Taking into account that this is one of the routers that the internet recommended to use with openWRT, I was quite surprised in what a bad state both the documentation and the handling is. I really tried to get it running, but even for me being a way above average experienced Linux and hardware user it is a real pain to set it up. Not just the images like this time, but also the user interface and turning it into the 'default' operation mode meaning router + AP is almost not doable for normal users. I really hope openWRT can increase usability over time - at this point I can not recommend it to anyone who is not really desperate.
I'm not sure what the issue with "people trying things here and there" is.
This device has like 5 different hardware revisions (i.e. 5 slightly different hardware are sold as the same device even if they are not) for the C7 and another 2 for the C5, and localized stock firmware versions (namely the US version of the firmware enforces some form of signature from 2015 onwards).
That page has pretty recent information about successful installation instructions (or not for your device revision) and how to do it.
Maybe some of the outdated stuff that is currently strikethroughed about Chaos Calmenr could be deleted, yeah. I'll probably do that.
It seems the main issue of the documentation and hardware table is that it was not updated to point out that the Archer C7 v1 is a lemon and should be avoided.
People on C7 V2 and later seem to be fine. I'll probably have a look into making this clear in that page and in the device table.
Having a decent device page is in the list to be "recommended".
On my devices I don't have any such issue at enabling wifi though LuCi webinterface, and that's the only thing I need to do to get a working router+AP. I mean I don't have bootloops or anything either.
If I understand the bug report and thread linked, that's a device-specific issue for the C7 revision 1 about the wifi drivers not finding the wifi firmware for the 5Ghz radio (QCA9880-AR1A (v1), which is used only in the revision 1 and 1.1 of the Archer C7) and causing a whole system crash/reboot.
If you had additional issues on top of that (that maybe are not mentioned anywhere) please tell me.
Thanks. The page made some good progress since I tried installing in November. Good to see.
At least I kind of stumbled into this by having received a V1.1 instead of an advertised V2.0 router. So I gave it a try, knowing that it's somehow brittle.
I have a V5.0 now, so maybe I'll try again - even though it should downgrade both my Wifi and my gigabit fibre connection.
I think that would help a lot. I mean I knew that I'd want a router that has 802.11 AC, Gigabit WAN, etc. and is openWRT-enabled in terms of easy to install and well maintained. But it took me some hours to find my way through Reddit and some other random blog posts people made.
Well, with the C7 V1.1 I didn't really get there, but I remember a previous try with a friends C7 with version >=2.0 and we hardly failed to configure the guest wifi properly. The same thing on another attempt on my former DIR-645. But the latter one is now marked to be not working.
The point I have/had:
(I will argue for less proficient users as well)
Landing on openWRT.org
The download section on the main page mainly leads to the fileserver (bold link) which isn't particular helpful for most users unless they know their target release. I would have expected some explanations like in the dedicated download page.
Configuration in Luci
I remember when I tried installing the DIR 645 a couple of years ago, that I had to configure a lot in order to use it as a wifi-enabled router. Back then I was wondering why I had to put my hands on so many menus to get what probably 95% of the users would expect.
While not having had my own hands on recently, the documentation looks like this is the default configuration now and some processes like guest wifi are better documented and easier to set up.
I'm not sure it should downgrade the wifi.
As for the gigabit fibre (the NAT/routing acceleration issue I guess) while there is still no support for the hardware NAT engine (which is why the stock firmware can do gigabit WAN), there is "software flow offloading" which still increases significantly NAT speed (from 300 to 600 Mbit/s on the v5, and on devices with a slightly more powerful CPU it can do gigabit), as long as you do not use SQM or other traffic shaping. So that's at least "less bad" than before I guess.
This feature is not in the current stable release but will be in the next one that is going to happen in months. It is available on snapshot builds that don't have Luci web interface by default so if you do what the guy did in that thread do prepare SSH programs to connect and install Luci in your device after install.
There are also custom builds of OpenWrt with hardware NAT engine support, they are fast as the stock firmware (obviously), but I can't find the source code for them (only older version of his patches), so you need to trust the honesty of the guy making them. https://github.com/gwlim/openwrt-sfe-flowoffload