Criticisms contrary to the Gl.Inet firmware

I have seen criticisms contrary to the Gl.Inet firmware, saying it is not open source, but only based on open source OpenWRT project.
I think this must be contested in the Gl.Inet site with an indication of the link to Github where your Firmware sources are.

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Can you point us to the open source kernel for, say, the MT3000 or AXT1800?

There are two issues here:

  1. The current GL.iNet firmware is not OpenWrt. It is at best, for select routers, a highly customized version of OpenWrt that in several crucial respects behaves differently due to the large number of “features” that have been added on. Some of this is good, some of it is bad. Sure, it ships with Luci underneath and pulls from the OpenWrt source tree. But it’s no more OpenWrt than the firmware running on a Ubiquiti access point.

  2. It is possible to build a clean, vanilla, fully open source OpenWrt build for some GL.iNet routers (e.g., the A1300). But for newer GL.iNet routers, the A1300 is the exception rather than the rule (as of Feb. 2023). You cannot build OpenWrt for the MT3000, or the AXT1800 - the kernels and drivers that ship with the official GL.iNet firmware are proprietary and closed source - the QSDK 4.4 kernel in the case of the AXT1800 and the MTK SDK in the case of the MT3000/2500.

“Contesting” the idea that the firmware isn’t open source isn’t such a great idea when, well, it isn’t fully open source - either in most of the GL.iNet changes, nor in the kernel.


I like the GLi firmware but I really hope that the newer devices will eventually have full support in vanilla OpenWRT.

Efforts by GLi staff to upstream their work are greatly appreciated!!

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