Netgear GS308T "snapshot" vs. GS108T v3 "21.02.1" support

I was able to install OpenWrt on a Netgear "S350 Series" model GS308T switch. I've put the details of how I did that below (in the hope that it could be helpful to others, confirming/clarifying the installation instructions from the wiki).

But I also have some related questions:

  1. Is there a particular reason that the GS308T only has snapshot builds and not a 21.02.1 release?
  2. Might the GS308T be supported in a future 21.02.x release or did it "miss the boat" and won't get "real" builds until some new major 24.09-type new release cycle far off?
  3. The GS108Tv3 does have a 21.02.1 release — would that build be compatible with the GS308T or are there significant enough differences?

details of what/how things worked so far

I downloaded snapshot builds of the "install" and "upgrade" packages via the links on the otherwise rather sparse https://openwrt.org/toh/hwdata/netgear/netgear_gs308t_1 page — i.e. the techdata page for the GS308T model. And then followed the instructions at https://openwrt.org/toh/netgear/gs108t_v3 — i.e. the more full wiki page for the similar GS108T v3 model.

Specifically (summarizing the more detailed GS108T instructions which you should read before you attempt):

  1. Upload the openwrt-realtek-generic-netgear_gs308t-v1-initramfs-kernel.bin file via the stock Netgear OEM web interface at 192.168.239.
  2. Reboot the router and wait for it to respond to pings on 192.168.1.1 + VLAN 100.
  3. scp openwrt-realtek-generic-netgear_gs308t-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin root@192.168.1.1:/tmp (blank/empty password)
  4. ssh root@192.168.1.1 and once in, run sysupgrade /tmp/realtek-generic-netgear_gs308t-v1-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin
  5. I had to power cycle the router before it would again respond to pings on VLAN 100. [I didn't try the reset button, so I don't know if that would have also worked.]
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Yes, there is. In the case of this specific device, it became available in 2021 and missed the development window to be integrated into 21.02. There are devices that are older that are supported with snapshots but not by the 21.02 releases, especially for the switches, because the switch support is really new.

No. You'll have to wait until the next major release (currently 22.xx).

I don't know the specifics of these two switches, but they are almost certainly different enough to warrant different images. On paper, they are rather similar, but under the hood there can (and almost certainly are) sufficient differences as to make the images incompatible. If they were literally the same devices (minus the PoE input on the GS108Tv3), I'm sure the devs would have figured that out and put cross-referenced the GS108Tv3 on the device info page.

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I created the support for the GS308T and when it was merged to trunk I asked for it to be pulled to the 21.02 release candidate at the time and was told that no new devices were being added. I have both switches and you don't want to load the GS108T firmware on the GS308T. You could build your own 21.02 firmware if you desired by applying https://git.openwrt.org/?p=openwrt/openwrt.git;a=commit;h=c829bc1f2c3c47e230905864f2f5f8c759f88ce6 to the 21.02 branch.

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What about using the rc for 22.03 instead of the snapshots ?
I saw that the commit is in these :

git tag --contain c829bc1f2c3c47e230905864f2f5f8c759f88ce6
v22.03.0-rc1
v22.03.0-rc2
v22.03.0-rc3

You are correct that the release candidates are building OpenWrt for the GS308T.

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Just to be sure. @RaylynnKnight So flashing openwrt-22.03.0-rc4-realtek-rtl838x-netgear_gs308t-v1-initramfs-kernel.bin should be safe and provides LUCI out of the box?