Building OpenWrt for Gateworks Products

Gateworks uses the OpenWrt Linux Distribution for its Board Support Package (BSP). From time to time, Gateworks may have patches against upstream OpenWrt to support some features which have not made it upstream or perhaps are not suitable for upstream OpenWrt. Additionally Gateworks provides a Makefile wrapper around OpenWrt to aid in pinning versions of Opensource tree's to versions that Gateworks has tested with.

For more information about the OpenWrt SDK and other features, visit Gateworks OpenWrt Wiki Page

OpenWrt BSP Branches

The Gateworks OpenWrt repository consist of a snapshot of upstream OpenWrt at specific points, with a few additional patches added on top that either had not made it upstream by that time, or add a gateworks directory consisting of Gateworks tested config files and JTAG flash image creation scripts. The repository can be found on the Gateworks GitHub openwrt page.

Our branch naming policy is as follows:

  • Each new bump of 'master' will cause a new branch to be created: bump date_openwrt revision. This is the bleeding edge OpenWrt software from Gateworks and thus includes Gateworks patches on top.
  • When we decide to cut a stable release, the branch name will be: last two char of year.numerical month.version
  • master - This branch is not to be used. It only serves as a reference point for the latest dated branch and has no Gateworks patches on top of it.

Our Git branches currently include:

  • 16.02 - Is the latest OpenWrt software from Gateworks
    • Nightly:
      • Please view the .manifest file per target to inspect installed packages + their respective versions
    • Based on OpenWrt r48868 (2016-02-17)
    • General:
      • Moved to git for SCM of choice
      • Gateworks System Controller drivers
      • Feeds bumped to 2016-02-17
      • Updated to latest wireless drivers (backports-20151218)
      • IEEE802.11 adhoc throughput increased for HT rates (iw 4.3)
      • Bump to linux 4.4.0 Kernel
      • busybox-1.24.1
      • gcc-5.2.0
      • binutils-2.25.1
      • Moved from uclibc to musl-1.1.12
    • Ventana:
      • Bump to linux 4.4.0 Kernel from 3.14.16
      • ~50% increased FEC driver performance
      • l2cache enabled
      • Hardware crypto support
      • squashfs+ubifs overlay for recovery
      • dsa/swconfig support for GW16083
      • HDMI out, no VPU/GPU
      • LVDS out, no VPU/GPU
      • Low-Latency RS485 support
    • Laguna:
      • Bump to linux 4.4.0 Kernel from 3.10.49
      • Added GW2393 Support
      • Added GW2383 Support
    • Avila / Cambria:
      • Support dropped
    • Known Issues:
      • 'mv' command on overlay partition on Ventana is not functional. Use 'cp -dR && rm -rf'
    • log:

14.08 - required for Avila/Cambria

  • 14-08 - Uses OpenWrt pinned from Aug 2014 (r42297)
    • Nightly:
      • Please view the .manifest file per target to inspect installed packages + their respective versions
    • Based on OpenWrt r42297 (2014-08-25)
    • General:
      • Refreshed Gateworks patches
      • Refreshed Gateworks config files
      • Updated all feeds to latest versions as of 2014-08-27
      • Updated to latest wireless drivers
      • 80211ac support (ath10k/iwlabgn)
      • DFS Support in ath
      • Added HID Support to Ventana and Laguna
      • Added Bluetooth support (both btusb and ath3k) to Ventana and Laguna
      • Added ibt and ath3k Bluetooth firmwares to Ventana and Laguna
    • Ventana:
      • Add support for GW54xx/GW53xx/GW52xx/GW51xx/GW552x
      • Add gsc-daemon support for above boards
      • Add support for GW16081/GW16082/GW16082
      • Kernel: 3.14.16
      • Added sysupgrade support
    • Laguna
      • Kernel: 3.10.49
    • Avila / Cambria:
      • Kernel: to 3.10.49

If you are looking for our old OpenWrt BSP's such as the 13.06 or 12.08 from our old SVN repository please see on older revision of this page

Revision Log

You can see a revision history using the Github web interface:

OpenWrt BSP Pre-Built Binaries

To get an already built image to flash onto the SBC, please visit the following:

Building Pre-requisites

Gateworks has tested with LTS Ubuntu Releases. The suggested Ubuntu releases are 14.04 or 16.04. At the time of this writing, Gateworks does not recommend using Ubuntu 16.10.

On an Ubuntu (11.10, 14.04, 16.04) system for example the following should install all necessary pre-requisites:

sudo apt-get install subversion build-essential  ;# std dev tools
sudo apt-get install zlib1g-dev libncurses5-dev gawk flex git-core gettext quilt libssl-dev ;# other libs/tools needed by OpenWrt Buildroot
  • NOTE If you are experiencing difficulties, Here is a list of the pre-requisites from the general OpenWrt Site. OpenWrt buildroot prerequisites listed here

Ubuntu 14.04 Notes

Note: Ubuntu 14.04 There is a known bug with Ubuntu 14.04 when building Python 2.7. that may occur. Because the system Python is used during this build, you may encounter the following error:

ImportError: No module named _sysconfigdata_nd
configure: error: python2.7 interpreter not found
make[3]: *** [~/openwrt-next/build_dir/target-arm_cortex-a9+neon_musl-1.1.11_eabi/Python-2.7.11/.configured_yy
yyyyyyy] Error 1

In order to fix it, please execute the following:

sudo ln -s /usr/lib/python2.7/plat-*/ /usr/lib/python2.7/

Please ensure your development box has all of the listed packages installed before proceeding and note that your development box will need access to the internet in order to download the files for the development tree.

WARNING! Building with GCC 4.7.x is not fully supported. Please use 4.8.2+ or 4.6.x and below. We have also found 6.2+ to have some issues

Note The following pre-requisites must be met in order to build OpenWrt firmware for the Gateworks product families:

Downloaded Source Files

OpenWrt uses a Linux build system called buildroot. Like all Linux build systems it consists of recipes that go through the process of fetching, patching, compiling, packaging various applications. The 'fetching' process involves downloading source tarballs from the Internet (which is why an Internet connection is required). OpenWrt will fetch all sources into the 'dl' directory in the OpenWrt tree (ie 14.08/dl from the Gateworks directory). To avoid downloading sources each time you do a clean build it is recommended that you create a static location on your development host to store downloaded packages and symlink this to the dl directory. The Gateworks Makefile which fetches OpenWrt and patches it, will create this link for you if the /usr/src/dl directory exists on your development host, so if you create that and make it writable by your development user all downloads will go there automatically and be able to be used for subsequent builds. This not only helps reduce build time but it can also help if a package's source isn't available because of a site or mirror being down.

Step by Step Instructions

To support OpenWrt for the Gateworks products, we maintain a patchset that is generic to all our standard product families.

Step 1: Getting Source Code

There are multiple code branches (see above for recommended branch per product), please checkout the one you prefer with the following commands:

  • 16-02 branch
    git clone gateworks-openwrt -b 16.02
    cd gateworks-openwrt
  • 14-08 branch
    git clone gateworks-openwrt -b 14.08
    cd gateworks-openwrt

Step 2: Building

Our OpenWrt Git repository has a 'gateworks' directory added consisting of a Makefile providing targets that aim to simplify the entire process of:

  • using a (per target) Gateworks provided .config file
  • producing JTAG binary images compatible with the Gateworks JTAG dongle

Once the branch has been checked out from the Gateworks GitHub account, you are ready to build. The Gateworks Makefile provides the following targets:

  • all : Built imx6 and cns3xxx targets.
  • imx6 : build BSP for the imx6 target (Ventana product family)
  • cns3xxx : build BSP for the cns3xxx target (Laguna product family)
  • images : build binary flash images (suitable for JTAG flashing) for supported product families (Ventana / Laguna).
  • dirclean : remove all downloaded and built directories
  • In order to build the imx6 target for the Ventana product family, the following steps would occur:
    # Build the imx6 target, using the configuration from gateworks/configs/imx6/.config.
    # This will take a while
    make -C gateworks/ imx6
  • In order to build the cns3xxx target for the Laguna product family, the following steps would occur:
    # Build the cns3xxx target, using the configuration from gateworks/configs/cns3xxx/.config.
    # This will take a while
    make -C gateworks/ cns3xxx


The build process will take some time depending on your Internet connection and host system. On an Intel Quad Core @ 3.10GHz the build takes a couple of hours to build all product families and takes appx 15GB of disk space.

