Should OpenWrt/LEDE support devices with only 4MB Flash?

Only if one person does it and not the whole pitchfork mob...


There's a proposal in another conversation that we should label devices as Recommended, Limited, and Difficult, with respect to the ease of installing OpenWrt on them. (See for a summary.)

The desire would be to let a newcomer know that the device they have in mind might be difficult (or recommended!) and let them decide accordingly. It also allows a single individual on the forum (instead of a mob) to say, "You have chosen a difficult path..."

I would like to hear your thoughts on the proposal above. Thanks.

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Yes a more official thing to point to helps because then there is less assumption about maybe just one person's opinion. Pointing to the official "this stuff is hard" is likely to work better.

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It's a good classification, whether it will make a difference i don't know. Like i said, it needs the community behind it.

I believe this qualification "Pitchfork mob" is uncalled for and does not consider the fact that all forum activity is voluntary.

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Well, the most important community action would, IMHO, be if users that successfully operate 4/32 routers would inject themselves politely and on-topic into threads where they have the feeling that more support is not being given due to the 4/32 challenge.
In a volunteer community one can easily adjust one's own behavior and action, expecting (all) other's to change their behaviour will be glacial at best....

I just don’t see the point in having 2 or 3 people say that same thing (in abrupt ways). i think it is not very polite or welcoming to a new user looking for information.

As one of the volunteers, I’m happy to call it how I see it. If you don’t agree, that’s alright.

And I agree that expecting others to change is an exercise in futility. But if we can’t get people to stop instantly dismissing the 4/32 people’s questions and cries for help (fair and appropriate warnings aside), then what is the point of this whole thread? We just said people can get support in the forum, if we can’t provide that then the “limited” category is a bit pointless.

Good idea, I had similar thoughts.
And make those labels easily noticeable and interpretable.
For example (text label - background color - description):

  • Recommended - Blue/Green - No issues, or some insignificant issues.
  • Limited - Yellow/Orange - Known issues, limited resources, works in general.
  • Difficult - Red/Gray - Major issues, or unsupported.
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What's the problem of MISP? assume 16/128.

The 4/32 devices fall into Difficult territory, not Limited. Limited means something like you can still use opkg but maybe can't install all the packages you might want at the same time, or things like that. Basically 8/64 devices and things with Broadcom chips etc

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Well, then participate in those threads and tae over the support part yourself, that will neutralize the effect of 2 or 3 voices of warning (in my book 2-3 do not make a mob, BTW).

Fair enough, but as long as you hope that others will change you will keep "calling it" for a long time, so if you want to improve the perceived situation for those you believe to be not supported properly you better spend the time helping with the issues, IMHO.

This is a non-sequitur, no? Or maybe I do not understand your argument :wink:

Well, everybody is free to volunteer support in the forum, but managing expectations about challenges ahead seems orthogonal to the question of how to approach users requesting help...

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@richb-hanover-priv Thank you by your clear answers. But now it does look as we are no speaking about the same thing.

You define support as = getting help. Of course that is support. But we mean "there will be an up-to-date version of OpenWrt which can be loaded in our devices?".

We are willing to give help about 4/32 devices, of course. In fact I'm already giving it and it is easy to see I'm far from being the only one giving that help. So no problem with this matter, and I think that those proposed tiers are OK.

Now that it is clear that, in this thread context, "support" means "getting help at the forum" and, also, that getting help is not the thing that worries us, it's probably time to open a new thread about "what has to be done so we remain able to build an image for 4/32 devices next years"

Thank you all

I don’t have direct experience with 4/32 devices (as I purchase hardware that is FFP) and so don’t find myself qualified to assist in that area.

And all it would achieve is a 4th voice in the ring, circular arguments, and then a long thread like this :wink:

I’ve said my piece, I can’t constructively participate further, and my opinion (differing to others it seems) is also dragging further useful conversation astray.

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I am glad you agree that the tiers (Recommended/Limited/Difficult) help bring clarity to the discussion.

I think it's clear that the 4/32 devices are difficult to get the current (18.06) firmware working. We want to update the OpenWrt documentation so all readers are aware of the tradeoffs if they want to use a 4/32 device.

I wonder if we should create a new subcategory in Hardware Questions and Recommendations section for "Limited and Difficult Devices".

This would provide a focused venue for you and others who're providing support to those devices.

Since you have many of those devices installed, one of your challenges is to define the exact reasons you need "builds in the next years". Do you expect to change the installed set of packages? Security concerns? Other? Those answers will help us all know what you are looking for in OpenWrt.

Thank you again for thinking hard about these topics.

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Of course, security concerns.

New thread open, BTW

I'm glad you started the new topic for 4/32 devices (see What has to be done so we remain able to build next years an OpenWrt image for 4/32 devices )

It's a place for people who have a community of those older devices to work together.

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@lantis1008 @tatel
I think you're missing the point in that there's no one that wants to spend time supporting that codebase at least at the moment. I doubt someone wants to step up since it's been up for discussion for quite a while now. It's also an issue as those who might be able to help doesn't run the same (old) software and that includes upstream. If you're a paying customer you have reasonable demands but OpenWrt doesn't fall into that category.

So which leaves us with two scenarios:

  • Sugarcoat (lie) that 4/* devices still works great, have no issues regarding storage and out of memory, are secure and you will be able to get help.

  • Be honest and tell X to face the facts that there's little to no interest and/or manpower, "no support" and that it has known vulns.

It's more or less like working on a half broken car with no spare parts available. Sure, if you can make your own spare parts (maintain the codebase) that's all nice and dandy but if you can't you're pretty much out of luck.


The comments here make it clear that many people agree with you - they aren't interested in spending that time. That's OK.

But the best tack for everyone is simply to refrain from responding if you can't contribute something positive to the discussion. Thanks.

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As OP (two years ago (!)), I am taking the liberty of closing this discussion. (The consensus is that 4/32 devices are at best, difficult to use with modern OpenWrt.)

If you have more to add, please post it to a newly-created topic: Recommended / Limited / Difficult for use with OpenWrt

Thanks for the discussion!