NanoPI R6S with OpenWRT

I bought a NanoPi R6S a few months ago and has been running the FriendlyWRT software on it. I was able to import the backup from OpenWRT running on Raspberry Pi 4B, and everything has been working great. It has two 2.5 Gbps interfaces and on 1 Gbps interface. In tests on Youtube reviews, it can push 2.3 Gbps LAN to WAN with firewall enabled. It's not bad for a home router at all; definitely much more powerful than Raspberry Pi 4b.

I know that people look down upon FriendlyWRT, and I would love to run an official release of OpenWRT on this device. Is there a hope that OpenWRT will support this device? Also, what exactly is a problem with FriendlyWRT that people have? Again, I would love to run a stable release of OpenWRT on the NanoPi R6S.

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The problem with forks in general is that we don't know what modifications were done to the OpenWrt codebase. Therefore, people are directed towards either the manufacturer or the other project with their question. This is the reason why you often see this message:

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what @andyboeh said.

would you go to Lexus to claim the warranty for your BMW ?

I'd expect the R6S to be supported once OpenWRT switches to kernel 6.1.

In the meantime you can use this (use the version based on kernel 6.1): https://github.com/mj22226/openwrt/releases

Been using that for weeks now and it's been rock solid.

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There is always hope :wink:
I just checked, support for the RK3588S SoC was added in Linux kernel 6.3. When OpenWrt switches to this or a higher kernel version, it will be easier to add support. Still, somebody owning the device (=you?) will need to add support for it.

This is not helpful. Sometimes when one has nothing to add, one should simply move along.

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and so should you, until the R6S is supported by openwrt ...

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You got nothing better to do?

why, you're starting a club ?

Not for trolls.

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The problem is, OpenWrt devs are not kernel devs, you can't expect them to work on all those open source drivers (including the CPU RK3588 here in R6S), that's why they can only start the porting when driver is ready.

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Thank you for commenting. I am not knowledgeable enough about Linux drivers development, so your comment is greatly appreciated.

How is FriendlyElec able to release an OpenWRT fork that works on the R6S and what did they do differently from OpenWRT? Did they compile a custom kernel with the drivers supporting RK3588?

Linux kernel 6.3 has native support for RK3588. When is it realistic to expect OpenWRT to move to this Linux kernel version?

Yup, unless it uses the kernel you mentioned.

The openwrt release coming after the one currently being in RC2, will run a v6 kernel.

FriendlyElec is based on official OpenWrt (actually quite a lot of routers on market doing this), with proprietary drivers from vendor and/or codes that is not possible to upstream to standard linux kernel tree. Since OpenWrt is 100% open source so proprietary drivers cannot be used (you can choose to compile OpenWrt with those closed source drivers if you like, but official team won't do it for you).

I am not sure if I read it correctly, but this page is showing that there are still lots of features inside RK3588 that are not usable in 6.3. From the newer v6.4 update I can see it mentioned that more features to be added so I don't know how mature it is inside v6.3 now. And assume finally there is a v6.x with better coverage (at least good enough to be a router) you probably need to wait for the 1-2 major versions after 23.05 since the 23.05 is not using v6 kernel yet. I have the R6S as well and really looking forward to this too.

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Transposing past releases you will have to wait at least two years for
OpenWRT 24.x will get LTS kernel 6.1
OpenWRT 25.x will get LTS kernel 6.7(?)

(unless someone creates a fork with back-ported drivers)

Wow. It’s pretty sad. I’ve bought two of these R6S (one as a cold spare). I guess I will be running FriendlyWRT for over two years so n them.

It’s working great on the latest FriendlyWRT - same stable release as the latest OpenWRT. In the absence of an alternative, I will continue running FriendlyWRT on it.

You can try the immortalWRT builds for it: https://firmware-selector.immortalwrt.org/?version=SNAPSHOT&target=rockchip%2Farmv8&id=friendlyarm_nanopi-r6s

It’s a fork for “mainland China” whatever that means but it seems to be a pretty clean fork.

Just use the 6.1 kernel release from here:

It's OpenWRT, with just the patches to get the R6S working.

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Hello Friends:

This is my inaugural post on this forum. :blush:

I'm getting the same NanoPi R6s unit soon and have a question.

@sirizha Using FriendlyWRT, are (or were) you able to easily install and manage AdGuard Home? (assuming you tried at all, which you may not have). And, in general, are other OpenWrt packages easy to install.

I'm very technical however I'm brand new to this ecosystem of devices and firmware (when I recently decided to get a dedicated router instead of using my Fedora-38 boxes).

Thank you in advance for the answers and any tips. :blush: