in debug mode with mock data
flask run


The API is documented via OpenAPI and can be viewed interactively on the server:

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