Next UPDATE NEEDS More SPACE: GL-AR300M16 No Space for Luci (After: File Sharing+DLNA)

GL-AR300M16 Has No Space for Luci (After: File Sharing+DLNA)

I have this GL-AR300M16 and also the GL-inet SLATE & love them both & tell people online to buy GL-inet routers often.

But after latest update of GL-AR300M16 today, there is a BIG PROBLEM.

  • I powered it by a usb hub & attached it to the home router today so I could plug in a Hard Disk into it’s USB.

  • I installed 2 plugins (in File Sharing section of admin):

  1. File Sharing
  2. DLNA (so can watch movies)
    IT WORKS VERY WELL. It is like an expensive NAS server!
  • So I wanted to rename the ssid to something else so people do not know what it is.
    I already changed the wireless password from goodlife to something else.
    So like the SLATE, I try to go to Advanced Settings to change the default boradcast SSID name, to soemthing else. Because everyone locally can google the name and see what it is and maybe more…

But it says Luci is not installed. I know Luci well from OpenWRT.
So I try to install Luci from plugins:


I have not installed anything except:

  1. Latest firmware (as of today) version 3.201
  2. File Sharing Plugin (from File Sharing section of admin)
  3. DLNA Plugin (from File Sharing section of admin)

I looked at installed plugins list (after latest firmware update) and I think they are all needed. Or best not to remove.
I removed a few, wireguard (that could be removed) & other modules etc.
But still there was no space.

So reset the device and got those modules back and reinstalled the 2 plugins from File Sharing again.


We need the 2 plugins (File Sharing & DLNA) AND Luci (for advanced settings: change SSID name etc).

So we can install plugins:

1) Luci
2) File Sharing Plugin (from File Sharing section of admin)
3) DLNA Plugin (from File Sharing section of admin)

So we can have:
i) Advanced Settings so can change SSID name etc. (via Luci)
ii) Make this router into a NAS Server (File Sharing plugin)
iii) Make it act like a media server for audio & video (DLNA plugin)


Please make next firmware smaller for these 3 plugins to be installed.
Thank you.

On my GL-AR300M16-Ext I gave up on the GL iNet’s 3.201 firmware and went with OpenWrt 21.02rc1. After loading the OpenWrt firmware, that included LUCI, I still had more than 10MB of space free to customize the system as shown:

BusyBox v1.33.0 () built-in shell (ash)

  _______                     ________        __
 |       |.-----.-----.-----.|  |  |  |.----.|  |_
 |   -   ||  _  |  -__|     ||  |  |  ||   _||   _|
 |_______||   __|_____|__|__||________||__|  |____|
          |__| W I R E L E S S   F R E E D O M
 OpenWrt 21.02.0-rc1, r16046-59980f7aaf
root@OpenWrt:~# df -h
Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root                 3.3M      3.3M         0 100% /rom
tmpfs                    60.3M     64.0K     60.2M   0% /tmp
tmpfs                    60.3M     64.0K     60.2M   0% /tmp/root
tmpfs                   512.0K         0    512.0K   0% /dev
/dev/mtdblock5           10.6M    424.0K     10.1M   4% /overlay
overlayfs:/overlay       10.6M    424.0K     10.1M   4% /
root@OpenWrt:~# free
              total     used      free     shared   buff/cache   available
Mem:         123448     12588     98108    128     12752        79844
Swap:             0         0         0
root@OpenWrt:~# uname -a
Linux OpenWrt 5.4.111 #0 Sun Apr 18 10:06:57 2021 mips GNU/Linux

I now have the router configured with all the packages I want. It is working great and I still have space to load more packages within the 16MB of flash.

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Thanks eric.

I recently flashed and configured an OpenWrt image on a TP-Link router, took a while.
I hope GL-inet gives us more free space in next firmware.

Is there a link to the download for the image you can post?
Is there another link to flashing these with such images?

Thanks very much again.

oem’s have to design default settings and packages for the majority of their customers needs. I’m sure if you put an an order for 3 or 4k units they will do it for you. or you can do it yourself with
GitHub - gl-inet/imagebuilder: Warning!Please look at 'GL.iNET Imagebuilder Introduction' section. :wink: saved you alot of quid today. your welcome

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To find the correct version of OpenWrt firmware for my GL iNet routers, I used the OpenWrt firmware finder:

For the GL-AR300m16, here is the link for the 21.02-rc1 firmware

If you would like to try the released OpenWrt 19.07.7 code, it is at:

To load this firmware on my AR300M16 running the GL iNet 3.201 firmware, I first upgraded to OpenWrt 19.07.7 by scp the bin file to the /tmp directory on my router, which is a RAM based file system, so it does not use any FLASH. I then ran the sysupgrade command from the AR300M16 router:

# sysupgrade -v -n /tmp/openwrt-19.07.7-ar71xx-generic-gl-ar300m-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin

After the router rebooted, it comes up on IP address running OpenWrt 19.07.7 without a root password. I then did the same thing again, using the 21.02 bin file and sysupgrade, and after the reboot, the system was running 21.02rc1. I did not need to use uboot.


