[sf-lug] Why OpenWRT?

Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu
Thu Jan 28 08:20:10 PST 2010

> Date: Mon, 25 Jan 2010 13:40:03 -0500
> From: David Rosenstrauch <darose at darose.net>
> Subject: Re: [sf-lug] Installed OpenWRT on WRT54GS v1.0 - sweet! :-)
> To: sf-lug at linuxmafia.com
> On 01/24/2010 11:49 AM, Michael Paoli wrote:
>> Installed OpenWRT on WRT54GS v1.0 - sweet! :-)
> Just curious why you wound up choosing OpenWRT rather than, say, DD-WRT
> or Tomato?  I've been researching these recently, in preparation for
> installing one of them on the new WRT54GL router we just got here in the
> office.  But I got the impression that OpenWRT didn't have much of a
> user-friendly GUI going for it, whereas the other ones did.  Am I under
> the wrong impression about OpenWRT?

A combination of multiple reasons:
o license(s)
o packages & package management
o relative popularity and size of user base
o reputation
o seemed to mostly be the "best" available software, for certain "best"
   o open source
   o powerful, flexible
   o primary admin/user very familiar with Linux & CLI
   o GUIs & pretty graphs deemed mostly wasteful in restricted space
     flash/RAM environment
   o and other factors already noted further above

downsides: The OpenWRT documentation is rather lacking (not very
complete and not all that well organized).  Paraphrasing myself: "Open
source is not an excuse for lack of good, complete documentation."
(But it still beats the heck out of closed source - with open source at
least the documentation can be written, because the information can be
determined from the open source).  I tend to think about 95% of
OpenWRT's documentation problems could be "fixed" by taking most all of
the existing documentation for many of the (e.g. upstream) packages and
such it uses, and just collect and organize that and make it
available.  Then just start well covering the remaining bits, from most
to least specific to OpenWRT ... after that, it's done. :-)

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