The resulting kernel/rootfs files will be in the bin/<target> directory. For Example, a 256MB flash Ventana image is located at:


For information about loading the resulting firmware onto a board see the per-board instructions:

Step 3: Installing

To install the OpenWrt image onto the Gateworks SBC, please follow the instructions:

  • Ventana Instructions
    • Typical methods include flashing a .ubi file over TFTP or creating a JTAG binary and flashing using the USB JTAG dongle
  • Laguna Instructions
    • Note - For Laguna boards, please do not flash a squashfs file to the board. A proper JTAG binary must be created with instructions below.
    • Typical methods include creating a JTAG binary file using the below instructions and flashing to the board via the USB JTAG programmer

Building JTAG Binary File

Creating JTAG Binaries to flash with the GW16042 is easily done with the targets in the makefile within the gateworks directory:

# Make a 'jtagable' images for Ventana
make -C gateworks/ images/ventana

# Make a 'jtagable' image for Laguna
make -C gateworks/ images/laguna

# Make both Ventana and Laguna 'jtagable' images
make -C gateworks/ images

The resulting flash firmware image will be gateworks/images/.

To flash the file to the board, please see this link: JTAG Programming Instructions


Once a target has been built using the above instructions, a user may customize their image.

OpenWrt can be customized by running the make menuconfig command. In this new window, you can select/deselect packages you want installed. If kernel customization is required, a make kernel_menuconfig will open the make menu for the kernel.

Once complete, a simple make -j8 V=s will re-run the make command to re-create the rootfs.

Please read more at this page here.

Updating to Latest Gateworks Source

The steps to update your current project to the latest Gateworks patches varies depending on the branch you're trying to update. Please see the below two sections that help to detail this out. However, please note that using Git is the most developer friendly.

  • To update to the latest patches on the same branch:
    # Make sure you have latest ref's
    git remote update
    # This will update the current working branch to the latest upstream,
    # then attempt to rebase any local patches on top.
    git pull --rebase
  • To change to a new branch, using 16.02 as an example branch:
    # Make sure you have latest ref's
    git remote update
    # Checkout upstream branch 16.02 and create local branch named 16.02
    git checkout remotes/origin/16.02 -b 16.02

After this is complete, please continue to build as normal. For more detail on working with git, please refer to this site. For information on git pull, please refer to this page. For information about git rebase, please refer to this page.

Troubleshooting Build Failures

One of the most commonly occurring errors that we have run into are source URL's disappearing which causes the source files to not be there during build-time. To help alleviate this, Gateworks has put up source tarballs at our development site. Our build environment takes advantage of this by uploading files for feeds that we require and automatically selecting them if all other options fail. In general, it will 1: look for the tarball locally; 2: try the original source URL; and 3: try our dev site. Below are other issues that may crop up:

  1. Finding an Error - Often the error will be 'reported' at the end of the build. However, the error will have actually occurred earlier on. Scroll up in the logs and look for an error. Typically it is from a package or dependency that was not able to be downloaded.
  2. Missing Dependencies - The build will pull files from mirrors around the web including a Gateworks mirror at If for some reason you can't download dependencies then you likely have a network issue. Note that files can be placed manually in the dl directory to avoid downloading.
  3. Errors - By default, the build is ran on many threads with the parameter -j8. To achieve better debugging information after a failure, re-run the build with the following -j1 flag from the trunk directory:
    make -j1 V=s
Last modified 3 weeks ago Last modified on 06/08/17 10:54:17