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Topic: Netgear R6300 supported? (and if not, how can I help?)

The content of this topic has been archived between 17 Oct 2017 and 20 Apr 2018. There are no obvious gaps in this topic, but there may still be some posts missing at the end.

I have an R6300 v2 (and possibly also a v1).

Can I use openwrt?

And if not, are there some steps I can take to help get it supported?

(I do not, yet, have a serial cable. I do not have tons of time, but I can follow clear steps to do things, build/compile, that sort of thing.)

You can add support for mtd in squashfs, it would be a nice step to support NAND in squashfs, because it would either:
1) Allow to handle bad blocks in SquashFS
2) Allow to drop one extra layer when using UBI with MTD emulation
3) Allow to add UBI API easier

Zajec wrote:

You can add support for mtd in squashfs, it would be a nice step to support NAND in squashfs, because it would either:
1) Allow to handle bad blocks in SquashFS
2) Allow to drop one extra layer when using UBI with MTD emulation
3) Allow to add UBI API easier

I do not follow the above, was it meant for this thread?

R6300 uses NAND flash, so support for NAND in SquashFS is pretty required.
You asked how you can help, I posted some idea.

(Last edited by Zajec on 14 Oct 2013, 21:02)

More and more new devices are NAND flash - may finally need to definitively solve the problem of support memory?

All,

On Netgear R6300, I am currently using dd-wrt, which is ok, but I want real linux!

Would be great if I could use open wrt.

I have both Netgear R6300 v1 and v2. The radio on these devices is really great. I get wifi in parts of the house that never had signal.

I also have the v1. Did you manage to get it working?

samcones wrote:

All,

On Netgear R6300, I am currently using dd-wrt, which is ok, but I want real linux!

Would be great if I could use open wrt.

I have both Netgear R6300 v1 and v2. The radio on these devices is really great. I get wifi in parts of the house that never had signal.

R6300 v1 and v2 are two completely different devices from the hardware and support point of view. Different CPus, different architectures. Luckily drivers can be mostly shared, but they require new initialization method and minor fixes.

R6300 v1 issues:
1) OpenWrt (SquashFs) doesn't support NAND
2) No support for WiFi (BCM4331 / BCM4360)

R6300 v2 issues:
Don't even try it yet, unless you want to hack on drivers by yourself.

Luckily I have the v1. here you mentioned adding mtu to support squashfs, doesn't this work..?

On a side note, my macbook also uses BCM4331 for wifi, and I used this method to get it working with linux distros there. couldn't a similar fix be used here as well?

Zajec wrote:

R6300 v1 and v2 are two completely different devices from the hardware and support point of view. Different CPus, different architectures. Luckily drivers can be mostly shared, but they require new initialization method and minor fixes.

R6300 v1 issues:
1) OpenWrt (SquashFs) doesn't support NAND
2) No support for WiFi (BCM4331 / BCM4360)

R6300 v2 issues:
Don't even try it yet, unless you want to hack on drivers by yourself.

(whoa just realized you're the R. Milecki who cowrote that kernel patch, thanks for that btw! )

pistoleroX wrote:

Luckily I have the v1. here you mentioned adding mtu to support squashfs, doesn't this work..?

I just explained why we should add "mtd" support to SquashFS. samcones was willing to help, but once I found taks for him, he disappeared wink

pistoleroX wrote:

On a side note, my macbook also uses BCM4331 for wifi, and I used this method to get it working with linux distros there. couldn't a similar fix be used here as well?

Yeah, you could try to use b43 for BCM4331, however performance won't be too great. b43 needs improvements, but before you go so far, you first need to *install* OpenWrt on WNDR4500. And that brings us back to the SquashFS and NAND issue.

pistoleroX wrote:

(whoa just realized you're the R. Milecki who cowrote that kernel patch, thanks for that btw! )

Yeah, I pushed a lot of patches/changes/drivers, but I don't have time for everything. I try to focus on Broadcom specific stuff, hoping that other people will handle more generic things. Unfortunately noone ported SquashFS to NAND so far sad

Unlike samcones, I'm quite willing to do whatever you throw at me & however long it takes as this device isn't very useful to me at its present state. Helping the openwrt project itself (by adding stuff to wiki etc.) as a side effect is also fine by me, except I'm not the hardware wizard to do it on my own. (not yet, at least)

zajec wrote:

you first need to *install* OpenWrt on WNDR4500

obviously, but I think you mean the R6300v1? or are they so similar it doesn't matter..?

Also, this might sound stupid but the way a plethora of filesystems are used kind of baffled me. I'm sure there's a good reason its not just one big ext4 partition like for linux distros. But SquashFS has no alternatives? I'm too much of an ignorant regards to filesystems to go lookin..

(If it wasn't for that b43 fix, I'd have prematurely given up on trying to learn linux back then as life without wifi was unthinkable. Glad I stayed on far enough to find openwrt, so thanks once more! smile )

bump..

Everyone is ignorant before they get the information they need. Sometimes even ignorant people can help with a project.

so I've seen this sort of reply several times now. And many of the new routers are including NAND.

What is it about NAND that requires special support? and why is it that this support hasn't been added yet (I've been seeing this for a year or more)?

