D-Link DGS-1210-08P - first steps

Hi all, since it is my first time that I want to flash a device with openwrt, I am possibly too careful.
First of all, the D-Link DGS-1210-08P is not listed in the toh. However, other models of the same series are listed, e.g. D-Link DGS-1210-10P (10 ports instead of 8). A few questions:

Glitch in the matrix.
I have updated the DGS dataentries now to 21.02.1

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While the device trees of the various realtek based devices are rather similar, the different number of ports must be accounted for - and there can always be different GPIO assignments, RAM- and flash sizes. Blindly flashing a DGS-1210-10P is very likely to end up in disaster.

Steps to go forward:

  • confirm that your device really is realtek rtl838x based (depends on the exact hardware revision)
  • open case
  • identify serial port
  • measure and confirm voltage requirements of this serial port
  • connect serial console (required)
  • document the status quo running the OEM firmware, RAM/ flash size, flash partitioning, show tech-support from the switch shell, investigate the abilities of the OEM u-boot (can you enter it, enable the network and tftpboot an initramfs image)
  • compare your findings to the DGS-1210-10P DTS, and adapt it to your needs (new DTS, less ports, potentially differing RAM/ flash sizes and partitioning, GPIO check)
  • build image with the changed settings
  • tftpboot an initramfs image to test your changes
  • give it very thorough testing
  • rinse and repeat
  • back up all OEM flash partitions
  • if you're extra sure about the flash partitioning, offsets and sizes, flash from the initramfs image
  • clean up your patches and submit a pull request against OpenWrt/ master and hope for it to be merged

Sounds complicated, but for realtek devices this is slightly easier than for most other targets, as the hardware is rather similar.

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https://wikidevi.wi-cat.ru/D-Link_DGS-1210-16_rev_G1 lists 8P as RTL838x under revision G

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That only applies if @hagen actually owns a rev G (or F), not rev A-Eā€¦

This is problematic with the DGS-1210 series, if you got the correct h/w revision great - if not, you're left with Marvell or Broadcom and no OpenWrt support. Sadly sellers (neither new, nor used) rarely specify the exact h/w revision, nor is the type plate readable on many used offers (and D-Link often hides the revision on a second label, not the main one), rendering this into a game of roulette.
No, you can't expect to receive a rev F/ G device, even if you buy it new from a regular seller - they might still have old stock and the box doesn't really provide much clarity either - unless you can read the model plate, it's down to personal luck (and hoping that seller and distributor have a high enough turnover so older revisions are no longer in stock).

Given that the hardware revisions also imply different firmwares, with very different feature sets (IPv6 support is only available in F/ G), this also has real implications to users of the OEM firmware.


The list of the DGS-1210 product series was compiled based on the product briefs of the different revisions. The DGS-1210-08P appears to be only included in for revision G, so that should be Realtek based.

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Many thanks to all! Yes, it is rev G1:

GS-1210-08P> show switch
System Time                       : 01/01/2020 22:21:10
System hardware version           : G1
System firmware version           : 7.20.003
System boot version               : 1.01.001

and https://biot.com/switches/dgs-1210_series lists the 8P as Realtek rtl838x. So, am I lucky?
The steps to go forward as described by slh sound exciting and discouraging to me at the same time:

  • confirm that the device is realtek rtl838x based: done
  • identify serial port: should be feasible
  • measure and confirm voltage: I need to purchase a voltmeter
  • connect serial console: I need an adapter X-to-USB?
  • document the status quo: RAM/flash size/partitioning: no idea, the console doesn't provide a command to get it; show tech-support does not exists; I have show switch (see output above); how to enter u-boot?
  • compare findings to the DGS-1210-10P DTS: Sorry, what is DTS, where can I find it?
  • build image with the changed settings: should be feasible.
  • ...
    Appears to me that it will need some time to go through and I really would like to do it. But actually I have the job to setup a pilot for a wifi hotspot and I have to feed the kids. So, it might be better to purchase another piece of supported hardware first and come back to the 08P when I have more time available. Any suggestions for a switch or router for a small sized hotspot (3-10 APs) that is supported?
    Thanks again and have a nice weekend.

If you have a look at the OpenWrt git log, you can probably find some good examples as to what is required to add support for a new device. For the Realtek target, the GS1900-24HPv2 seems like a good example.

Probably build upon [RFT 0/5] realtek: support boards similar to DGS-1210-10 ff.