How to install OpenWrt on an unsupported device?

Hi, everyone.

I have a router / modem combo unit from my ISP (My Republic Australia) which I would like to install OpenWrt on. I don't have much networking experience and the device I would like to install to is not in the supported list. Is it possible and how would I go about installing OpenWrt?

Sagemcom F@ST 5366
Broadcom BCM63139

You can't install OpenWrt on an unsupported device at all.

If it isn't listed in the table of hardware, it isn't supported. Routers are embedded devices, usually with quite come quirks and peculiarities, and little standard adherence (so those exist in the first place), so each device needs its very own bespoke firmware image - there usually are no generic images.

That doesn't mean it's impossible to add support for it, but in your case (with a Broadcom platform) you have to consider that neither modem functionality, FXS/ phone features or DECT hardware are supportable at all (no drivers) and the wireless situation very likely isn't much better (unless you're very, very lucky and your device is using a brcmfmac supported wireless chipset, you may get b43 support capping out at 54 MBit/s at best - if at all). If you accept these inherent limitations (basically a wired ethernet-only device) and want to add support for your device, you'll need to familiarize yourself with the way OpenWrt works and check support additions for similar devices, so you can adapt OpenWrt to the needs of your device. Depending on your experience with linux and embedded system programming (and obviously how many hurdles the vendor has thrown into your direction), you're looking at somewhere between a long rainy weekend and multiple weeks/ months to first investigate what the OEM firmware has done, before then replicating that using OpenWrt's source infrastructure. Doing this effort usually feels more rewarding for SOCs/ devices that have better opensource support and whose hardware can be fully (or at least largely) supported.


Your best option would be to put your modem-router in a bridge mode (use it as modem only), and by a supported router for your needs.


Thanks for the responses,

I was planning to flash my device so I could run it in bridge mode as it currently doesn't have that capability. However from what I'm understanding even if I do flash the router it wouldn't be able to do much more than switching? As I primarily wanted to use it as a standalone modem this won't work for me.

Thanks again for everyone's help

Some ISP modem-routers support bridge mode. Double-check it.

There is no point of flashing your ISP device grenadier than it won't work as a modem, and you would need to buy another one. Moreover, ISP-provided devices are often of low specs, so you would lose the modem functionality to get a low specs router that will not give you a good OpenWrt experience.

If your device doesn't support bridge mode then you either keep it as it's and connect your new OpenWrt to it (that will probably involve double NATing), or find a modem-router that supports bridge mode and works with your ISP. Thise should be available as second hand (or new) for cheap as ISP provide them and then people end up having extra modem when they change ISP.

Double check your device first; then look on any local second - hand listing.


Right now, there is nothing to flash into your device...