ToH: "Ideal for OpenWRT" views list a bunch of non-ideal devices

The table of hardware has several views, names of which start with "Ideal for OpenWRT". Here's the main one.

In my opinion, these views are somewhat misleading, since many of the devices listed in them are far from ideal (for OpenWRT). I've owned several of these devices relatively recently, and not one of them worked with OpenWRT really well.

  • Example 1: Linksys WRT1900ACS. Uses the Marvell Wifi mwlwifi driver which has pretty much ceased active development in 2020 and has many known issues (interestingly, there has been about a dozen commits to this driver this year). I used this device until about two years ago, but OpenWRT stable didn't really work well on it (I would lose Internet or Wi-Fi periodically), so I had reverted to the original firmware, which worked much better, way before I replaced the router with another one.
  • Example 2: Netgear X6 R8000. Really powerful router, but based on goddamn Broadcom chipset, which alone triggers a big red orange exclamation mark at the top of the device page. This is what I replaced my Linksys with, but OpenWRT just wouldn't work very well on it. Namely, even after selecting the channels recommended by the device page and rebooting the router, it only worked as dual band (instead of as tri-band) for me. Meanwhile, again, stock firmware worked just fine (I could see three distinct networks).
  • Example 3: TP-Link Archer C7 (it has two distinct ToH pages, BTW). It's v5 is tagged as "ideal", even though the difference between it and the previous versions are minimal. It's advertised as an AC1750 router, but OpenWRT doesn't support its hardware NAT capability, so the actual Internet speed that can typically be achieved is much slower. It's the device I'm trying out now, but Wi-Fi doesn't feel as stable with it as it was with the previous routers. Plus, there are other known issues with it.
  • Example 4: Xiaomi AX3200 requires esoteric rituals in order to be flashed with OpenWRT, yet it was listed as "ideal" even before official OpenWRT images for it existed.

More generally, it should probably be noted somewhere that even "ideal" devices with 16MB flash will have very little space for extra packages (and updates, I guess?). For example, Samba simply cannot be installed on Archer C7, because there's just not enough free space left after flashing OpenWRT. I understand that not everyone needs this, but installable packages are a big part of OpenWRT appeal, so at least mentioning it would be useful, I think.

What I propose is that perhaps "Ideal for OpenWRT" should be a separate device flag instead of being just a derivative of router's flash and RAM size. Such flag could be added manually, only to those routers which are explicitly known to perform really well. I do realize that this would require manual maintenance, but perhaps it would be better to show a list of a couple dozen routers that are performing really good (with latest or dev OpenWRT) instead of showing nearly 700 devices, the ideality of which is questionable or even outright false.

Additionally/alternatively, perhaps the level of support could be graded (from platinum to tin or whatever).

Another thing, which I just thought about: since everyone's wishes and requirements are different, perhaps it would be possible to implement a more complex filter for the ToH, one, where a person could tick/select the features/sizes they want (or just leave them at "don't care")? Right now, filtering ToH by any column drops the filter by any other column, and there's no way to say things like "I want at least 32MB flash" or "I don't want no Broadcom".

1 Like

Well nothing it's perfect and indeed "ideal for openwrt" might be misleading- should be removed for good because what is ideal in the current support cycle could become EOL in the next one

1 Like