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Old 05-10-2010, 05:52 PM   #1
diamond_D
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Hardware for Linux router


I am pretty new to Linux. I installed a CENTOS 5.4 VM in VMWARE workstation so I could get used to moving around the filesystem and the VI editor. Now I want a project to do. I want to get good enough with Linux that I can one day get involved with some work projects that involve RHEL.

I thought for a home project I would like to setup a router behind my DSL modem. I currently have a Linksys WRT54GS as well that I was thinking of using DD-WRT but I would rather have something I could have the full blown OS installed on so I could learn more and use more features.

I was thinking about compiling some parts to build a mini-ITX router but I cannot seem to find a guaranteed setup that Linux could be installed without too much hassle.

Can somebody recommend a list of computer hardware that is easy to get going with a compatible distro? I'd like to keep it as lightweight and low power as possible but if mini-ITX is too complicated I will go bigger.
 
Old 05-10-2010, 06:23 PM   #2
brucehinrichs
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Any old P3 box you find at a garage sale or whatever that has 512M of RAM and a 10GB hard drive makes a good firewall/router/NAT/proxy machine. Ask around, you'd be surprised at how many people have one of these in a closet or something that's "just taking up space".
 
Old 05-10-2010, 06:42 PM   #3
diamond_D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucehinrichs View Post
Any old P3 box you find at a garage sale or whatever that has 512M of RAM and a 10GB hard drive makes a good firewall/router/NAT/proxy machine. Ask around, you'd be surprised at how many people have one of these in a closet or something that's "just taking up space".
There is a depot close by that sells old refurbished computers. I want to pick something up but don't want to waste my money not being able to get some peripheral to work. That's why I am looking for some recommendations.
 
Old 05-10-2010, 06:55 PM   #4
Electro
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Linux supports a lot of hardware, so listing all the parts will take a long time.

I suggest start with mini-itx.com and then use Google to find similar sites. You could start with Jetway J7F2 and J7F5M and JNC92 mini-ITX motherboards because they give you the flexibility of using daughterboards to increase the amount of NIC or other type of connections.

If you want more efficiency, ARM systems are better. The following ARM board should be able to do the same as a desktop.

http://www.embeddedarm.com/products/...roduct=TS-7800

For a router, the computer does not have to be over kill. A computer with 512 MB of RAM with 10 GB of storage to be used as a router is very, very over kill.
 
Old 05-10-2010, 06:59 PM   #5
brucehinrichs
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For a router, the computer does not have to be over kill. A computer with 512 MB of RAM with 10 GB of storage to be used as a router is very, very over kill.
Agreed. I suggested it because I have found it to be a very low cost solution (free-$20US).
 
Old 05-10-2010, 10:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro View Post
Linux supports a lot of hardware, so listing all the parts will take a long time.

I suggest start with mini-itx.com and then use Google to find similar sites. You could start with Jetway J7F2 and J7F5M and JNC92 mini-ITX motherboards because they give you the flexibility of using daughterboards to increase the amount of NIC or other type of connections.
What Linux distro's have been successfully installed on the Jetway boards? This one looks sweet Jetway "NF96FL-510" but I can't find anything regarding a Linux install.

This board on the other hand "Intel D510MO" has native install support on all the popular distro's: Ubuntu, SUSE, Fedora, RHEL. The RHEL platform is nice because my work uses this distro for some projects. The downside is I don't see a spot to add another NIC. I may go with this and just make a media box out of it unless somebody can confirm that I can install the latest distro's on one of the Jetway boards.
 
Old 05-11-2010, 06:21 PM   #7
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Linux distributions are what they are they distribute or pack up the components that makes Linux. Linux is the kernel. What makes the Linux as an operating system, is both Linux, the kernel, and GNU, the community or programs. The kernel is the only part of Linux that matters for hardware support. Each kernel version may fix a issue or may add support for hardware that did not have in the past. It is not the distribution that matters for hardware support. It is the kernel. You have to find the lowest kernel version that supports your hardware. Since you are dependent on NIC, you have to find what kernel version started to support the NIC that Jetway J7F2 and J7F5M and JNC92 includes. Since kernel version 2.6.22 begun support for 1 Gb Realtek PCIe based NIC, any distribution with this kernel version or higher should work just fine. You should not be too worry about the other components because Linux already supports the VIA C7 processor and the motherboard chip set. Basically the VIA C7 processor is an 80x86 compatible processor using the 80686 model.

For a media center, the Jetway NF96FL-510 should work in Linux, but the graphics support will be a problem. If you are going to play back H.264 or MPEG-4 video, it will be very sluggish. I suggest an Intel ATOM with nVidia ION chip set will be a lot better.

Linux supports mostly all motherboards. You have to find out what hardware the motherboard includes and then find out what kernel version started to support it. The main components in motherboards you should worry about are NIC and storage controller. Sometimes manufactures may include different chips for sound cards, USB, and IEEE-1394 (aka Firewire or i.Link), so you have to look out for if you are going to use these devices.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 06:41 PM   #8
gadikas
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Hello.

I want to create a server solution that draws as little power as possible so I intend to run the system from a usb stick and maybe use a 2.5 "HD disk for larger files.
Is it possible to create an Ubuntu server with LAMP, webmin, File Server and router on the same machine.

System proposal
Gigabyte GA-D510UD Mini-ITX
A-Data 1024MB 800Mhz A-Data 1024MB 800Mhz
Realtek 10/100/1000Mbit PCI Realtek 10/100/1000Mbit PCI

Last edited by gadikas; 05-18-2010 at 06:42 PM.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 08:02 PM   #9
brucehinrichs
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Yes.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 08:22 PM   #10
gadikas
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Thanks for the prompt reply.
Can I use a USB to WiFi such as D-Link DWA-140 Wireless N as wireless Axess point?

Last edited by gadikas; 05-18-2010 at 08:24 PM.
 
Old 05-18-2010, 08:41 PM   #11
brucehinrichs
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My answer was to what you posted before you edited and added this:
Quote:
System proposal
Gigabyte GA-D510UD Mini-ITX
A-Data 1024MB 800Mhz A-Data 1024MB 800Mhz
Realtek 10/100/1000Mbit PCI Realtek 10/100/1000Mbit PCI
As for this specific system, you can google just as well as the rest of us.

Post back with any specific questions after your search.
 
  


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