Problem upgrading Netgear R6220

Hi guys! Currently im running OpenWRT on my Netgear R6220. Firmware version: OpenWrt 18.06.5 r7897-9d401013fc / LuCI openwrt-18.06 branch (git-19.309.48729-bc17ef6)

Im trying to flash the latest firmware into it, but im probably to stupid to get it working. When i try to flash the file (openwrt-21.02.1-ramips-mt7621-netgear_r6220-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin) i´ll get a error who says

"The uploaded image file does not contain a supported format. Make sure that you choose the generic image format for your platform."

What to do, to manage to upload the latest firmware?

21.02 uses DSA. The message may be related, or is a warning due to changes perhaps introduced from 19.07?

Have you tried upgrading to 19.07 release to see if you get the same message?

Or revert back to using Netgear OEM firmware and install 21.02 'factory' image?

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sysupgrading from 18.06 to 21.02 is not supported.

So you'll need to upgrade to 19.07 first.

When upgrading to 21.02.1, you will have a warning message (explanation in the same link above), this is due to the many changes occured by the use of DSA in 21.02. Your device switch may not be configured correctly after reboot. There is a process to convert switch settings from 19.07 syntax to 21.02 syntax in Luci, but I experimented issues.

I would recommend not to keep settings while upgrading to 21.02. The router will reboot with default and functionnal settings. Than you'll have to rebuild settings from scratch, but this is not a big deal.

And as @bill888 said, you can also revert to stock firmware, than flash direcly a 21.02 factory image.

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If 19.07 meets your needs, consider stopping there and do not upgrade further to 21.02.1.

I would not recommend upgrading any MT7621 device to 21.02 from 19.07 just now, because judging from the status of snapshot (the 22.xx release goals are nearing completion), it looks like 22.xx will be released soon.

Conversion of MT7621 devices to DSA in 21.02 introduced substantial performance degradation. SQM throughput dropped ~30 Mbps; routing speed dropped a few hundred Mbps; flow offloading functionality was lost. It may have been a necessary evil to migrate to the DSA future, but DSA didn't come without some baggage on MT7621.

Using current snapshot has its risks, but I'm at least getting ~75% faster routing throughput with snapshot on my ER-X relative to 21.02. There are also some pending PR's that look like they will take care of MT7621 offloading issues, which hopefully will make it into 22.xx. Unfortunately, SQM throughput is still dismal (another ~30 Mbps slower actually: with 19.07 I was getting ~150-190 Mbps, but with current snapshot I'm lucky to get ~110 Mbps).

Still, 22.xx should be an improvement worth waiting for at this point, except for SQM anyway.

21.02 is begining its life cycle, and will be the major release for 2022. Considering that @Ledstripez is running 18.06, upgrading to 21.02 will prepare the device for the future, regarding to the DSA syntax conversion.

In any case, @Ledstripez needs to upgrade to 19.07 first. It's not even sure that upgrading from 19.07 to 22.xx will be possible, so he would need to flash 21.02 anyhow. Waiting for an hypothetical 22.xx is not a reason for not flashing 21.02 now. He can flash both.

I have no such speed drop, and offloading works, very well indeed :heart_eyes:
What can I say more ?

It depends on the OP's use case.

With a slow ISP and looking at ISP speed only; or looking at switch throughput only instead of routed traffic throughput; or not doing traffic shaping with CAKE; or using faster hardware than MT7621? Then sure, it would be hard to notice any issues at all in 21.02. In that case, I would agree - why not get the DSA learning curve over with? FWIW, that's exactly what I did. My ISP service was slow at the time so I decided to start sorting through DSA as it was apparent that was the future anyway.

However, with SQM on ISP service >100 Mbps (which I just switched back to); or half gig or more routed network throughput (not just switch traffic); or not wanting offloading to break ipv6 - then the problems in 21.02 with DSA on MT7621 and partial performance restoration in snapshot with the 5.10 kernel are pretty widely known. For example:

Many issues in 21.02 are getting fixed with the 5.10 kernel in snapshot. Never say never and never say always, but the 5.10 kernel is never going to be back ported to 21.02. I think it is going to be a very long wait indeed for these issues to be fixed in the 21.02 life cycle, if ever, given the developers' finite resources.

There may be a target or three yet to convert to 5.10 (or they will just get dropped), but otherwise, the 22.xx release goals are pretty much done: mac80211 5.15 has been out for awhile. Firewall4 and nftables were just committed in snapshot (both openwrt and luci). Hence, if the 21.02 issues do affect the OP's use case, it doesn't appear to me that he'll need to wait very long to see the major release for 2022 be 22.xx.

Ok ... long to read but globally agreed.
I don't use SQM, and I have already switch one router to snapshot, so it uses kernel 5.10.

This is actually not a requirement. This warning from the release notes:

:!: Sysupgrade from 18.06 to 21.02 is not supported.

actually refers to the ability to keep settings during the upgrade process, and this applies to all platforms. As long as settings are not kept (i.e. the device will upgrade and be reset to defaults in the process), the actual sysupgrade process will work properly from 18.06 > 21.02. (19.07 > 21.02 with "keep settings" are supported for most platforms, but it is always recommended to create a backup and not keep settings across all major upgrades in general).

That said, there is this additional notice for devices migrated to DSA:

This is a significant change to how switch ports and VLANs are managed. As such, sysupgrade will not be able to convert existing swconfig configuration to DSA configuration (see “Upgrading” below).

Because the device in question here (R6220) has migrated to DSA for 21.02, settings cannot be preserved anyway, even if upgrading from 19.07.

The OP can upgrade directly from 18.07 > 21.02 (and ignore the warning*) but it is critical that the "keep settings" option is deselected.

*when ignoring the warning in the system, double check that you have the correct image file downloaded and that the checksum matches what is on the website. Ignoring the warning will force the upgrade process and will not perform any additional checks, so you can brick your device if you have the wrong or a corrupted image.

Ok I trust you on this, but the warning is not that clear :frowning:

If you are not actually using 21.02, that could be why you don't notice a speed drop on 21.02.

With 21.02 I was only getting ~300 Mbps routed. With a recent snapshot (after switch to kernel 5.10) that improved to ~500 Mbps.

"I have already switched one" means that I have other of these devices, running 21.02. But they are feeded by ADSL, so in any case I can't notice the speed drop.

I have set a R6220 as main router, and performed bandwith tests with 19.07, 21.02 and snapshots (no SW/HW offloading).
19.07 ~380 Mb/s
21.02 ~300 Mb/s
snapshot ~480 Mb/s
Indeed, 21.02 performs worst.
I have switched from an ADSL to a 1Gb/s fiber and now use an x64 PC as main routeur. I have tried to remember when I switched connexion and bought the x64 ... I realized that I didn't really use the R6220 as main router while having the fiber, and that was before 21.02. Hence I think that my previous statement about the speed drop was wrong.
Anyhow, future release base on kernel 5.10 is promissing :slight_smile: