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OpenWrt 23.05 Release: Enhanced Security, Rust Integration and Broad Device Support

OpenWrt 23.05, the open-source Linux operating system for routers and resource-constrained headless embedded systems, has just been released with significant updates and improvements. This release comes with over 4300 commits since the previous release of OpenWrt 22.03, which was launched a little over a year ago.

One of the notable features of OpenWrt 23.05 is its expanded device support. It now supports over 1790 devices, which is an increase of about 200 devices compared to the previous release. Some of the new targets include the Qualcomm IPQ807x target for WiFi 6 SoCs, the Mediatek Filogic 830 and 630 subtarget for WiFi 6/6e chips, and the HiFive Unleashed and Unmatched targets for RISC-V development boards.

In terms of security, OpenWrt 23.05 has switched from using wolfSSL to MbedTLS as the default. This change was made because MbedTLS has a smaller footprint and offers a more stable ABI and LTS releases. However, it’s worth noting that MbedTLS lacks support for TLS 1.3. Therefore, users who require TLS 1.3 can still switch to using wolfSSL.

Another significant addition in this release is support for packages written with the Rust programming language. Some examples of these packages include bottom, maturin, aardvark-dns, and ripgrep. This expansion of supported programming languages provides developers with more flexibility and options when creating applications for OpenWrt.

OpenWrt 23.05 also brings updates to its core components. It now utilizes Linux 5.15 as the foundation for all targets, as well as updated versions of busybox, musl libc, glibc, gcc, and inutils. Additionally, the networking components have seen upgrades, including the use of the hostapd master snapshot from September 2023, dnsmasq 2.89, dropbear 2022.82, and cfg80211/mac80211 from kernel 6.1.24.

For users looking to upgrade from OpenWrt 22.03, the migration from swconfig to DSA configuration that was introduced in the previous releases is no longer an issue. Most people should be able to upgrade smoothly using the sysupgrade utility, which will preserve the configuration. However, it is still recommended to back up the configuration before proceeding with the upgrade.

OpenWrt 23.05 is now available for download, and users can find binary images for their specific targets on the OpenWrt website.

Source: CNX Software – Embedded Systems News.