I've just recovered from dust my old ASUS WL-500gP V2:
system type : Broadcom BCM47XX
cpu model : Broadcom BCM3302 V2.9
running Backfire 10.03. It works! But how do I upgrade the system? opkg doesn't seem to have dist-upgrade or anything like that. To this, opkg update works, but then opkg list-upgradable shows nothing. Perhaps Backfire 10.03 is no longer maintained?
No longer maintained for long long time...
Please mind the big fat warning at the beginning of the devicepage: https://openwrt.org/toh/asus/wl500gp
4/32 warning is applicable to this device.
Download the latest supported stable for your device from openwrt to your router and then make a sysupgrade -n /tmp/?
Also, that the devicepage says that Backfire is the latest release for this device.
Current OpenWrt will work on that device (I have a WL-500gP v1 with ath5k wireless myself), but with the big caveats of 32 MB RAM and Broadcom LP-PHY wifi.
I'm going to say will barely work, forget about running LuCI or any kind of frontend and will top out at ~25mbit/s. You're better off recycling it and getting a newer platform in all regards.
I am compiling 18.06 from source... I am now at make menuconfig step which has a lot of settings. Do the defaults make sense? Or do I need to understand them all? Which settings have the biggest impact on the final image size?
I only need Ethernet cable connection, ssh and basic routing at this point. I do not need: VoIP, VPN, IPv6, WiFi, QoS, debug information... This is a small side project therefore buying a new device doesn't exactly make sense.
Before this I got some warnings in this step:
$ ./scripts/feeds install -a
Collecting package info: done
Collecting target info: done
WARNING: Makefile 'package/utils/busybox/Makefile' has a dependency on 'libpam', which does not exist
WARNING: Makefile 'package/utils/busybox/Makefile' has a build dependency on 'libpam', which does not exist
WARNING: Makefile 'package/network/utils/curl/Makefile' has a dependency on 'libgnutls', which does not exist
WARNING: Makefile 'package/network/utils/curl/Makefile' has a dependency on 'libopenldap', which does not exist
WARNING: Makefile 'package/network/utils/curl/Makefile' has a dependency on 'libidn2', which does not exist
WARNING: Makefile 'package/network/utils/curl/Makefile' has a dependency on 'libssh2', which does not exist
WARNING: Makefile 'package/boot/kexec-tools/Makefile' has a dependency on 'liblzma', which does not exist
WARNING: Makefile 'package/network/services/lldpd/Makefile' has a dependency on 'libnetsnmp', which does not exist
Installing all packages from feed packages.
Not sure what this means.
Doing nothing beyond selecting your target, (subtarget, if needed), and board will get you a system that will boot, run wireless and ssh, and all the "basic" services, such as DHCP, DNS/DHCP server, time sync, ...
Given its tiny flash, trying to add LuCI is probably a lost cause.
The error messages you see are usually "normal" and can be ignored unless you're installing one of those packages. You'll see them "underneath"
make menuconfig as well.
Once you confirm that you can successfully build firmware and get it to run (or even now), I'd personally switch to either
master to get a more-current version sooner than later.
Building your own ROMs (either from source or with the image builder) means that you can always build one with packages you want compressed into ROM, without some of the "kernel mismatch" problems that people have flashing a "snapshot" from the official repositories.
Size isn't a problem for luci on that device (8 MB flash), but (32 MB) RAM is. While the device will run - it does make sense to schedule a replacement, as both its general performance (240 MHz BMIPS3300 V0.6) and the very limited RAM are a problem (no, it won't reach 25 MBit/s routing performance, more like half of that at most), the LP-PHY (BCM5354) WLAN won't really run reliably either.
It was a nice device (v1 more so than v2) for its time (2005-2007), but that was a well over a decade ago and you will find significantly better (faster, more flash, more RAM, better 802.11n or 802.11ac wifi, better OpenWrt compatibility) for 5-10 EUR/ USD on the used market - or around 20 EUR/ USD new/ delivered which are worth every penny.
Having actually ran LuCI on 8/32 devices (WRTSL54GS and a WRT54GS V.3), I agree. I had to constantly stop uHTTPd when needing to use the CLI and get timely responses from SSH; or at minimum, ensure that I didn't browse to the GUI while trying to run commands.
Once I upgraded to version 17, uHTTPd running was unbearable.