Adding OpenWrt support for Netgear R6700 v1 - easy to do


I would like to see support added for Netgear's original R6700 (the v1 though it isn't marked as such). This unit is hardware identical with the OpenWRT-supported R7000. The only difference is the board ID. The two machines share an FCC ID, and there is a regulatory requirement for the hardware to be the same for this to be the case. The single hardware difference isn't on the board per se, it's the lack of a rear USB 2.0 plug on the R6700, and this is just because the end wasn't soldered on. The oft-cited AC1750 vs AC1900 difference between the R6700 and R7000 was simply the lack of support for TurboQAM in the Netgear stock firmware the R6700 ships with.

So, all that would need to be done to support the unit is target a new board ID with the R7000 build. FreshTomato recently added support on this basis and it works well. dd-wrt has had support for both for some time. In both cases, they use identical builds simply targeted at the different board IDs.

Installing the R7000 firmware on the R6700 is actually doable now by altering the board ID on the R6700.

I have nvram dumps and dmesg outputs available for the R6700 is required. I would be happy to test as well.

It still needs someone with the hardware on their desk, e.g. you, to actually write and test the resulting patch, before submitting it to the project, it won't happen by itself.

…and even then, neither of its WLAN cards would be supported[0].

aside from very, very basic device support via b43, which limits you to 54 MBit/s at most, which is not something I'd consider acceptable for an 802.11ac AP.

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Sorry to take so long to update this. In the time since I wrote the above, I have had now three people come to me to ask about the process for changing the boardid on the R6700v1 to match the R7000 so they can install OpenWRT. So I think there is a call for it. And I now have four of this device and the equipment and know-how to debrick from almost any state, so I can test it if someone makes a patch.