1. Matt

    Thanks for this … always wondered :)

  2. Geoff

    Hi Steve,

    This is well written and researched article about DD-WRT builds. I have a couple of non bleeding edge Netgear routers (WNR-3500L) and I have found the Kong builds suit my purposes best for two reasons: they work with Optware and they include a really useful set of features together for a home router (VPN plus USB and external drive support).

    Optware is great because you can simply download additional packages without having to compile them. The tcpdump program is probably one of the most useful for debugging problems and generally keeping on top of issues on your network.

    The generic DD-WRT builds cannot run Optware because support for soft floating point is not enabled in the kernel. Soft floating point support in the kernel is required by Optware unless you re-compile whatever Optware packages you want to install (which basically defeats the benefit of Optware). Kong enables soft floating point in the kernel to allow his builds to run unmodified Optware packages.

  3. mark

    Thank you very much – I just found this page, and intend to pass the link along.

    However, it doesn’t answer the question I need answered: I have an Asus RT-N16, 32k NVRAM, 32M flash. I really want to use it as a printserver for a USB printer, and older builds don’t seem to let me (and ipkg was broken on the builds that I tried from the router d/b….) Anyway, I’ve d/l, from the kong directory, a 22200 build, but have no idea whether to use the kingkong build for that memory, or the usb-ftp.. There’s no readme, nothing. Do you have any idea of the difference, or how I can find out what the difference is?

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Cameron

    Thanks for the well thought out article! Always wondered about the different users who make all this possible and what their niches are.

  5. NeilPeart

    Somewhat off-topic, Steve: I’m ready to install DD-WRT on my E4200 v1 and I see you recommend version 23040 in a different article – is that still your recommendation? Is there anything particular you look for when selected a DD-WRT version?


    1. Hey, NeilPeart. Yes — I always keep that article up to date with my recommended build, so whatever is currently recommended there now is what I suggest you run. As for what I look for when recommending a build, it’s primarily stability. I always test the newer builds when they come out, but if they have major bugs that affect usability or stability, I hold off on recommending that build, and then wait to test the next one.

  6. NeilPeart

    Thanks for the prompt response, Sir. Your site is a wealth of information for fellow car/home theater/computer/geeks. Merry Christmas.

  7. Eddie

    Excellent article!! Reading the wikis and the forums ended up going in circles, and you’ve explained much. I have a question re ownership of release- you hint at the answer with….

    “BrainSlayer, Eko, Fractal, or Kong, share the same central code from the official DD-WRT source. Those builders will pick a changeset number and create a build.”

    When those guys pick a number, is it unique? I.e. If I see a reference in the forum to r22200, can I assume this is definitely a Kong build, or would there be a version of v22200 from each of the contributors? I’ve tried to find the answer to this by searching but I can’t get anything solid. If it’s unique, knowing this suddenly makes the forum a lot more meaningful!


    1. Great question, Eddie. As far as I can tell, there’s no “official” agreement among them to prevent builds with the same build number from different authors, but… it hasn’t happened yet. So yes — it’s generally safe to assume that the build number is unique to the builder.

    2. Sleepyhead

      In SVN the ID is incremental, so every time an author makes a change the number is stepped. They are not picking the number, they get the next one assigned. You can only influence the number by making empty commits so that you get a rounded number.

      The author of the change may also be interested in building an image from the latest code he just changed, so it’s not completely coincidential that the latest commit results in a build from the same author. However everybody could make an image based on any version of the sourcecode.

      1. Eddie

        @Sleepyhead, that’s great information which reinforces the point. Additionally though, most of the end users are not coders, and will have little knowledge about SVN or its etiquette. I know coders have little love of documenting, so it’s easy to see how this can be missed for end users. Even now, a question forms in my mind, “How do we know all the devs are definitely using the same SVN project?”. Those who don’t know the etiqutte are left to guess.

        So for other newbies like me who find this excellent article, we can conclude: Every DD-WRT release is definitely unique to the dev.

  8. Will

    Thanks a lot, this article cleared my confusion.

  9. Jerry Dos

    Great read, thanks for clearing up so much.

    That said, wish there’d been a little more about versions, and the router database. Like, who is “maintaining” the router database, how can it be so ‘unpredictable’ and still be allowed to exist?

    Even the dd-wrt hardware-specific wiki creates confusion; for example, TRAC reports latest build (as of today) is 23720, but the hw wiki for a Netgear WNDR3700 is stuck at 23598. Scouring the TRAC website reveals no clue as to which version applies to which make/model router, IOW why don’t all routers simply use the most recent build? (Or is the hw-specific wiki also unreliable?)



    1. Hi, Max. I never claimed that he was all that. :) Merely trying to sort through some of the confusion regarding “named” builds. As to whether or not DD-WRT is a “good” project, or whether Brainslayer was or wasn’t “doing it right,” and how much of DD-WRT is based on Sveasoft code, is a whole other discussion. But for better or worse, DD-WRT is Brainslayer’s project.

  10. Hopp

    Hi Steve, fractal’s download page is down. Probably you could update this blog post with new one. Also kong’s builds are not there anymore. Although, there is a note on that ftp server, where to find them. And surprisingly it leads back to dd-wrt ftp :).

  11. Pat

    Hi Steve
    Anyway to get the link for Kong build? I am having trouble finding it. Thank you so much.


  12. bob jonus

    now that Kong is done, what is the best hardware/firmware option?


    1. Hey, Bob. As of Nov 2014, I’m thinking seriously about going with the Netgear R7000. Kong is still developing for that unit, and it’s got great hardware features to try and keep up with the faster residential bandwidth speeds providers are starting to offer. I’ll be asking Santa to put one in my stocking. :)


  13. Thank you for sorting it all out. A lot of top security experts are like “Use DD-WRT”, but they look pretty half ass with a 2008 build in 2014-soon-to-be-15 and I could never figure out why some people direct you to “ftp.dd-wrt.com/betas/2014/” and others are like – “Oh no, you need: http://ftp.dd-wrt.com/others/eko/BrainSlayer-V24-preSP2/2014” (they are exactly the same).


  14. Thank you for the article. I was finally able to get Optware working with a Kong build. Spent a few hours trying to figure out why BrainSlayer build didn’t work prior to finding this information.


  15. Thanx for that insight into DD-WRT.

    greetings from DD/Germany :)


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