Netgear WAX206 Support

correct, it reflects the full space available to openwrt.

nothing gets installed in RAM, RAM content doesn't survive a reboot.

it's a dual fw device, to start with, you'll never get 256MB free flash space.

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Yeah, thanks, I realised about the volatile ram thing after I wrote that and mentioned it later in my post, but appreciate the clarification. Edit: made some corrections in my previous post to reflect this...

I understood that some devices give half the storage to an "A" partition/version of the firmware and half to a "B" partition/version to facilitate rescue if one firmware setup gets corrupted, and I've seen the Luci package to force booting from a particular partition. I think a lot of of PC bioses and even many Android phones do the same now for rescue and to update B while running from A then switch only when the alternate is successfully updated.

I still don't understand why "disk space" is allocated so little space and "temp space" is allocated so much, maybe because routers used to have so little storage? Presumably "disk space" in the system overview is where packages get installed as it seems to correspond in size and usage with the "free space" in the software section in both my sets of screenshots.)

temp space is up to 50% of the RAM, it's not related to the routers actual storage, in any way.

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mtd5: 02600000 00020000 “ImageA”
mtd6: 025e0000 00020000 “Kernel”
mtd7: 002a0000 00020000 “kernel”
mtd8: 02340000 00020000 “rootfs”
mtd9: 00c60000 00020000 “rootfs_var”
mtd10: 02600000 00020000 “Kernel_backup”

Partition layout is unclear (two "kernel"). Based on similar size, I assume that mtd5 is the default partition, and mtd10 the "other" partition ?
Interesting. Does Netgear provide dual fw on its router now (just as Linksys) ? I haven't bought a Netgear for a while.

They do, if you reset the device, it'll roll back to the backup fw.

This is what my device looked like OpenWrt support for WAX206 - #32 by frollic


Interesting thank you. The WAX206 seems an valuable device I'm considering for future buy.

i think disk space is decided by vendor for what is appropriate for the stock firmware. openwrt usually leave it unchanged unless there's a problem, like e8450. (or i could be totally wrong)

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Is that so that stock firmware can easily be restored? Or in the case of dual firmware so if the OpenWRT firmware becomes corrupted it will still revert to stock and not throw errors caused by changed partitions?

Would it be hard to enlarge the overlay partition, or to overlay another secondary overlay partition (additional, created from free unpartitioned space) on top of the first overlay? Or to use a symlink to allow packages or extra data (say, a web root or a media server with large space requirements) to be installed?

Found this really interesting post from hynman. He suggests that /tmp/syscfg is not volatile and can be used for data storage, but it's still limited -the device he's talking about has 28Mb, so not much for a serious web root or nextcloud or even email server etc, don't know if others differ.

Also interesting commands - df, dmesg, cat /proc/mtd



There is no generic answer to this, it really depends on each individual device. Unless unavoidable, the OEM partitioning is treated as sacred, because repartitioning is always dangerous - the onus of proving that it's safe in this case would be on you. Keep in mind that with a/b dual-firmware setups, the OEM bootloader knows about the dual-firmware and may act really badly if you clobber the second partition, so it's not 'just' about the easy cases of normal operations, but also about the uncommon cases of recovery/ reset and reinstalling the OEM firmware.

rygle if you go to the mount point screen or just check mounts in the shell I think it explains your observation, bear in mind all my openwrt installs only have 19.x so I dont have the latest stuff yet.

As an example on my plusnet one hub (rebadged home hub 5).

I see 3.75MB for /rom which is 100% utilised, I assume this is read only, and would grow if you integrate packages into the firmware as you described.

The overlay has a whopping 106.93MB with most of it as free space.

I would hope the WAX206 has 128MB in total for OpenWRT, but of course some of it lost to the /rom and any other overheads. Your reported space seems really low for what would expect, so I am very curious of the mount points output if you are able to check. :slight_smile: I recall frollic explaining this to me a short time ago but forgot what was said now, so would need to search for his post.

