Netgear R7000, possible to copy kernel modules for wifi (BCM4360) from dd-wrt to openwrt


I want to run OpenWRT on my lovely Netgear R7000, but unfortunately broadcom have not released open source kernel modules (drivers) for the BCM4360 wifi on the R7000. OpenWRT never include binary closed source drivers in their distributions, a position which I respect. So no WIFI if I use OpenWRT.

Is it possible to copy the kernel modules from DDWRT (which works flawlessly) to OpenWRT? How?

I tried copying the wl.ko file to OpenWRT and running insmod on it, but it didn't work.

Best Answer

You cannot simply copy the wl driver from DD-WRT to OpenWRT, chiefly (but not exclusively) because they have been compiled for different kernels.

Yet your router uses a BCM4709A0 system-on-chip, which belongs to the class of chips (BCM47xx and BCM53xx) to which OpenWRT dedicates a whole page. The page contains a description of all three available drivers, including wl. It also has instructions on the packages to download and on how to configure them, which is non-obvious (but not difficult) because wl does not use the standard Linux Wireless API, cfg80211. Apart from this, the instructions are long and detailed. You can try following these official instructions.

The last comment is that it appears none of the developers has had an opportunity to test these instructions on your specific router (even though they claim they should apply to a wide class of chips including your own) so you will be flying solo. For specific help on the procedure you can ask here or on the OpenWRT wiki.

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