Industry supporting OpenWrt


I'm curious about your opinions on the following topic.
When buying a new device I would like to support companies that invest into Open Source by contributing to projects like OpenWrt or Linux in general.

What manufacturers of device are there, that directly contribute to OpenWrt?
What comes to my mind is GL.iNet, Turris and also Sinovoip.

When it comes to wifi chips, what company has the best attitude towards Open Source? It seems like they are all quite closed to open hardware concepts. Felix Fietkau once held a talk about Mediatek and how they are so much better than the rest. Today I cannot say I feel this attitude from them.

Thank you

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If you're for instance looking at AX devices, Mediatek are the only ones that has gotten their hw into mainline kernel.
So I'd agree with Felix, whoever he is.


Added for context

Thank you for your feedback so far. Is there anyone who can elaborate a bit on which manufacturers are actually supporting OpenWrt? This might be financial support but my main concern is when manufacturers contribute to the source code directly.

There's no "Openwrt support", but mainline Linux kernel.

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I don't understand. There is the Turris Omnia device. Did they not contribute code to the project in order to make their products compatible to OpenWrt?
I also thought Gl.iNet contributes code to OpenWrt as their devices are also shipped with a variant of OpenWrt.

The hw support usually comes from the chip maker, not the device manufacturer.

It's the reason why some gl.inet devices aren't supported, the hw isn't supported by Linux kernel.

They might have added fixes and other features, but probably not on SoC and radio level.

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They did not, Turris Omnia support was ported by some of its users, not by cz.nic; they have gotten a little more actively involved since (emphasis on little).

Only in the really easy cases (of adding a new device to an already well supported target (e.g. ath79/ mt7621)), their current hardware line-up tends to be too new for that, so they take the cheap way out if taking the proprietary vendor (q)sdk and not bothering about OpenWrt support.

You're expecting way more from these vendors than they're willing to provide.


Luxul is an excellent manufacturer and has supported OpenWrt.

In most cases, when a manufacturer ships a product with OpenWrt preinstalled, it's a modified version of OpenWrt: they modify OpenWrt, sometimes (but not always) they publish their modifications (as requested by the license), but they rarely contribute directly.

A little? :thinking:

I am not saying that we at Turris are doing a great job here, but I haven't seen many manufacturers to contribute to OpenWrt as we do. You can try to convince me, but before that, let me show some statistics:

  • On GitHub, I opened over 100 pull requests, but it is not possible to count only GitHub pull requests as I sent a few patches via the mailing list.

  • Not sure, if you count the packages repository as well. I opened over 500 PRs there.

But that's only me, you need to count other guys from Turris as well. Sadly we are not unified on this thing, so it is somehow problematic to find it out, but you can check it e.g. here.

This is only related to OpenWrt repositories, but the main development field is (and should be for everyone) the Linux kernel as everyone can benefit from it. They can use any GNU/Linux distributions, which they want. Our kernel developer improved support for SoC A3720 as much as he could, although we don't get any thank you from other manufacturers.

You tried to keep it as short as possible, right? Because it sounds to me that you put it very modestly.

Turris OS is based on top of each OpenWrt release, which helps us in many ways in development. Unfortunately, what slows us down is that we can not add new features like U-boot support or keep it updated in the stable releases and you need to add that OpenWrt do releases once per year. :frowning:

Also, OpenWrt tries to be minimalistic to support as many devices as possible, and that's one difference between Turris OS. We did not do such a trade-off in size, so we can focus on speed. Also, there are some things that we can not upstream as automatic updates, our UI side-by-side with LuCI, etc.

Well, I could add more things, what is different, but I want to highlight one issue, which is now happening in OpenWrt 22.03 release, is the DSA/switch issue on mvebu. There were two options - look into it further, backport many changes in the DSA subsystem from a newer Linux kernel or use the latest LTS kernel. That's why we have LTS kernel 5.15 for all OpenWrt versions.

Anyway, what I am thinking is that it would help manufacturers not only to us but be more in OpenWrt meetings or even be part of the core team. Because from my point of view, every developer has different opinions and sometimes you can things merged, and sometimes you don't. I am aware that things can be broken when you are backporting stuff to the stable release, but sometimes you don't have a choice. You can not ship OpenWrt RC versions or even daily snapshots to end users.

EDIT: Oh, I almost to forgot to mention that we sent a few routers to main OpenWrt developers and we are willing to continue with that.


Add 8devices in the list.

I want to thank you since you guys are actually the only vendor putting effort into contributing back.
I have worked with Pali and Marek a lot since I had a period when I was quite active on 3720 and 7040 so we interacted a lot in U-boot/ATF land.