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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 09-16-2003, 09:38 AM   #1
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Registered: Aug 2003
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My Firewall Project

Hello All,

First of all I have to say thank you for providing such a wonderful asset to the Linux community! Thanks!

Now on to my question.

I would like to build myself a little firewall router. As if I need another toy! Anyway, this box would hook into my Motorola SB4200 series cable modem and share my internet connection with 2 other PCs via a Linksys 5 port 10/100 switch.

The software part of this solution would most likely be Smoothwall. I have read about it here on the forums and it sounds very strong and secure.

The hardware part of the solution is kinda foggy. I'm looking at spending no more than $350 and would like the box to be as small as possible. I have looked at the flex atx PCs from Shuttle and MSI but find them a bit pricey. I have come up with a custom build and had wondered if i would encounter any problems:

Mobo: Asus A7N266-VM (after more research I see that the nForce chipset is not fully supported.) - $63.99
Proc: Athlon XP 1800+ 266 - $57.00
Ram: Crucial 256mb pc2100 - $46.99
HDD: Western Digital 40GB 8MB cache - $65
Case: Antec Minuet with 220w PSU - $64.99
NICs: 2 Intel Pro/100S @ $26.00each - $52.00

Grand Total - $349.97

With this setup, 1 Nic would be hooked up to the cable modem. The other Nic would be hooked up to my little Linksys 5 port 10/100 switch. I believe this would work out ok. The only thing I am not sure of is the mobo. I guess I could save $26.00 by using the onboard LAN of the mobo, but i have read that the nForce chipset is tied in with the onboard LAN. Or maybe im smoking the big one.

As far as installation of an OS I could always yank a CD-ROM drive outta one of my PCs here and then put it back after setup was completed.

This is what my linux newbie brain has come up with. Now I am curious and would be very interested to hear what you guys would recommend for my little project.


Old 09-16-2003, 09:57 AM   #2
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Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Arbovale, WV
Distribution: Slackware
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Why not buy a PII on ebay or from a local PC dealer, instead of building one? You can get a PII 300 (or so) for a $100 of so. Then buy a couple of NICs.

I have heard of poeple having problems with cables modems. I am not sure if you will or not. But with money that you save you could buy a cable router. Then set up the firewall in the Linux box.

You really don't need a 1.8gHz PC to run a linux firewall. I have one that run on a dialup connection. It is a Pen 233 CPU, 32 bm of ram and a 1.2 gig HD. I run no GUI on it.

I use the arno-iptables firewall script. I find it's config file easy to use and setup. If you shop around and find one like I got you would really only have about $70 in it altogether.

I really see no need to purchase new equipment for a home firewall if you don't need to. If it was for a business, I would spend the money.
Old 09-16-2003, 12:56 PM   #3
Registered: Apr 2003
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 169

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my p133 smoothwall works great for 5 machines you can pick one up for next to nowt.... whack it in a 1u case/old vcr, there you go, compact smoothwall...
Old 09-17-2003, 07:58 AM   #4
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Sydney
Distribution: debian
Posts: 1,495

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Yeah, why spend all that money? Forget the disk as well. You can pack a firewall, router onto a floppy:

Floppy, power supply, 486 with 32Mb or so, 2 NICs and any old video card. Check the dumpster outside your local school, garbage tip, etc.


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