Thanks very much eric :+1:

From your post i can see in these days that some mainly care about money, you care about people and their time. I am sure you have a lot of good karma this way and i thank you for your guidance.

I downloaded the 19.07.7 + 21.02.0 images you linked and the instructions look pretty detailed and straightforward. Thanks for the upgrade cmd line too, surely helps save me a lot of time. Last month a new TP-Link OpenWRT flashing for a big router took a lot of my time and finally I traced a bug (in a particular config) and told the dev who fixed it. Thanks as you have already done this and works. You saved me a lot of time pal. I will flash over the weekend and will play and compare performance, looks great anyway.

I am sure your post(s) helps many now and also in future.
I will flash this build and upgrade as you instructed. I will try future stock firmware upgrades by GL-inet and compare and if still bloated will flash back to OpenWRT again.

But i doubt they will reduce the junky bloatware for customers, majority of whom are not the usual suckers sucking up whatever but honest people who should not waste time dealing with amateurish coded bloatware.

SO THANKS VERY MUCH AGAIN eric, you are fab buddy. :heart:

TO THE GL-inet devs manager:
Please compare the OpenWRT rom version with your stock, without space for Luci+File Sharing+DLNA (all 3), you have killed this router. Most good hardware makers kill their reputation & company by ignoring software. Your standards were good but dropping fast. You are letting down the hardware guys in your company.
Best wishes.

washere, I am able to reproduce your issue with my GL-AR300M16. After reset, I am able to install Advanced → LuCI and File Sharing → File Sharing or Multimedia File Sharing (DLNA) but not both.

In which Network Mode are you? I am able to change the SSID via the GL Web user interface → Wireless. By the way, you can change the SSID not only via the Web interface but also via SSH and there via UCI ….

Thanks ICAKaBLO,
I have it connected via WAN port to a bigger router, basically serving a HDD from USB port. Mainly stored movies, music etc. So i need both plugins (File Sharing + DLNA) hence no room left for Luci. Without Luci, i don’t think can change SSID name as advanced settings on GL web interface says won’t load as needs Luci. Your link for SSH seems to be for OpenWRT image, I hope to flash that on Sunday if i I get a couple of hours to play. But that has enough room to install Luci afterwards (if it is not bundled already with the image).
Thanks again.

It is the OpenWrt Wiki, yes. However, SSH (and UCI) also work on your GL.iNet out of the box.

Works here with the GL Web interface. In which Network Mode are you exactly? That can be seen from the GL Web interface. If you did not change it, you are in Router Mode. By the way, if you connected it to your main router, and you are still in Router Mode, you should disable Wi-Fi in the GL.iNet because you introduce a double NAT and your Wi-Fi clients cannot roam between your main Wi-Fi and the GL.iNet. If you want to use the Wi-Fi of your GL.iNet to add an additional Wi-Fi access point, I recommend to change the Network Mode from ‘Router’ to ‘Access Point’.

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Thanks ICAKaBLO,

I haven’t set it up as a wifi repeater and it’s still in the default router mode. However when connected to it’s wifi, it serves various internet protocols well because it’s connected via it’s WAN port to the big router. So no problems.

However I only connect to it’s wifi for it’s browser based admin panels. So no problems there as I don’t connect to it’s wifi usually anyway for internet access. I think they call it Cable Mode. I need to keep it’s wifi (and broadcast SSID) so I can access it’s admin panels, easily, and with phone anytime.

I recently bought a top of the line Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB of RAM, and this little router compares well for serving media files, not as good but not far off.

Good to know it’s image is based on OpenWRT. By the way, To save time, do you know what the exact SSH command line for renaming SSID on this router would be?

Thanks again.

Well i changed the name of the device as it appears on LAN scans, with vim via SSH in file network:


Default Login id for SSH (using Putty) is root & password is what one sets it (default was goodlife). on log in pwd is \root (usert) so go to top (real root) with cd … Then etc & then config folder.

To find ip number of box (connected via WAN port to main router in my case) on windows you can use “Advance IP Scanner” (free, better than angry ip scanner) or on Android apps “Netx” or “Network Analyser” (i have both pro versions but free works too).

Then i grepped to find where ssid name (my ssid was called GL-AR300M-NOR-408) is in config folder:

grep “NOR” *

That did it, so no recursive grep search in subfolders.
It was in file “wireless” so i changed the 2 occurrences (second was for -GUEST wifi) and as I said that did change SSID broadcast name.

So hope this helps anyone who needs to change ssid name without Luci & sees this thread in future.

But really need to de-bloat this image in next update for the 3 basics plugins:

  1. File Sharing
  2. DLNA
  3. Luci

Thanks to all who replied. All the best.

