Upgrade 1.0 PirateBox

If you're currently running an 1.0.* version of PirateBox on your router, these instructions should get you up and running in a flash (literally!). Please Note: The instructions below are specifically for the TP-Link MR3020, TP-Link MR3040, and the GLiNet routers.

Note: If you're currently running a PirateBox on your router with version 0.6 and below, you should follow the Update a very old PirateBox-HowTo.

1. Download Software

Download the following two files to your computer:

a) A copy of install_piratebox.zip.

b) A customized copy of OpenWrt (be sure to download the “*squashfs-factory.bin” file that corresponds with your specific device) http://stable.openwrt.piratebox.de/auto

Important: Be sure to use one of the OpenWrt images linked above! They are customized to work together with the install.zip. If you use a different image-file, you won't be able to use this automatic installation!

2. Install Custom OpenWrt

a) Drag the “*squashfs-factory.bin” file to your USB flash drive (you don't need to extract this file first!).

b) Now SAFELY REMOVE your USB drive from your computer and plug the USB stick into your OpenWrt router.

c) Connect your router via ethernet cable to your computer and power up the router.

d) Once the router is running, open a terminal window (for OS X, go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal; for Windows, install and open PuTTY) and log in with ssh:

ssh root@ 

Note: If you haven't set up a password yet, use the telnet command instead of ssh:


e) Navigate to the /mnt/usb directory:

cd /mnt/usb

f) Install the customized version of OpenWrt and PirateBox 1.1 with:

sysupgrade -n openwrt<TAB>

Note: Use your “tab” key at the end of “openwrt” to autocomplete the full file name of the firmware.

Note: If sysupgrade refuses the upgrade and you are sure it is the correct file, then you can trigger the flash with the following command

mtd write -r openwrt<TAB> firmware

g) After the upgrade completes, the router will restart twice. Wait patiently!

3. Install PirateBox

a) Turn off the router and plug the USB flash drive into your computer.

b) If this is the USB flash drive that already run your PirateBox:

  • the 'Install' folder should be remove (not only overwritten with the new one).
  • the 'external_fs' folder should stay, because it will be re-initialized during installation.
  • the 'install.log' file (stored at the root of the USB flash drive) should be remove, in order to have a proper fresh logfile if something goes wrong during the installation.

c) Extract the install_piratebox.zip file (double click on it) that you downloaded earlier and drag the 'install' folder over to your USB flash drive.

d) Now SAFELY REMOVE your USB drive from your computer and plug the USB stick into your OpenWrt router.

e) Power the router on. This will trigger the installation of the new packages. Note: You should wait 15-20 minutes for the installation to complete (depending upon your USB flash drive, it may take up to 45 minutes - be patient!). Your device will reboot a couple of times during the installation.

4. Next Steps

a) Once the installation is complete, you can use telnet to connect to the device:


b) You can now follow the Post-Installation instructions below to finish the installation.