Which Router is Best for OpenWRT?

Andrew Jorgensen andrew at jorgensenfamily.us
Thu May 29 17:38:47 MDT 2008

On Thu, 2008-05-29 at 17:09 -0600, Michael Torrie wrote:
> In response to comments on DD-WRT, I must say that I recommend against
> using it.  Mainly on philosophical grounds.  It is not an open source
> distro, and in fact you have to actually use a license key on any
> hardware other than the MIPS/Broadcom stuff.  It's a bit sad to see
> someone making money off the backs of so many open source contributors
> without contributing back, but that's life.  He's withing his rights, I
> guess, but it just reeks of Sveasoft all over again.  He promised he
> would never close dd-wrt, but he has reversed his word on that.  The web
> interface and many other parts of DD-wrt are closed and proprietary.

Yeah, that's particularly interesting in light of the fact that he began
the project specifically because of what Sveasoft was doing.  He's still
committed to keeping the consumer router builds free (lower-case f) at
least.  It should also be noted that the DD team contributes back to
OpenWrt and one of their main devs (Felix Fietkau - nbd) is also a main
dev for OpenWrt.

On the OpenWrt side, though, the main devs have dropped the web UI
entirely which leaves you with X-Wrt (webif^2) as your best option.  And
that guy is kind of a dufus.  His philosophy is "if it does something it
should be included" with little regard to quality control.  His packages
step on other packages.  It's a philosophical difference I guess.  I'm
sure in his and many others' opinion he gets things done.  The part that
makes me sad about that is how the OpenWrt devs gave up on their web UI
primarily because of disagreements with him.

It's not so bad configuring by SSH but it's definitely for geeks.

Other curious differences between DD and Open are that DD's routing /
firewalling works the way I'd expect it to while Open's doesn't.
Specifically, if I try to go to the outside address of my router I
expect the port forwarding rules to work their magic and give me my web
server instead of the configuration page for the router.  DD works like
a charm, Open gives me it's lack of web UI (with a web-server even!).

Also DD has support for Virtual SSIDs on broadcom hardware (though some
chips don't work properly).

And it's neat that DD can still store most of it's configs in nvram.
OpenWrt went away from nvram to support non-nvram-capable devices.  This
makes sense but they could have easily created an nvram back-end for
their uci configuration tool.  This makes upgrades on OpenWrt painful.

On the other hand it's still recommended to reset your nvram when
upgrading DD anyway so that's moot.

OpenWrt's build system rocks though.

As you can tell I'm divided on the issue.

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