OpenWrt on an old Laptop

I have an old laptop with an Intel i5-2540M processor and 8GB of RAM (Dell Latitude E5420).

I intend to use a BCM5718 PCI-e ethernet card to convert this old laptop into a router.

I'm not sure if this will work, and I'm hoping that all of you experts can help me.

Thank you all.

it should work, NIC might require you to install a kmod to get it up and running.

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hi, is this some kind of driver?

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What kind of things will you be running on it?

I wonder if it will be overkill for your requirements and the power usage would be high Vs a raspberry pi or a cheaper all in one router.

yes, it is.

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Maybe kmod-tg3? It works for BCM5719 according to the below link.

probably, but you can never know until you've tried it.

do What to build X86 with Wi-Fi 6 - #33 by mguaylam + the post below.


I'd like to build a router to manage all of my smart home devices, such as smart lights and smart sensors.
In addition, I also need a NAS server in my home to upload my files, including all of the family photos.

But most of all, I needed an ad blocker

I hope the laptop can handle all of these tasks

For your smart home stuff are you going to use the laptop to install openhab or home assistant? Or are you using the laptop just to handle the networking?

Wonder if using virtual machines or containers for each purpose would be a good use of the extra power the laptop provides. Could use freenas for the nas part, openwrt/opnsense for the router bit and openhab/home assistant for the smart home stuff.

Just putting ideas out there.

the laptop would be seriously overkill for this, unless the NAS requires some real CPU power.

you could run the adblocker in the cloud, for free.


Thank you for the ideas; yes, I'm using Home Assistant on an Orange Pi right now, but putting everything in one place sounds like a better idea. For me, the hard part is getting the hardware (the PCIe card) to work together. I will keep this thread updated with my process.

Thank all

Since when full size PCIe cards can be plugged into a laptop? Theoretically you can sacrifice the Wi-Fi adapter to get a mini-PCIe slot, and convert it to full size by some dirty way. I would rather use VLAN on the built-in Ethernet port to get multiple interfaces instead.

P.S: kiếm con main G31 với 2 que DDR2 2GiB mà chạy. Sẽ lắp được 4 HDD làm NAS, và có 2-3 slot lắp card mạng TP-Link 1gbps. Cả bộ chỉ tầm 300k, chưa bao gồm HDD.

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Yes, I intend to use this PCIe card to replace the wifi module.
I'm hoping this is the correct one.
P/S: cảm ơn bác ^ ^ vì đã gợi ý nhưng mà em đang muốn thử vì đang thừa ra 1 con lap cũ

It's not....

Based on what Livy said, I just realized that I'm going to need an adapter to connect this to the laptop PCIe; this is going to get messy.

Does this mean I have to use different hardware or get a USB ethernet to achieve this?

If you can live with 100mbit, use a USB2 port for an additional network interface.

How many network ports does your orange pi have? Could use that as a router with openwrt. Worst case you could add a usb3 network card.

Depends on the rest of the network equipment you have though.

Then use the laptop for nas/open hab/other things. Just run containers or virtual machines on it.

I was researching a single-port VLAN solution, as Livy suggested, and came across this really interesting video (

and, as you suggest, swap the laptop for the home server and the orange Pi Zero + for the router.

Do you think this will work?

unfortunately, it only has 1 ethernet port