New GL-MT3000 and OpenWrt 23.05

I’m about to purchase a GL-MT3000 Wi-Fi 6 Travel Router and noted that it comes with OpenWrt 21.02. The OpenWrt release notes say that this is end of life and no more fixes will be done.

If I upgrade (and how do I do that anyway) the OpenWrt on the router do I lose all the cool GL stuff like enable WISP repeater, setting up the local wifi, the functionality of the side switch (eg. enable/disable VPN)

It makes me nervous that I’m buying into a product where the core software router is so old

Yes, you will lose the GL Web GUI if you upgrade to vanilla OpenWrt, you can upgrade by just flashing the sysupgrade image via web, same thing for a downgrade. Never keep settings. I’ve done that a few times going back and forth to vanilla OpenWrt which has been working great for me

But if you do any of that then you lose the benefits of the GL in being able to easily manage it as a travel router. I think that’s what you’re saying

Do you know if they plan to release a version of GL with more modern OpenWrt?

I’d like to understand your concerns.

When the Beryl AX was released, 21.02 was still supported.
The 5.4 Kernel is supported until December 2025.
I hope GL update to a newer release but until they do, all packages in the stock firmware are maintained by GL and have nothing to do with Openwrt apart from being forked from the source.

If you swap to actual Openwrt, you will lose all GL customisation and closed source components, and have to configure everything from scratch.

As the GL source is a fork, it’s not old, the only reason Openwrt is having to move forward so quickly is that it works with only open source drivers and firmware, every new kernel takes up more flash space, every new WiFi driver needs more ram to run the open source variant, etc.

If you want to read the issues this caused, read up on the swconfig rejection from the mainline kernel that forced Openwrt to use DSA.

DSA and swconfig were parallel developments and DSA won.
But in DSA winning, devices with limited flash had to be dropped by Openwrt.

As GL have access to the closed source drivers for their hardware there’s no hurry to upgrade the base.

That’s a really good explanation. Thank you for taking the time.