Are you looking for a modern Internet device which you can install OpenWrt onto?

#1

I created a page on the wiki just for you!
https://openwrt.org/toh/views/toh_consumer_devices

The page filters out all of the antiques you'll find in most of the other views on the wiki and gives you significantly less work to do to when shopping for a device.

Happy shopping! And Good luck! :v:

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#2

The page you created mentions Mediatek as being anti-FOSS.
Could you please provide a pointer to any previous discussion of this issue?

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#3

In general, this list could use a few improvements, especially clearly revealing what the filter criteria are.

It omits many solid devices that I would have expected to be there, as well as including devices that I personally don't believe should be bought new, as they have insufficient RAM compared to their peers on the market.

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#4

I'm also cursious about the Mediatek note, especially since you list two devices with MediaTek hardware:

  • Buffalo WSR-600DHP, which has a MT7621S (note the Single core).

In that case I would add to your list all MT7621A (dual core) devices with 16/64 or more; or at least the 16/128+ devices.

  • TP-Link Archer VR200v, which has a MT7610.

As far as I know, this WiFi chip is not (yet?) supported by the FOSS MT76 driver, which makes it not fully supported by OpenWRT and should not be on your list.

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#5

I would remove the asus routers that cant run propper wifi to. Thanks for this list tho! It's a good start and some thing that is needed.

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#6

The selection certainly is 'interesting', considering that the selection criteria state "can do 5.0GHz Wi-Fi without issue", while at the same time including several devices with Broadcom BCM4360, Lantiq XWAVE300 or Quantenna QSR1000 wlan…

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#7

No discussion on this forum about the issue as far as I'm aware.
MTK business model has been well known for a long time now.



Or maybe; I'm senior in the embedded space and it just crept up on me.. Maybe they have changed their ways? I always just avoid anti-foss companies like the plague. Especially ones which do not reciprocate the opportunities they have graciously been afforded, even if it's just in kind.

The criteria are at the bottom. I added a link to them now.
I was trying to keep the page sparse and simple because UX is always worse the more complex things get IMO.
The page is marked under construction now because I was unaware of the how low the quality for some of the device pages were. The really bad ones will be weeded out but it's no easy task and I don't have unlimited time.

It blows my mind that anyone would get a device working, start a device page, link to a release which works and then just not fill out the device entry properly with installation instructions, etc. But whatever.

If no one uses the list, at least it gives me a starting point to prune or add to some of the device entries on the list. I guess that's really the whole point of it now. To get the information on the TOH more comprehensive and complete.
Please feel free to anyone to update any device pages. etc with missing information. That pretty much goes for any devices you know. If you don't mind. :man_shrugging:

I don't doubt. Could you give an example of each please?
I'm not sure about the "peers on the market" bit. The memory requirement is pretty static. In that it's 64MB and as much as I would think that 32MB is enough to run OpenWrt if you run a snapshot, the default release with luci, 2 dhcp servers running etc is too heavy. 32MB just isn't enough. I saw OOM Killer here on a device with 32MB. And I know the reality is that OpenWrt is a starting point and that luci is really just a crutch for new users until they learn how to ssh in but a first experience that doesn't run too good with an official release without some work isn't a good one for some.

Yeah. I need to filter those out individually using specifics. The filter does remove mediatek hardware, it just has it's own issues with wildcards, especially in comma delimited lists.
I was trying for a while and some of the comparators just don't do what you'd expect.
So yeah, there's work there. I'll get round to it.

Please see the links above about MTK. The business model is that they offer their hardware cheaply to OEMs and part of the purchase price includes licensing the driver software source code. The agreement surrounding the business model involves an NDA which means that driver source code must not be shared. So closed source leaching off of the back of open source, effectively.

The ones with partial? Will do.

Filtered list. Not a selection.
It's an information stream designed to encourage educated consumer choice. Not a basis of an opinion. Or an attempt to create division.
Nothing on the list was selected. The table of hardware was filtered.

Thanks for the feedback.
I can, from the view now go through and filter out further items based upon the quality of the device pages.
It's really important IMO that not only the device has a spec which will last at least three years if you buy it today but also that it's good to go for hacking and at least one person has had a bash at properly documenting it.

It's also a belief of mine that OpenWrt actually should endorse may be a top X number of devices somewhere on the site at some point and offer Amazon affiliate links for each item to raise revenue to help pay for infrastructure, meet ups, dev time, etc but maybe that's just enterprising capitalistic greed?

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#8

Even 128 MB may not be enough for a device with two ath10k radios. See, as one example, ASUS RT-AC58U crashes under heavy load/ after a while

64 MB devices are almost certain to have problems over the next three years, following quickly on the heels of the now-obsolete 4/32 devices. This is nothing new, and the RAM issues are already mentioned at https://openwrt.org/supported_devices/432_warning

I don't think that LuCI is a crutch for users who don't have the skills to select a device based on their knowledge of their needs and the resources required. By its very nature, a filtered list is targeted at relatively new users, for whom LuCI is a strong, positive feature of OpenWrt.

Ruling out MTK is a little heavy handed, I believe. The business model you describe isn't very much different than any of the vendors, chip sets or devices. FOSS has become a "religion" and, in my opinion, one should be as careful about pushing it on others as any formal religion. There isn't anything that is truly "open source" when talking about any IC with any complexity to it; SoCs, switch chips, and wireless NICs definitely fall into that category, even the much-touted ath9k devices. They all have closed-source firmware, be it embedded in the device, or downloadable. I haven't found an IPQ4019 data sheet (not sell sheet) available without NDA, as a specific example.

