Do I really need mac80211/Backports package?

If I switch to more recent kernel (4.16) and build Openwrt, backports package breaks (obviously). Creating a new backports package and then porting 200+ patches is a huge challenge.

How can I disable OpenWrt backported wireless drivers? Are these needed when I'm using more recent mainline kernel?



You can't, at least not reasonably, as the required wlan packages are only packaged from backports and not (alternatively) from the base kernel. You'd have to replicate this packaging for the kernel - and introduce corresponding dependencies/ conflicts. This is possible, but would duplicate a massive amount of packaging code - which is also a constantly moving target, having to do this for two similar but indepently moving code bases would be a maintenance nightmare.

Switching to newer major kernel version is a large task by itself, as you need to adjust

Wifi backports is just a small part of the task


However I feel backported drivers should have been an alternative to base drivers. Rather having no alternative at all.

No doubt and I agree 100%. Someone (Smartsmurf) already did this for gemini based NAS: I have managed to port bcm53xx specific changes both configs and patches. Although, I haven't been able to test it because I've hit a dead end with backports.

Just want to say, I have huge appreciation for work you both do here. Thank you!

Well, I did make packages for the in-kernel wireless driver in the past to test
whenever the backports was causing problems or not:

You can find an old patch that came with cfg80211, mac80211 and ath10k for the IPQ40XX on the 4.8/(early 4.9-rc ish) on the Mailinglist archive.

Note: The this probably will require more work in order to be usable.
But if you looking for leads I guess you can start from there and make
your own version/customization. At least, I know it did work back then.

This is helpful, Thanks!