MikroTik hAP ax3 vs GL.iNet Flint: Which one will get the upstream openWRT official support sooner?


I seem to struggle finding myself a new WiFi router I'd like to use while at the same time being supported by upstream openWRT according to the ToH.

So far, I've come up with 2 possible options each having its weak points:

GL.iNet Flint seems to be enjoying more of developers' activity out of the 2. But then again, the SoC IPQ6000 inside makes a somewhat underwhelming impression on openWRT developers compared to IPQ6010. At least, I can run a somewhat WIP-quality firmware forked off the upstream openWRT on it in the meantime.

Talking IPQ6010, MikroTik hAP ax3 boasts the said SoC which would indicate a better support of such SoC-based routers in upstream openWRT in the future but then again, this specific model doesn't attract such an amount of interest among openWRT users and the developers' activity compared to GL.iNet Flint. Arguably, because it's just a newer model not as widespread which would also predict a later-coming upstream openWRT support. To the benefit of the model speaks the RouterOS, while being closed source I'd still favour, contrary to some deeply-modified Qualcomm SDK-based obsolete openWRT release-based FW w/ an old Linux kernel and possible back-doors coming from China's workforce as might be the case w/ the GL.iNet model. RouterOS just seems to be getting a free-pass of various outstanding security holes most consumer-grade cheap routers from different vendors are riddled with and corporate-grade, security-focused and premium-priced HW not excluding.

I was a bit interested in pcWRT CF-XR11 too, but the vendor looks like a no-go here in the community.

So what do you think? Will I be better off with the GL.iNet model or the MikroTik one provided my long-term goal is to run the latest stable upstream vanilla openWRT on one of them while tolerating either a WIP-quality FW instead of the stock Chinese-originating obsolete kernel-based FW w/ proprietary extensions on the first one, or a fully closed-source and radically different to configure FW on the other one in the meantime till official upstream openWRT support comes to them?

Nevertheless, in case you happen to know of some other rather cheap (but not super cheap) WiFi routers having WiFi 6/802.11ax capability w/ external antennae and looking like minimalism or brutalism-inspired industrial squared bricks rather than resembling either some Klingonian battle-cruiser hailing from a 5-digit stardate or an U.S. Air Force secret programme stealth-equipped next-gen bomber, I'll be all ears.


If you care about OpenWrt support, you shouldn't look at either of them - in either way, you'd be gambling on future support, which -even in the best of all cases- will take months+ to materialize. There are alternatives, ipq807x, mt7622bv+mt7915, filogic 820/830 and they aren't necessarily much more expensive.

Which one will get the upstream openWRT official support sooner?

In general, there is no way to tell, both are part of the same (sub-)target, so both depend on the same SOC-side preconditions to be met, the rest is 'just' a race of which device finds an active maintainer pushing for it first.

While the the hAP ax³ seems to be the better hardware, Mikrotik is always special and actively tries hard to be difficult - so I wouldn't opt for them with OpenWrt in mind, at least not until you have a strong indication that the device in question actually is supported by OpenWrt.


Damn, I was almost ready to hit the order button for one of them.

Am I correct expecting openWRT 24.xx stable release arrives roughly a year and a quarter later from now? I'm judging from the 1-year interval between the last 2 major releases' history and 4 months-long release candidates' life cycles of theirs and the fact 23.xx release candidates' stage has been set to motion just a month ago. Regarding 24.xx release, this is the one supposed to be the nearest possible adoption point in time for Flint.

Too bad there are no road maps for 23.xx & 24.xx releases.

Alright, I'll look into those. Thanks.

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