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_______                     ________        __
 |       |.-----.-----.-----.|  |  |  |.----.|  |_
 |   -   ||  _  |  -__|     ||  |  |  ||   _||   _|
 |_______||   __|_____|__|__||________||__|  |____|
          |__| W I R E L E S S   F R E E D O M
 OpenWrt 23.05-SNAPSHOT, r23042-3a1cb63336
root@OpenWrt:~# df
Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/root                 4352      4352         0 100% /rom
tmpfs                   251248      1124    250124   0% /tmp
/dev/ubi0_1              18232       344     16920   2% /overlay
overlayfs:/overlay       18232       344     16920   2% /
tmpfs                      512         0       512   0% /dev
root@OpenWrt:~# cat /proc/mtd
dev:    size   erasesize  name
mtd0: 00080000 00020000 "Preloader"
mtd1: 00040000 00020000 "ATF"
mtd2: 00080000 00020000 "Bootloader"
mtd3: 00080000 00020000 "Config"
mtd4: 00100000 00020000 "Factory"
mtd5: 02600000 00020000 "firmware"
mtd6: 00600000 00020000 "kernel"
mtd7: 02000000 00020000 "ubi"
mtd8: 02600000 00020000 "firmware_backup"
mtd9: 00800000 00020000 "CFG"
mtd10: 00400000 00020000 "RAE"
mtd11: 00100000 00020000 "POT"
mtd12: 00400000 00020000 "Language"
mtd13: 00200000 00020000 "Traffic"
mtd14: 00100000 00020000 "Cert"
mtd15: 00100000 00020000 "NTGRcryptK"
mtd16: 00500000 00020000 "NTGRcryptD"
mtd17: 00100000 00020000 "LOG"
mtd18: 00640000 00020000 "User_data"


When I installed block-mount I got the extra mount points menu item in the Luci system menu and it confirms what is there in the results of the df command posted earlier. The WAX206 seems to have a massive amount of space in the /tmp directory, 251248 KB, or about 245MiB if I divide by 1024. It seems like it's not volatile, but I'm not sure. I wonder if this could be used to allow further storage such as @eckndu was asking about? Perhaps it could be symlinked in to the overlay to allow more packages? Or for something like a mail/http/nextcloud server etc? Admittedly you wouldn't want stuff that's written and wiped at a high rate due to the nature of this flash memory, but could be useful for something mainly read only.

Edit 2:
According to the wiki, /tmp or tmpfs is volatile.

Im getting an error with both yesterday and today's snapshot custom build from firmware-selector. I only added luci, and I get Error: Impossible package selection
Collected errors:

  • pkg_hash_check_unresolved: cannot find dependency libubox20230523 for mtd
  • pkg_hash_fetch_best_installation_candidate: Packages for mtd found, but incompatible with the architectures configured
  • opkg_install_cmd: Cannot install package mtd.
  • satisfy_dependencies_for: Cannot satisfy the following dependencies for mtd:
  • libubox20230523
  • opkg_install_cmd: Cannot install package mtd.
    make[2]: *** [Makefile:187: package_install] Error 255
    make[1]: *** [Makefile:152: _call_manifest] Error 2
    make: *** [Makefile:272: manifest] Error 2

Try 23.05-snapshot, Luci is included by default since it’s a release branch.

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This is just a librairy package update. It has been fixed for most of targets. Just try again, it will be fixed soon. I have been able to build for several targets today.

search "libu"
It's not yet available. But the timestamp is old, that means it should be updated soon.

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Yes 23.05-snapshot seems perfectly stable on the WAX206.

Good to know. :+1:

What could be better: Netgear WAX206 should also be affected with very low AX upload speeds for Apple iOS or iPadOS devices. We still can't get the suggested fix into the 23.05 branch: 802.11ax worse than 802.11ac with mt76 driver? - #435 by dsouza

Do you have Apple iOS or iPadOS devices with AX wifi support, where you could run iperf3 to test AX upload speeds to the WAX206?

Install and run a local iperf3 server on your OpenWrt device:

opkg update
opkg install iperf3
iperf3 -s

After this run the iperf3 App on the iOS device with the target IP address of your OpenWrt device.

iPhone SE 2022,
Download averages 548
Upload min 8, average 30, max 90.

affected by the AX performance bug.

It will get more worse when you have obstacles like multiple walls between your smartphone and the router.

Workaround for now is to go back to AC mode on the router. Then you should get full speed upload and download. Downside is that all AX advantages are lost through this and we could instead have bought an AC router.

23.05.0.rc1 is released.


23.05.0-rc1 is not yet released, be careful if you install it before the announcement is made. :slight_smile:

I doubt 23.05-rc1 will be better in the AX performance bug for Apple devices over 23.05-snapshot, since no commits in 23.05 branch changed anything about MT7915 recently:;a=shortlog;h=refs/heads/openwrt-23.05