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Old 08-15-2003, 02:38 PM   #1
Crashed_Again
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Recommended Smoothwall Hardware


Hey all. I have been reading a lot on smoothwall and I want to make a designated smoothwall firewall/router on my lan. The only thing I have not found on smoothwall's site is the recommended hardware for this type of machine. I know some people run smoothwall on a 486. I was wondering how much this affects the efficiency of the network. Obviously a faster processor and more memory will make for a better firewall/router but what would be the recommended specs for a machine like this?
 
Old 08-15-2003, 02:55 PM   #2
david_ross
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I have it runnign on a P120 - 32MB ram and 1GB hdd and it is pretty good - not extremely fast to boot but it does it's job.
 
Old 08-15-2003, 03:15 PM   #3
Crashed_Again
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You don't have to reboot it often do you? I was going to buy an old pc off e-bay for like $10 but then the shipping is like $40.

Okay so basically as long as you can get three nic cards in there you should be fine right? I have a 486 but the thing is so old it doesn't have PCI slots.
 
Old 08-15-2003, 04:30 PM   #4
david_ross
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I boot it when I use it since I am only on a 56k dial up and can't sleep if I leave my systems on all night

I don't reboot it due to crashes or anything.
 
Old 08-15-2003, 04:32 PM   #5
david_ross
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I think it support ISA cards too but you need to do some more manual configuration etc.
 
Old 08-15-2003, 04:40 PM   #6
fotoguy
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Actually the speed of the processor amd ram does not affect the speed of the firewall performance as such, maybe only the writing of log files. The data passes through the computer components ie. through a network card onto the mainboard, the data is examined and then back out through the appropiate network card. It doesn have to be written to the hard drive and then read again, so there is no processing or ram usage.

I ran a p200 32 mb 0f ram, have 4 computers running of it, 2 of which i use for me and my flatemate to play online games. I have cable, with over 500 m/bit connection and have no lag while both of us are playing.
 
Old 08-15-2003, 04:46 PM   #7
david_ross
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Smoothwall also has caching (squid) which brings these aspects into play.
 
Old 08-15-2003, 05:11 PM   #8
itsjustme
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I run smoothwall on a 486 DX2 100Mhz machine. It has 48MB of memory. I can't remember at the moment if it had a PCI slot. I think it's ISA and still it's 10/100 NIC. Or, it must be PCI since lspci -v says the Ehternet Controller is some unknown Bridgecom device.
It's not in a good place to open the case currently. I also have it connected to a 56K external Zoom modem.
http://www.mydctexas.net/bennies/picture100.jpg. It's the one on the left. I think the video is an old 4MB Matrox Mystique hooked up to that 14" Samsung SyncMaster 3 monitor.
I leave this one on all the time and have it connected to an APC Back-UPS CS 350. Lot's of brown outs and power outages out here in the country.
I currently run the orient beta of smoothwall. No probs. Well, on the surface, that I know about.

Edit: Oh, and it also only has a 240MB harddrive.

http://www.mydctexas.net/bennies/photos_systems.html

Last edited by itsjustme; 08-15-2003 at 05:38 PM.
 
Old 08-16-2003, 03:58 AM   #9
fotoguy
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Have you tried IPCOP ?. Itīs made from the smothwall source, and a much better product in my opinion.
 
Old 08-16-2003, 05:29 AM   #10
Crashed_Again
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Okay very cool. Thanks for all the input!

itsjustme, that is some home network you got going there. Are you breaking codes for the government part time or something?

fotoguy, I imagine their must be some usage of the processor and cpu to traverse through the rules of the firewall. It seems, from all the post here, that smoothwall is so efficient that it is not even noticable when run on low-end machines though.
 
Old 08-16-2003, 06:23 AM   #11
2damncommon
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Quote:
The data passes through the computer components ie. through a network card onto the mainboard, the data is examined and then back out through the appropiate network card. It doesn have to be written to the hard drive and then read again, so there is no processing or ram usage.
No way am I going to claim to be an expert on this, but I thought any running process implies some sort of RAM usage. I thought the Linux kernel was loaded into RAM to be able to run and that to access the kernel would imply usage of that RAM. No?

I have Smoothwall running on a Pentium (90 or 100), 40MB RAM, 512MB hard drive.
I had some small troubles with version 1.0 having frequent kernel panics and/or file corruption. I had to reload Smoothwall at least once a month, sometimes more often. So far the latest beta with a journaled filesystem and newer kernel seems to be doing much better.
 
Old 08-16-2003, 08:24 AM   #12
fotoguy
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Sorry, i didnīt mean that there was totally no ram used for the processes. Iīm no expert either. Just with dialup and cable modems the amount of data coming through is usually small enough for the ram to cope, i think older ram has a transfer rate of about 1 gb/s and the new ddr ram has about 2gb/s, correct me if iīm wrong.
 
Old 08-16-2003, 10:43 AM   #13
2damncommon
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I just know I saw no difference in the transfer speeds before or after I had Smoothwall inbetween my DSL connection.
 
  


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