I was at a flea market recently and I saw a bargain Linksys WHW01 (VP01) there that I found powered up OK. I unfortunately did a quick search on my cell phone to find the router was "supported" so I got the sellers name to return it if it didn't work. The linksys firmware works OK but I'd like to use this on just a plain openwrt connection with Adblock. Once I had all the websites pulled up back home, I was surprised to find a link in the firmware page to direct me to this page instead of the firmware:
And I have no idea what the page is telling me other than it is a "pull request". What is a "pull request"? From what I understand I need a serial cable to flash, which I have used on other devices but then the instructions tell me to rename the firmware file to another name before flashing it. I can find no clue the source of that firmware file I need to load.
A PR is a forum thread on Github where a contributor has submitted code to OpenWrt and OpenWrt developers check his code before adding it.
In this case, it's code to add that device to openwrt.
Since the PR is still open, they are still working on this.
So in practice this means the device is not supported, but there are decent chances that this device will be supported in next release (next year or so)
Thank you both very much. Does this mean that the person working on this is likely compiling the code and testing it on his own device? If so, I wonder how often the testing code is being shared or if they want anyone to help test?
I'm not that great in Linux. OpenWRT and a few minor Pi package additions is as far as I have made it. Compiling would sort of be like moving a workshop to a new building by myself as far as my mind would wrap around the process. By the time I arrived where I was going, I would have lost all my customers and the equipment would need replacing.
By the nature of things, the (source-) code is being shared by definition - available for anyone to compile themselves, to test, to comment upon, to improve.
Positive test results are generally appreciated (at least as long as they don't come with the implicit expectation to get delivered precompiled firmware images until the end of time) - and failure reports are just a necessity to get stuff fixed.
In practice, if you don't want to compile from source, you'll have to wait until the device is merged into OpenWrt (at which point you may have to wait even further, until the next major stable release to get an image with luci included, so… well…, you gotta compile).
It's a good thing then that OpenWrt is an opensource project and doesn't have paying customers to please.
If you want a working and precompiled firmware image for your device, you need to choose wisely beforehand and limit your shopping list to devices already supported (and reported to be fully working) in the current stable release, there are no warranties, neither explicit nor implied.
 you may lose out a number of recent/ capable or potentially cheap devices by excluding yourself from the market share of devices only supported in master or potentially even pre-merged pull requests, but in return you know what is supported and what isn't, right now.
Thanks, to repeat, however, I was in a tight situation with only minutes to make a decision. The specs looked good so the second question was "is this supported by OpenWRT". I do a quick search on a small phone with my bad eyesight, see the big nice panel with the router pictures and the firmware block saying here is the firmware for it. I don't read deeply to see that it leads me off to some Github location rather than where all the other same style "official looking pages go" which is to the actual firmware file; and I don't figure out till I get home and actually click on the firmware in the "download" block and I get redirected. First thought is I made a mistake, so I click it again, next time I read a little closer and think, oh this is one of those new devices that has the serial cable, I've got that covered. Then when I start trying to find the file the author says to copy, the big caveat of "YOU NEED TO COMPILE". Now this may sound trivial to someone who does it every day but as far as I have made it with Linux desktop is butchering my Windows machine EUIF or whatever the partition manager is it is to the point I can download Mint desktop and the most advanced operation I have managed to do so far is to fchk a drive that my raspberry pi destroyed. So I'm a long way off from compiling yet. Still I appreciate all the information and I'm not asking for a bag of grapes to be peeled other than saying I made an honest mistake. The router goes back into a desk drawer and comes back out maybe then next Christmas and now everyone is happy again - I hope
Yes they compile locally to test on their own device. If you want to help testing or just get a built firmware for that device to get you out of this situation, you can ask in that thread or use the email in the commit description (linked by slh in the first post of this thread) to send an email to the contributor.
It's generally a good thing to have someone else's feedback on a PR, as the core developers that review the code don't have this device so they have to trust the contributor that "it works fine" and if more people confirm that is better.
So if you do get the firmware and it runs OK make sure to post at least here on the forum and notify the developer so he can link to the post in the PR thread.
If you don't see that table then the device is unsupported or WIP or whatever and not for end users.
We (me and tmomas) actively discourage people from adding random unsupported devices to the wiki but if there is an open or closed PR with code to add support for it we have to allow a wiki page as it helps other people find and test for this device.