Also, it looks like some of the netgear routers (3400, 4300, etc) that initially were unsupported because of the lack of NAND support are now showing up in the nightly builds, does this mean that NAND support is showing up in some places?

dd-wrt seems to support many of these devices, isn't that code still GPL and something that could be copied?

If we are still stuck without NAND support, what can those of us without the time and/or skill to do the filesystem modifications do to help? can we croudsource funding to get it added? can we buy devices and ship them somewhere? what can we do?

David Lang

P.S. how can you tell the difference betwen a r6300 v1 and r6300v2?

Zajec wrote:

R6300 v1 and v2 are two completely different devices from the hardware and support point of view. Different CPus, different architectures. Luckily drivers can be mostly shared, but they require new initialization method and minor fixes.

R6300 v1 issues:
1) OpenWrt (SquashFs) doesn't support NAND
2) No support for WiFi (BCM4331 / BCM4360)

R6300 v2 issues:
Don't even try it yet, unless you want to hack on drivers by yourself.

dlang wrote:

What is it about NAND that requires special support? and why is it that this support hasn't been added yet (I've been seeing this for a year or more)?

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAND_flash_memory
In short: NAND memories have bad blocks. Filesystem has to deal with them. Squashfs doesn't support bad blocks, so it can't be reliably used on NAND flashes.
Some workaround could to be use UBI + gluebi + mtdblock + Squashfs but that would affect performance and require more space probably (we want to fit 4MiB devices!).


dlang wrote:

If we are still stuck without NAND support, what can those of us without the time and/or skill to do the filesystem modifications do to help? can we croudsource funding to get it added? can we buy devices and ship them somewhere? what can we do?

That sounds awesome. I believe hardware is not needed so much, but offering someone $ for working on Squashfs could get him motivated. If you find some developer interested in that, you can be sure I'll add some € to this project. You can try writing on some mailing lists like openwrt-devel, linux-fsdevel, linux-mtd maybe too.

Zajec wrote:
dlang wrote:

What is it about NAND that requires special support? and why is it that this support hasn't been added yet (I've been seeing this for a year or more)?

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAND_flash_memory
In short: NAND memories have bad blocks. Filesystem has to deal with them. Squashfs doesn't support bad blocks, so it can't be reliably used on NAND flashes.
Some workaround could to be use UBI + gluebi + mtdblock + Squashfs but that would affect performance and require more space probably (we want to fit 4MiB devices!).

well, the perfomance would be substantially better than what we can get from these devices today (i.e. nothing) :-)

As far as space goes, do the new devices with NAND flash ship with 4MB? or are they all shipping with more? The ones I've seen all have 8-16MB.

since these devices are shipping with Linux on them, what filesystem are they using from the factory?

dlang wrote:

P.S. how can you tell the difference betwen a r6300 v1 and r6300v2?

The routers label has the version number at least for the v2.
The v1 may be without version number if a v2 was not planned when the v1 was released.

The label should also have an FCC Id number which you can lookup in the ddwrt wiki page of supported devices.

as far as I can tell there is no entry for the r6300 on the toh page. did I manage to miss it multiple times?

JonnyM wrote:
dlang wrote:

P.S. how can you tell the difference betwen a r6300 v1 and r6300v2?

The routers label has the version number at least for the v2.
The v1 may be without version number if a v2 was not planned when the v1 was released.

The label should also have an FCC Id number which you can lookup in the ddwrt wiki page of supported devices.

My V1 is labeled with
NETGEAR *WNDR4500-100EUS*
Below that I've TA, S/N and MAC.

Any news for the R6300?

For you guys that have R6300...
Pinging the router is ok? (mine is working as AP)
My router response is from 1 ms to more than 20 ms, on wired connections.
Searching google, I found some people complaining about this, after a firmware upgrade (netgear firmware).
Anyone having this problem too?

(Last edited by digital on 29 Jan 2014, 14:49)

although this thread is quite old, maybe still has followers.

as far as I understood, the main advantage of the squashfs is, it's compressed and read-only, so user can anytime restore to the original state.
as these new routers have 128 nand memory, does it really still make sense to use compressed fs?
I use wndr3800 and see there are 2 versions of images, squashfs and jffs2.
why don't you just drop squashfs for the nand platforms and use jffs2 or even better use ubifs as it is mentioned being used for nand targets http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/techref/filesystems?s[]=jffs2#ubifs ?

(Last edited by nroberto13 on 13 Sep 2014, 19:01)

SquashFS is not that big problem anymore, I believe I could easily make bcm53xx use UBI.

Unfortunately we still don't have NAND controller driver.

as far as I can see, the nand controller is too broadcom, so I assume they don't publish the source drivers, right?

Northstar brcmnand NAND Flash Controller driver, Version 0.1 (c) Broadcom Inc. 2012

I also understood the router comes with a customized openwrt. can't we just take the binary modules from one and use them?

sorry if I ask stupid question, I'm not really familiar with the dev stuff, but have some linux experience. I imagine there could be incompatibilities between the C libraries used for the modules and the ones openwrt use.

just my thoughts..., shortly I will get my own R6300v2, so if I can anyhow move forward the dev for this router, more than happy to do it. in like two weeks I will be able to experiments.

Binary modules cannot be just taken, usually devices come with old versions of openwrt, based on some old kernel... and binary modules are suitable for kernel that they were built for and that's it...
Also there might be licensing issues with that.. Basically this is not possible.