Success with OpenWrt and Netgear D7800?

I live in Australia and we’ve finally got the NBN installed, which means I don’t need to use the built-in modem in our Netgear D7800, which in turn means being able to install OpenWRT on it.

However, after looking through these forums and poking around online, it seems like it’s not a very widely used router with OpenWRT, and the threads I have found have been mostly people having issues with it and I’m not sure I want to bother dealing with attempting to fix it if it does go badly.

My question is, is there anyone out there who is completely successfully using OpenWRT with a Netgear D7800 as their primary router (as opposed to just a wifi access point)? I realise that if it’s all working fine you’re most likely not going to be asking for help on a forum so responses here are all skewed to the negative, but I figured I’d ask about success stories too. :slight_smile:

Cheers!

The D7800 is basically a r7500v2 with an additional lantiq VDSL2 modem, there's no reason why it shouldn't work reasonably well (with the exception of the VDSL modem). You will need to use tftp for installing though; given that your device should have a mature tftp recovery mechanism, it's also possible to revert back to the OEM firmware if OpenWrt doesn't meet your expectations.

Ah, cheers! Good to know. The other reason I was apprehensive is because the wiki page for the D7800 has basically no detail whatsoever and is clearly just a template that nobody has actually updated yet, heh.

You might have already struck my threads in your travels. I'm on FTTN and with the D7800 I was getting constant (multiple times per day) dropouts which meant I had to get it going again for the family. Now I have:

2nd-hand TP-Link TD-W9970 V2 (~$75) -> D-LINK DGS-1005A (BigW $29) -> D7800 OpenWrt

Now it doesn't ever drop out, used all the time with simultaneous streaming services running across ethernet over power and wifi. So for around a hundred bucks on top of my initial investment of the D7800 from a few years ago my internet has never been running better.

Hah, I think I might have! I'm hoping since I'm on HFC and not FTTN I won't have those issues. Did you move to OpenWRT via the web UI or TFTP? There seem to be conflicting answers on which is the "correct" way to do it.

Hey VirtualWolf, sorry I missed your post, I thought I'd be notified of a response. I used the web UI, I did see that it should be done with tftp. It's easy enough to do via tftp though the GUI was hit and miss for me. I used Debian downloaded from Microsoft Store, installed tftp and have subsequently done it through there. It's easy to reverse no matter what you do, I even recovered from my epic screw up of putting it into a boot loop. Look up Pumpino's experience, I think his setup may be similar to yours and he could not get it working with OpenWrt (posts on Whirlpool forum as well). No harm in giving it a try though, you can always put your expensive D7800 back to stock.

Ah thanks, I just found his posts and it looks like he's got PPPoE, my HFC is just "Set it to DHCP and forget it", so hopefully I'll have a better experience! :crossed_fingers:

I'm still torn on whether I can be bothered dealing with it though, heh. Thanks for the extra info. :slight_smile:

It isn't directly OpenWrt but I've been running an experimental build of the Gargoyle 1.11 firmware (which is based on OpenWrt 18.06.2) on a D7800 with a PPPoE WAN (via a bridged VDSL2 modem over an NBN FTTN connection) for nearly 2 months now and it has has worked very well. The same build has also been reported to work well on the related R7500v2. I haven't tried any VLAN configuration though (and I don't know that the successful R7500v2 user has either) so can't confirm that as working. While Gargoyle limits the configuration options to either being a gateway or an AP, it suggests that the underlying OpenWrt platform on this device should work satisfactorily for at least basic configurations despite some people's issues.

If you want to know more about the Gargoyle build, there's a thread about it on Gargoyle's forums.

I finally got around to trying this out, and am happy to report great success! Special thanks to @ebswift for his various posts on these forums on the topic. I wrote up a blog post about it: https://blog.virtualwolf.org/installing-openwrt-on-a-netgear-d7800-nighthawk-x4s-router/

Well done mate, nice blog post too, enjoy :slight_smile:

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