Several strong, candidate devices are mentioned at Top ten routers currently in use? and in posts following (as a redirected response to the OP's initial query). The omission of the MTK-based devices probably brings many in. Others, especially in the "cheaper options available" may not be captured by your list (the BT Home Hub 5 Type A, as a notable unit that is widely available in Europe at an excellent price, from what I understand). Some of the other "omissions" were apparently due to being single-band devices, which was not noted when I looked at the page.

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#9

This will be my last post on this forum. I feel like this forum has made me feel unwelcome and there are some very sinister ideas about community, etc here.
It makes me sad and I don't want to be a part of any of it. Shame on you. You know who you are.

That's a bug, a configuration or other hardware issue. Not a lack of total RAM. If it's the memory leak or the wireless stack bugs in OpenWrt 18.06.2 then they're fixed in git master. I am running a snapshot here which has both issues gone.

The fact is that 32MB of system RAM is enough to run OpenWrt for many workloads as long as the correct configuration is made.

It's pretty standard to put in 128MB plus into a device but 128MB is about the minimum you will find manufacturers who are making device in factories today, put in most low end devices.
64MB is more than enough. But please again refer to the criteria offered at the bottom of the list.

RAM issues are caused by incorrect configuration by users (inadequate skills to use OpenWrt as a template,) inappropriate workloads due to "extra" software choices, bugs and poor system choices by the developers (dhcp server twice??? etc) which you can fix by having the understanding and gaining the knowledge to learn the solutions to these problems.
99% of the information is there on the wiki to read. The misconception that OpenWrt should be, or is a "drop in" replacement for standard router firmware has to stop.
It is not that and once you have engineered a solution using it as the raw basis, as much becomes apparent.

It is. An ssh connection allows you to do things you just can't do with luci and once you learn how to configure an OpenWrt instance via ssh, there is no point in luci. All the information is available on the wiki. I encourage you to seek it out and learn.

Nope. A filtered list is just that : A list which has been filtered.
This filtered list has a clear purpose. One which is stated at the top of the page.

OpenWrt is not for "users." OpenWrt is only suitable for testing new devices, creating an embedded router solution using OpenWrt as the base or for you to do crazy things with embedded hardware.
Sure, you can learn via installing OpenWrt but you will learn by becoming a software administrator, engineer or developer. Not as a user in the case of this software project.

OpenWrt in it's default form, is no more suitable than 99% of manufacturers firmware for the device it is installed upon. It is far too rough around the edges and that's why there are so many device specific forks of OpenWrt on Github, Gitlab and Bitbucket.
You have to make the OpenWrt distribution work for you. It requires work.
Luci isn't the answer. Even the developers think it's not the right fit and have been developing Luci2.

Not to mention that it is just an arbitrary attack vector IMO.

I don't.
If you sell a product using the open source Linux kernel but you are not prepared to release the source code for the device drivers to power your tech, let alone make an attempt to get them merged into the Linux kernel, then an open source operating system has no place offering support for any of it.
If you bought a Mediatek device, I am truly sorry for you. You were conned if you thought you were going to be able to run current with the Linux kernel.
And it has nothing to do with religion (or even politics : example the Debian project) and it's offensive to go around saying so.
It has to do with important complicated internals to do with open source software and the way open source software works. Please take some time and learn about open source software, the Linux kernel, FSF, software release cycles, code standards and forward compatibility. Then you can understand how to make better arguments with people you agree or disagree with on the Internet surrounding this topic.

First of all: I have absolutely no interest in what the forum troll has to say about anything. I recommend that you all block the guy. He is severely lacking in knowledge or the ability to think critically without offending people.
Secondly, the list linked in this thread has nothing to do with a "top ten" or a "what's the best" or a "omg - you should buy this!" It is designed to offer the information a shopper needs to make a choice.
The forum troll is part of the circlejerk I have observed on this forum where recommendations are made based upon the flavour of the month or their "favourite" device or devices. Instead of asking the thread starter questions and linking them to the information they need to make an informed decision on their own.

I even witnessed him go on an off topic rant in one thread about how arbitrary x equalled arbitrary y without stating that it was his opinion (and actually he was mostly wrong.)

I understand why it's happening - it drives traffic to the forum. If you have a troll or a group of them feeding off handing out their misguided recommendations to new users. It keeps the forum busy and gives the mods something to do and the forum admin can see there is traffic. It is unfortunately dishonest. And I have zero respect for it. I recommend it stops. Now.

Essentially: saying use this device to everyone for all workloads because you own one is doing the person a disservice. An intelligent answer should be given instead of a populist one. That way the person can come to a decision using their own mind, so that if need be they can learn something and obtain the solution to the problem they are trying to solve.

Because that's all we are trying to do right? Solve problems.

Anyway, that's it. No more of this. This forum "community" is odious and repugnant at best.
I won't be back. It's a complete waste of my time. Thanks to anyone who wasn't a hole.
Good Bye!!!

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#10

Indeed. Processor isn't that great (500 MHz), but spaces is 128/128, usb port, VDSL, AR/QCA wireless, and can easily be bought from eBay for 5 pounds plus postage! Initial flashing require TTL but it's worth it, I think. It seems like a good all-in-one one starting point.

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#11

There are no 5ghz drivers that are fully open source. The latest fully source drivers are ath9k. Having said that, the drivers for mediatek's ac chips (mt76) are the most open source drivers available currently for ac WiFi. Their binary firmware blobs are the smallest and control the least. FOSS was a big reason I went with a mediatek device over anything else.

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