Netgear GS308T Switches

I'm considering buying a Netgear GS308T switch, but it's difficult to tell how well supported they are.

  1. Can OpenWrt be installed, without opening up the case and/or using serial? The answer to this seems to be yes, but I'm hoping for some confirmation.

  2. Are there any major issues? I haven't been able to find any big complaints, but there isn't many posts.

  3. This is a long shot, but can anyone confirm whether the switch starts up with all ports open (ie. "dumb switch"), prior to the OS booting? I specifically need port isolation, for security reasons, so this leaking would be problematic.


Github instructions indicate serial console install, make sure you've got the right version.;a=commit;h=c829bc1f2c3c47e230905864f2f5f8c759f88ce6

The big thread about these devices is Support for RTL838x based managed switches

Thanks for your input. I saw the commit message. However, I've read posts that you can upload initramfs, via GUI, and then sysupgrade.

Well, if they were successful, then great, but it might be dependent of fw version etc.

I wouldn't "assume* it's doable, but try it, and keep my fingers X:ed.

Hi. I definitely did not open the case or use a serial cable to install the openwrt snapshot on my GS308T at the end of November. I bookmarked this message so I'm 99% sure that I successfully used the installation steps in this message: I don't have any answers for your other two questions though.

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I also flashed my GS308T without opening the case.

The commit instructions note that the OpenWrt ramdisk image can be flashed from the Netgear user interface. The Image0 slot should be used (selected from the Netgear user interface).

Do not flash the sysupgrade image from the Netgear user interface (if you do, you'll be opening the case and connecting a usb to serial dongle to try to de-brick it). You have to flash the initramfs image first, then scp the sysupgrade image to /tmp on your GS308T, then ssh into your GS308T and flash the sysupgrade image you scp'd to /tmp from the OpenWrt command line.

It used to be rather tricky to get to the device after flashing the initramfs image. Instructions and links in this thread also helped me out. The default configuration has since been changed in snapshot (and GS308T is not supported in 21.02) so that this should no longer be a source of confusion (unless you follow outdated guidance, which is why I've summarized the history).

As far as issues, the only issue I've encountered is that the LEDs on the ports do not light up or blink when you plug a cable in to the ports or data goes through them. This doesn't impact function though.

I can't help you on your last question.


Thanks for the input, everyone!

For the record, I flashed a Netgear GS308T rev 1 (I don't think others exist yet) with OpenWrt 22.03 RC6 today following these steps:

  1. Navigate to and log in to the stock firmware's web UI
  2. Use the Maintenance > Update > HTTP Firmware/File Update menu to upload the initramfs image (openwrt-22.03.0-rc6-realtek-rtl838x-netgear_gs308t-v1-initramfs-kernel.bin) to Image 1.
  3. Reboot the switch (I did that via SSH console access, but using the web UI should be fine)
  4. Copy a suitable OpenWrt sysupgrade image to /tmp/ on the now booted OpenWrt system on the switch (scp yoursysupgradeimage.bin root@
  5. Log in to the switch via ssh and proceed with flashing the uploaded image via sysupgrade.

Worked like a charm. Thanks a lot for taking such good care of this device, OpenWrt devs! <3

I successfully finished the first two steps. but I lost access to the switch when I rebooted it.

Green Power LED is on after reboot. There are no LED for any ports whichever I plug in the cable. Did I brick the switch?

I don't think so - it's normal for the LEDs to stay dead despite a cable with a link being plugged' I think that's not 100% supported for the target/platform. It takes about a minute or so for my switch to boot woth OpenWrt.

If you observe the other end of your Ethernet connection to the router, does that device detect a link on its interface?

I don't think it detects a link as I did not see led on or blinking on laptop ethernet port.

Did you try all the switchports yet?

Thank you! I redid all the cycles by reseting/rebooting, plug/unplug, and trial and error. Finally I can shh to But I am not sure what really happened.

Your step by step guidance works for me.

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