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Modular Router Crowdfunding: Turris MOX


#1

The Czech company (I think its actually a non-profit) that operates the .cz TLD apparently also makes routers.

They crowdfunded a normal router in the past, the Turris Omnia, there was a thread about this, but their second project is a modular router design spread across multiple boards that plug together.

I forgot to post this earlier, so now it is actually fully funded, but it looks like you can still pre-order units.

Module Components Details
A 1 × CPU
1 × microSD slot
1 × USB 3.0
1 × Gb Ethernet
WiFi
CPU is a Marvell Armada 3720 1,2 GHz dual core
Ethernet port is PoE ready
B 1 × mPCIe slot
1 × SIM slot
Examples given: LTE, WiFi, or SSD
C 4 × Gb Ethernet
D 1 × SFP connector cage up to 2.5 Gb/s
E 8 × Gb Ethernet
F 4 × USB 3.0
G 1 × mPCIe slot

There are of course restrictions on how many of each card. For example, you cannot have more than one A, B, C, D, or F module. Some cannot be used together, like B/F or C/D.

Still, it looks like an interesting idea to me.


Meta Question, is this thread fine in Networking/Hardware or since it is more consumer-targeted would it belong in Hardware/Other?


#2

yup they are non-profit. You can actually buy their non-modular routers in normal stores now, for a big buck of money, but its serious stuff and all open-source


#3

Really?


#4

All opensource, but based on an old fork of OpenWRT. They don’t follow or contribute back to modern kernels. (Some other router manufacturers do more in that respect)


#5

Oh, who does? Turris is the first one I’ve seen to actually run opensource stuff. Unlike the Buffalo routers that run some sort of proprietary fork of DD-WRT, instead of the actual DD-WRT.

Is it just that they tracked OpenWRT rather than LEDE? Is that why they lagged behind?


#6

What I know about them is old info back from when they built the Omnia (I should probably dust it off). When they were developing the board there was no LEDE, and they were using roughly a 6 month old fork of OpenWRT head with all history squashed into a single commit, their stuff put on top and a whole bunch of stuff backported. meanwhile, during those 6 months, OpenWRT had switched from uclibc to musl, from 3.18 to 4.x kernels, and has forward ported all the patches and had a ton of driver patches checked in upstream. At the time Wireguard was coming out, and you couldn’t run it on Turris OS.

A hacker friendly / community friendly approach would have been for the Turris folks to maintain their own software as close to upstream as possible, merging everything in, so that the community would get to benefit from their work, and they get to benefit from the community by having to maintain less and less platform code over time. This was not happening.

For example, and in contrast to that Linksys and Marvell have done a lot to support the community and get patches upstream, and that small difference means that today the kernel patches required to run similar wrt1xxx series routers are basically not needed as they have landed into vanilla. Ironically, Turris hardware is based on Marvell Armada, but Mox runs on 4.4 :frowning:


#7

That’s a shame.

Do you know of any upstreaming WiFi router vendors that actually ship with OpenWRT or something opensource?

The annoying thing is, it’s really easy to find guides on building your own router with something like OpenBSD, but usually those guides are for Ethernet-only routers.


#8

I’m not used to reading business documents, but that doesn’t sound like a for-profit to me.

What in particular was making you think they probably aren’t?


#9

CZ.NIC, z. s. p. o., is an interest association of legal entities, founded in 1998 by leading providers of Internet services.
They are natural monopoly (operation of the domain name registry for the .CZ domain, operation of the CZ top-level domain), I think without goverment regulations of pricing.

It is hard to express (perhaps in english both sentences mean the same):
Non-profit organizations doing good based on their budget.
NIC.cz based on income (mostly monopoly, so they can decide its size) doing the good.


#10

They now have a configurator site that helps visualize which modules terminate the PCIe and SGMII buses, which explains why some modules can only be added once.

It’s not shown there, but apparently the A module uses SDIO (instead of PCIe on the B module) to optionally connect a WiFi card.


Also, it looks like the crowdfunding preorder-discount ends on November 20 in case anyone was interested.


@risk I had asked them about upstreaming back in June,


but I’m not in the market for a router at the moment, so I haven’t looked into it much; it looks like the current release is still 3.X though, so they haven’t rebased?


#11

I think https://teklager.se/en/products/routers/ ships with openwrt, you can choose between 10 different operating systems, or you can choose “other”