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Installing Merlin (GT-AX6000) before booting up stock for the first time?

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ika

Regular Contributor
Hello SNBForums,

My GT-AX6000 just arrived. Thing is huge, I'm excited:)

Two quick questions:
  1. Do I need to boot up the stock FW once before I install Merlin, and if the answer is "No", then would there be any benefit to boot it up before installing Merlin (like some kind of license or feature activation)?
  2. I have a 8TB Samsung 870 QVO severely underused in my PC, and I was think about hooking it up to the new router for DLNA content (I guess the 1GB RAM would be enough for such a large storage). Are there experiences in the community about SSD garbage collectors, particularly how they do over a long time period without TRIM?
Thank you very much in advance,
Noble regards,
ika
 
Hello SNBForums,

My GT-AX6000 just arrived. Thing is huge, I'm excited:)

Two quick questions:
  1. Do I need to boot up the stock FW once before I install Merlin, and if the answer is "No", then would there be any benefit to boot it up before installing Merlin (like some kind of license or feature activation)?
  2. I have a 8TB Samsung 870 QVO severely underused in my PC, and I was think about hooking it up to the new router for DLNA content (I guess the 1GB RAM would be enough for such a large storage). Are there experiences in the community about SSD garbage collectors, particularly how they do over a long time period without TRIM?
Thank you very much in advance,
Noble regards,
ika
  1. Yes, you need to boot the stock firmware in order to access the firmware upgrade page in the GUI.
 
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Also it makes sense to run the router on the stock firmware for a week or so to make sure the hardware's okay.
 
Thing is huge, I'm excited

Huge because of 0.5kg Gaming plastic coming with it. The hardware inside is similar to much smaller size RT-AX86U Pro. You also don't have 1GB RAM available for your USB attached drive, but 0.5GB or less. The rest is taken already by the system. You also don't have a new NAS, but a home AIO router with USB ports. Test and see what works for you. The more excited you get the more issues you'll encounter. Run stock software on it first to verify correct operation. Stock software is 3.0.0.6 with Pro features not available in 3.0.0.4 based Asuswrt-Merlin. You may like it better.
 
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Thank you all for the replies.

  1. Yes, you need to boot the stock firmware in order to access the firmware upgrade page in the GUI.
I was thinking maybe I could install it from recovery, so it would only run Merlin from "birth". I know it is not very scientific, but sometimes it feels good to be ritual:)

Also it makes sense to run the router on the stock firmware for a week or so to make sure the hardware's okay.
Thanks for the advice, but (considering the blobs are same as the stock fw) would Merlin be really that different in that aspect?

Huge because of 0.5kg Gaming plastic coming with it. The hardware inside is similar to much smaller size RT-AX86U Pro. You also don't have 1GB RAM available for your USB attached drive, but 0.5GB or less. The rest is taken already by the system. You also don't have a new NAS, but a home AIO router with USB ports. Test and see what works for you. The more excited you get the more issues you'll encounter. Run stock software on it first to verify correct operation. Stock software is 3.0.0.6 with Pro features not available in 3.0.0.4 based Asuswrt-Merlin. You may like it better.
I don't care about the gaming stuff, I needed the ax6000 because I have 2GBps internet, so I can have 1 high speed LAN and 1 high speed WAN ports.
I will not use it as a NAS of course. I using Merlin since the very early days (N16, N66, etc), and I also know that the total memory is not available, but indexing and mapping 7TB (I would probably provision 1TB out of the 8) would need a lot of memory. I was asking about experiences.
The AC86u had a different branch, so thanks for the headsup about the 3004 vs 3006 differences.
 
Just an FYI for the OP this subforum typically discusses add-on's to Merlin. There is a separate subforum to discuss Merlin firmware itself.

While one can use the router with attached USB drive as a NAS/media server one will have better luck not bothering and instead either buy or build a NAS. The router isn't a full fledged NAS/media server and attempting to use it as one may severely tax the router and potentially impact other router functions or consume router memory and processing. Plenty of DIY guides out there on turning old computers into an NAS/media servers or using SoC devices like Raspberry Pi's as an NAS/media server. Many here will suggest getting a stand alone NAS rather than using the router as an NAS/media server.
 
