Xiaomi mi mini wifi: from pandorabox to lede

I have the mi mini wifi wouter where I have already installed Pandorabox. Now I would like to install Lede but I have two questions:

  1. Which is the exact file among the ones listed at https://downloads.lede-project.org/snapshots/targets/ramips/mt7620/ I have to flash?
  2. Which method can/have I to use to install lede?
    a) Can I install it from Pandorabox gui?
    b) Have I to install it from Pandorabox (ssh/telnet) shell doing a "mtd write" command? And in this case, have I to indicate partition "firmware" or another one?
    c) Have I firstly to flash breed bootloader?
    I listed the above alternatives in order of preference, from the safest (and simplest) one to the most risky one, since my main fear is to brick the device...
    Thank you in advance for your indications.

See https://openwrt.org/toh/xiaomi/mini for download links and installation instructions.

I've already read such a page. It reported an old openwrt version (15.05) until some days ago (what a surprise to see lede firmware!). Nevertheless, instructions explain how to install it from the factory firmware. I want to say if I can skip first steps since I have already installed Pandorabox. The main question is if I can do "mtd -r write firmware" since on Pandorabox partition firmware replaces OS1, but they have different size.

reinstalled from scratch

I am trying to install version 15, version 17, and date 18.06.01 on my xiaomi mini router, but without any success.
I follow the steps published in https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/xiaomi/mini but after installing the xiaomi image and entering via telnet and performing the steps to flash the LEDE firmware, when the router reboots, it flashes in red color for about 5 minutes, then it remains red and 15 minutes later it still shows no network, so it is understood that something failed and is not working and I must return to the version of PADAVAN that if allowed to install on the image of PandoraBox.
Is there an extra step that is not documented at https://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/xiaomi/mini?
I have used the two methods of the page, both via telnet, and creating an account in xiaomi to unlock SSH through mywifi.bin
but by both methods I get to the same point without access to the router

Did you try connecting through a wired connection?

Yes i do, but the same result

There are a lot of changes that went in on Sep 26 relevant to the mi mini wifi:


@arlaor Did you try the latest snapshot http://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/targets/ramips/mt7620/openwrt-ramips-mt7620-miwifi-mini-squashfs-sysupgrade.bin ?

You should be able to install it from the web interface.

The updated version of the wiki is https://openwrt.org/toh/xiaomi/mini but nothing changed on the installation.

You wrote: "...so it is understood that something failed and is not working and I must return to the version of PADAVAN..." What do you do to re-install PADAVAN ?

Since it sounds you cannot connect, you cannot use telnet. Right?
Are you using this (from the wiki)?

The “Ralink U-boot” allows flashing the [factory] firmware to the device using a USB stick when the reset button is pressed on power-up.

To install padavan, first install from usb, the firmware of xiaomi. Then enabled ssh, to install Pandorabox and then the firmware of padavan.
The last time, use the method of replacing STOCK and NEWPASS in the link router xiaomi, to skip the step of using the ssh .bin file. This method is faster and I also get a satisfactory result with padavan, but not with openwrt lede

I run some tests. The latest firmware does not seem to solve the problems. I even tried https://github.com/openwrt/openwrt/pull/626/files that is actually a little better than the current master but still not ideal. I think the code in that PR is on master now (See https://github.com/openwrt/openwrt/compare/b88df4a7c8f260867f3213fc3baaa4b509d449bf...de1c58a64bd66319e770d2587da07d8c9c90174a) but other code and other changes are there as well.

When I went back to one of the latest releases of original firmware by Xiaomi, the router seemed slower than it used to be. I had to install an older version of the original firmware by Xiaomi to get closer to the speed I used to get. And it still seem slower.

Just running the new firmware may had altered some calibrations stored on the chip. I am not sure how the MT7620 works. Considering I had worse performances in newer firmware versions, I am not even sure if Xiaomi knows in details how it works. All detailed knowledge may all be in the head of one Mediatek's employee that does not work there anymore...

Regardless, when it comes to the Openwrt and Linux MT7620 driver, my understanding is that the current code is very buggy.

The code seems to have macro problems with how the queues are implemented, they used to get full and the driver was never able to recover. I think the latter problem is fixed but maybe it is not

I think another problem is that this Mediatek chip (and others) needs to be tuned by the Linux kernel. The bulk of the code in Openwrt seems shared across a few Mediatek chips but every chip needs their own specific code. I am not even sure if the 2 versions of the MT7620 (A and N) are supposed to have the same code. But almost all contributors test on the only flavor of chip that they owns. So you may have patches to improve a chip that end up worsening another. The code that should belong just in one device flavor sometimes ended up to be shared with others instead.

Because of all of that, the code is quite brittle. The whole code should be refactored. General behaviors should be identified and kept in the general code. Then each chip should implement their own behaviors. Mediatek chips are not well documented. Beside not being trivial to identify what is general and what is not, I think that this kind of changes may be perceived as a step back. Since some devices work fine, people do not want to do it.

@daniel Correct me if I am wrong. BTW, would not be better for the MT7620 having its own folder?

So is it possible that padavan is currently better than the current version of LEDE?

A few old firmwares, including Padavan's, are more performant and stable. They use the older kernel and, as far as I know, the original close source driver for MT7620 developed by Mediatek.
But all the rest on the firmware is also old and they have unpatched security vulnerabilities with the risk associated with them. This is one: KRACK Attack is Back

You are right about different variants of the chip needing different tuning of the wifi driver which is missing in big parts due to not many people contributing. I did a lot of work there, but surely, having the devices I had in mind and not able to test every change on all of them.
However, having a subtarget of it's own doesn't seem justified for that and also won't fix anything, because all those differences can be probed during run-time (Mediatek SDK does the same) and the same kernel also boots on older Ralink Rt305x, hence allows to reduce load on build servers and generally easy debugging and development process.

Meu mi mini wi-fi veio com o pandora box instalado, como faço para instalar o software original da xiaomi????

Openwrt (successor of Pandorabox) is much much much better than the original firmware. Anyway, you can follow instructions at section "Reverting to stock firmware" on https://openwrt.org/toh/xiaomi/mini
The paradox is that it is simpler to pass from Pandorabox/Openwrt/Padavan to stock firmware than viceversa.

Muito obrigado cara !!!!!!!!!!! Estou muito feliz agora que tenho o software original da xiaomi. Estou conseguindo uma melhor performance na transferência de dados. Muito obrigado

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This way other users all around the world can take part in the discussion and possibly benefit from the outcome, without having to use a translator.

Hello, on toh wiki bootloader section, it mention fully functional bootloader from WRTNode. Can anyone guide me to install it? I don't want to use Breed