On a command line aka Terminal, go for:

ssh root@gl-ar300m-xyz

Replace xyz with the last three characters of your MAC or simply use the SSID printed on the back of your GL.iNet – the ‘hostname’ of your GL.iNet. Then, you go for

uci set wireless.@wifi-iface[0].ssid='your SSID'
uci commit wireless

More settings and real-life example in this thread …

When you change via Web → More → Network Mode to Access Point, you are able to access your GL.iNet from your usual home network, your main router directly. Therefore, with that, you could disable the Wi-Fi in the GL.iNet.

When you keep the Network Mode as Router but add a Port Forwarding for TCP port 80, you are able to access your GL.iNet from your usual home network, your main router directly. Therefore, with that, you could disable the Wi-Fi in the GL.iNet.

However, that is a second-class alternative. I recommend to change the Network Mode to Access Point as describe before – it even should make your GL.iNet a bit faster, because all that unneeded Firewall and Masquerading services are not running anymore.

I still wonder why you cannot change the SSID via the GL.iNet interfaces. Here with my GL-AR300M16, I go for → Wireless → (tab) 2.4G Wi-Fi → (button) Modify. Are you using not the Web but the App interface? Never tried the GL.iNet app.

If your computer uses the DNS proxy of your router, go for a Web browser, and enter the SSID printed on the back of your GL.iNet – its ‘hostname’ – in your case it sounds to be http://gl-ar300m-408
That way, you do not have to find the IP address.

Yes, that is the alternative to UCI (and LuCI, and the GL.iNet Web UI). Glad you made it.

If you cannot wait/stand it, I recommend to have a look at the latest GL-AR300M series. They come with an additional NAND flash. Perhaps the GL.iNet support is able to confirm that, but I think you can use that for additional space for software packages. One of the benefits of GL.iNet routers are their bigger ram/storage compared to other off-the shelf routers because OpenWrt itself is known to be hungry.


Thanks for your detailed reply.

  • My de-bloat request is logical. Those 3 plugins (File Sharing + DLNA + Luci) are not too much to ask.

  • Would be nice to keep this box’s image updates not filled to the brim as many are happy users. And there are so many cool plugins.

  • Thanks for your link to 300M series, interesting comparison chart. As I said in the OP I also have the latest Slate version anyway.

  • Thanks for reminding SSID name change is possible from the Wifi settings of admin panels. I actually did that last year when I first bought the Slate, but must have forgotten that. Because the device_name_change is within Advanced (Which needs Luci) but not the broadcast SSID name. Anyway i needed to change the device name as well as SSID name.

  • Thanks for your suggestions regarding mode change benefits and also command line examples for SSH. And also thanks for the other links. If I get home early tonight, I will play with these and then the OpenWRT image eric linked. Hard reset (not the 5 seconds press) by pressing more than 10 seconds on these GL-inet boxes is great so we can all play easily and change things to test. And then revert back.

Thanks again for your detailed post, I think many people will find it useful in future as they search about this router.

Best wishes.

I’m noodling on using imagebuilder to take stuff out of the firmware for my Mango. My candidates at the moment are the mac_vender.db, gl-tertf, nodogsplash and probably the openvpn server. I can free up a fair amount of room by deleting them from /etc, so at the moment it isn’t urgent. I’ve added in luci, adblock, nano and sqm.

I definitely do not want DLNA or fileserver in my device. Those are far from desirable in a travel router.

That’s good to know, a few to uninstall to free space. But the bloat issue, filled to the brim, remains and needs fixing for next upgrade version.

File Sharing & DLNA plugins can be installed & uninstalled in seconds. Doesn’t take much time or effort via admin menu in browser.

Also, reading around the web, many users buy various GL-inet modems for streaming movies and music in hotels, while traveling. And even streaming movies in cars for children. Many use them for media streaming purposes.

Ahh. Now, I got you. I think, that would be an interesting feature request for @GL.iNet; when the SSID is changed also change the hostname.

By the way, one more top tip: In LuCI, at the top right, after changing something, you get a button ‘Unsaved changes’. With that, you see the UCI commands. You can copy those. That way, you get all the commands and need LuCI only once. You could reset your GL.iNet, install just SMB and DLNA and issue those commands via SSH. Of course, a bit clumsy but a workaround.

That is the question. It is good to report it, for sure. The question is whether GL.iNet did not know, well, the question is whether GL.iNet can really do much about it. I have not looked into all areas of their image but reducing the size might be more complex than we think. perhaps GL.iNet can comment on that.


That’s a nice trick with Luci. I’ll play with it this weekend when i get time. Thanks buddy.

As for the bloated image, it is being complained about in other threads too.
I think the solution is a new thread:


These would be plugins that will not affect core features.
I would not hold my breath for a reply from GLinet.

Thanks again. :+1:

Yes, for sure. I would like to have a smaller image, too. It is good to report that. The question remains whether GL.iNet can do anything about that. In one of the other threads, their answer was a list of workarounds …

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