Why OpenWrt is now so big, low mem devices "not anymore usable"

Hi all

OpenWRT was desined to support devices with low memory.
Now you are using new kernels which are "huge" I guess
Does this make sense?
If you cannot use programs like iptraf, iperf and so on I think you realy loos the reason why openwrt was used instead of stock firmware. I think stock firmwares are the same stable as opnwrt...

I used OpenWRT since Version 0.9 on a lot of devices.
I think you should try to have at least in parallel 2 kernels for new version, so devices with low memory can be also used...
Without luci it does not make sense.
LEDE worked still fine with lucy...

Any chance to implement something like that???

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What you are asking is a lot like "My Pentium 90 system still boots. Why doesn't Windows 10 run on it?"

It is not only the flash that is the problem, but also the RAM and the CPU power. People expect and need more from routers that are generally a decade old (or under-spec-ed by an ODM to reach some price point) than they did in the days when a 25 Mbps line was considered screaming fast.

With routers that support current wireless protocols that have reasonable flash, RAM, and CPU power available for US $20-40, it's hard to argue for spending development and testing time and effort on obsolete devices. Some argue that support for 4/32 devices should be dropped entirely and the focus should be only on devices that have sufficient resources to meet current needs.

Edit: There was quite a lengthy discussion on this in the beginning of 2017:


Have you tried already to build your own image, tailored to your usecase and containing only the packages you need?

Suggested reading regarding devices with low flash/RAM (yes, you should read them all and thoroughly.):


Which of your devices do you find now completely unsupported or unusable?
How much RAM / Flash are we talking about?

Have a lot of TP Link wr841 V8-V11 with 32/4 MiB .
Yes I have stripped down to the minimum I need to use this routers.
It seems that I have to stay with chaos-chalmer-15.05 and/or LEDE-17.01.4 to use all the nice stuff.

Just trying to compile OpenWRT-18.06.1 for wr841 V13 with 64/8 MiB
With LUCI complains about too big... even double rom (8MiB) as old ones...

I would strongly suggest 17.01 or later, as 15.05 has not been patched for security vulnerabilities for far too long.

While LuCI is "nice stuff" for many, it does have a large overhead in storage and RAM requirements that have little, if anything, to do with the choice of kernel. As you have "a lot" of these devices, another approach worth examining is implementing another way to manage them in bulk, such as ssh keys and appropriate scripts along with rsync or similar. snmpd may also be a possibility (though it is likely a few hundred kB in size).

Sounds like you're doing something wrong, since I have plenty of 8 MiB flash devices running 18.06.1 or master builds, including LuCI. Even some added packages.

Sure, you'll have to strip 18.06 to get it running on 4/32 MB, but it's perfectly doable. First thing you do is ditch LuCI. You don't need it per se.

You wrong. I'm running 841n_v8 with 8/64MB modified rom/ram and alot of packages installed: luci, ddns, mwan3, sqm, nano, mtr, wpad-full, udpxy.

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you can still use it as Access Point and switch. My DIR-300 16MB/4MB. I just compile (kernel 4.14) and it is working fine:

would strongly suggest 17.01 or later, as 15.05 has not been patched for security vulnerabilities for far too long.

Is 17.01 patched with recent security patches?

Yes, 17.01.5 is dated July 15, 2018.

17.01.6 is also tagged couple of days ago and buildbots have been at it.
After they are done it will be announced

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