[OpenWrt-Devel] Why OpenWrt sucks?

Gergely Kiss mail.gery at gmail.com
Tue Mar 10 16:26:38 EDT 2015

Hi Valent,

first of all, I strongly disagree with people claiming that OpenWrt sucks
because it doesn't. For me it rather looks like a well-maintained, rapidly
improving project with a great number of actively supported hardware and
quite a few people contributing to the project regularly. I can see dozens
of patches published every day not only by the core devs but by many
contributors which is a great thing and indicates that many people are
trying to make OpenWrt *even *better.

I must mention you had a point that made me smile - it's about being a
miracle that openwrt works as good as it does. This reminded me to the DNS
system. As we all know, it was never developed with a concept of creating a
complex network service to be used in a worldwide network but more like as
a simple "phonebook" for companies, schools and other small, autonomous
institutions to avoid the need to remember IP addresses. Now, DNS is used
worldwide by thousands of entities and is probably one of the oldest
protocols still actively used on the internet and it still works pretty
good despite its age. Miracles do happen sometimes and that's what makes
our lives brighter. :)

Anyway, as far as I can see, more and more manufacturers (including
wireless chip vendors) realize the benefits of open source and release
their driver codes to the open source community. I clearly remember seeing
some driver sources posted on this list directly by Marvell and I'm pretty
sure that many other vendors will start doing so in the future. I think the
reason why most vendors still haven't published their drivers is more like
legal issues rather than technical or "political" ones. They have to meet
regulatory requirements and respect the copyright of other people's work.
Even if they would feel inclined to release their driver, they can't do so
because of licensing issues.

For people complaining about OpenWrt, I would simply tell them that first
of all, it's provided for free for everyone in the world so stop
complaining. Also, being an open source project, it's always open for
contributions. Everyone has the possibility to share ideas or implement
features making OpenWrt a more stable, more robust and more versatile piece
of software.

My fifty cents was to create a port of Seafile for OpenWrt - I'm using it
myself at home and I'm very happy to see it running on my router with a USB
HDD attached rather than running an additional home server 24/7 consuming
more power and taking up more room in my flat. At the same time, I'm happy
to provide the same ability to other people because that's how it's meant
to be.

Do you think OpenWrt sucks? Then stop complaining and do something to make
it better. It's that simple.


On 9 March 2015 at 21:02, valent.turkovic at gmail.com <
valent.turkovic at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I see this or similar question of forums all the time and I have
> answered it few times. I suggest we open a wiki page and contribute an
> answer.
> Here is how I usually reply to similar questions, please give your
> comments in your replies:
> Why it OpenWrt slower than stock firmware? I can help by shining a bit
> of light onto this subject. I'm developing custom firwmares based on
> OpenWrt but I'm not OpenWrt developer, still as I have few years of
> experience with OpenWrt I can explain why sometimes performance sucks
> or there are some issues and bugs.
> OpenWrt has three main parts; linux kernel, software packages and
> wireless drivers. OpenWrt developers work on all of them. Consider the
> amount of code this is, and consider that all work is done by a
> handful of OpenWrt developers. If you work in software industry you
> know many people big companies hire to work on much smaller projects.
> So be thankful it works as good as it does, it is actually a miracle
> that it works as good as it does
> Main issue is that wifi chip manufacturers don't offer open source
> wifi drivers. If Atheros and Broadcom understood Open source as Intel
> does then you would get absolutely top speed and reliability from
> OpenWrt wifi drivers. You don't get top notch performance with OpenWrt
> because Atheros and Broadcom are choosing not release quality open
> source drivers.
> Linux, BSDx and OpenWrt developers can only use other means to get
> wifi devices to work, usually reverse engineering, and without support
> from wifi chip companies it is not easy to support all features, get
> awesome performance and stability.
> This is a long way of saying, that if performance sucks on OpenWrt you
> should blame Atheros and Broadcom for not giving you (OpenWrt
> community) high quality open source drivers!
> _______________________________________________
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> openwrt-devel at lists.openwrt.org
> https://lists.openwrt.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/openwrt-devel
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