Would like to first say thank you to everyone who has contributed to OpenWRT over the years. I have been using OpenWRT in one form or another sense a little before the split with LEDE and it is without a doubt my favorite Os for routers. With that said my issue is that I have noticed the package manager in OpenWRT does not really give installation size number that are inline with reality. Ive noticed this for a while across many devices and many versions of OpenWRT so its kind of platform agnostic and happens on everything from 15.x to 12.02.0 and all the ones in between. None the less for this example I am using an AC68U...
Now, If we take the package iperf3-ssl, when I click the install button the package manager in luci shows any additional packages needed and how much space they will cost. For me it claims it will require about 1.5MB of iperf3-ssl plus extras, for the install to successfully work. Great. the only problem is that if I actually go through with it and install iperf3-ssl it takes nearly twice as much space away as it said it would.
I understand the need for extra packages, and I do not have an issue with this. What I take issue with is the fact that I lost nearly 2.75MB of valuable storage space to a set of packages that luci told me should only take up 1.5MB of space. But hey its only 1.25MB lost out of 128MB flash whats the big deal you ask? well installing larger package clusters makes the problem worse as I will show in the next example.
Lets now try " luci-app-samba4" After clicking the install button the package manager tells me that this should suck up about 10.7MB of free space and 27 extra packages needed to support samba4. Not bad I think. Also note that right now my unused flash space is at 104.9MB. The exact quote is "Require approx. 10.7 MB size for 28 package(s) to install.". That means I lost right around 17MB! Honestly I don't really care that it used up 17MB (I have 128MB flash and usb if I need more) I just wish it would of been honest with me in the first place and said it will take 17MB. So is anyone seeing a trend here.... The claimed numbers given out before installation are not really in touch with reality. Given how critical this software is I would have thought that the numbers would be dead on or at least very close.
In previous years when I had routers with less flash, I cannot tell you how many times I ran out of space and had to reset the router and start over all because the package manager lied and took up more space then it claimed it would.
Also I notice over the years that the error in size is always one sided meaning the installation of packages NEVER consumes less then what is quoted. It is always more and usually by 50% or more. Why is that and more importantly how can this be fixed?