Just an FYI for the OP this subforum typically discusses add-on's to Merlin. There is a separate subforum to discuss Merlin firmware itself.
Oh, my mistake. Maybe a mod can move it please?
While one can use the router with attached USB drive as a NAS/media server one will have better luck not bothering and instead either buy or build a NAS. The router isn't a full fledged NAS/media server and attempting to use it as one may severely tax the router and potentially impact other router functions or consume router memory and processing. Plenty of DIY guides out there on turning old computers into an NAS/media servers or using SoC devices like Raspberry Pi's as an NAS/media server. Many here will suggest getting a stand alone NAS rather than using the router as an NAS/media server.
I have a NAS, but (mostly) for environmental reasons, I'm not running it 24/7 since some years, and I only turn it on when I'm doing backups, downloads, or other NAS "things". I'm using the AC86u as a media server for years, which allows DLNA clients to stream movies and music to the devices. It has a 4TB USB HDD attached, and it affects nothing, it has almost zero performance impact whatsoever, not even when more than one members of my family streams at the same time. The HDD is almost full, so I would need a bigger storage now, but I only have an SSD to use with the desired capacity, that is why I asked my question.
 
I wouldn't bother spending time on stock FW, especially if the GT-AX6000 came loaded with 3.0.0.6. There's nothing about Merlin FW itself that makes it harder to identify any hardware defects. I'd go straight to Merlin 3.0.0.4.388.4 followed by a full router reset and run a minimal configuration for a few weeks. I'd run without the drive attached. No Entware or scripts.
 
Thank you very much for moving the thread to the right place. I made the mistake because I did not look what I was clicking (posted a long time ago and iirc it is different):
1693502900333.png
 
I wouldn't bother spending time on stock FW, especially if the GT-AX6000 came loaded with 3.0.0.6. There's nothing about Merlin FW itself that makes it harder to identify any hardware defects. I'd go straight to Merlin 3.0.0.4.388.4 followed by a full router reset and run a minimal configuration for a few weeks. I'd run without the drive attached. No Entware or scripts.
Thank you for the reply, Yes I agree, that is why I wrote above that I do not think Merlin would be different when it comes to detecting hardware problems.

The unit runs Merlin now, it has no entware or anything, it operates behind the ac86u for the testing time period, probably a week or so.

I did not ask about it, but received replies and I respectfully disagree with the comments above about the DLNA server feature of the router, so I will still use it.
I deployed hundreds of Merlin routers, many with the feature turned on and utilized. It is an official feature, it is supported by Asus and it was mature 10 years ago in my opinion. I never encountered problems. Yes some drive died at some places after years, but that is expected, everything fails sooner or later especially HDDs, but one just gets a new drive then and copy the media again.

I will report back on the long term findings about how the SSD fairs with the lack of trim, maybe I try to get it working in Entware (I guess I would need to compile it into the FW?, need to do research on that).
 
...

I will report back on the long term findings about how the SSD fairs with the lack of trim, maybe I try to get it working in Entware (I guess I would need to compile it into the FW?, need to do research on that).

@ColinTaylor may be able to add some commentary on this topic.
 
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There was a discussion about TRIM five and six years ago here and here. At the time RMerlin recommended against using SDDs on the router but things may have changed since then. Personally I don't worry about lack of TRIM support as my drives have there own built-in garbage collection regardless of the operating system.

However, in the intervening years asuswrt-merlin has added the fstrim command as well as the discard mount option. So if your particular SSD needed it you could use either of those without installing any additional software.
 
There was a discussion about TRIM five and six years ago here and here. At the time RMerlin recommended against using SDDs on the router but things may have changed since then. Personally I don't worry about lack of TRIM support as my drives have there own built-in garbage collection regardless of the operating system.

However, in the intervening years asuswrt-merlin has added the fstrim command as well as the discard mount option. So if your particular SSD needed it you could use either of those without installing any additional software.
Thank you very much for the reply and the linked info. That is really great news, I will look into it, but unfortunately the router died yesterday morning. Well not the router but the radios, there was no wireless network whatsoever, I tried all the settings I could. I hard-reseted and flashed back the thing to its original state with the stock FS, but that also made no difference.
Since the sale is still going on, I agreed with Amazon support that they will replace it for me, so now I am waiting for my new unit:)
 

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