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Old 02-25-2009, 11:42 AM   #1
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Firewall Box minimum system requirements?

I have a couple old machines I want to use to create a Linux stronghold. I would like to use the least capable of these machines as the firewall box in order to save more capable machine for another use (web server, media box, or build system).

Could I get some direction as to whether or not using the low spec system will degrade internet performance, and if other system would be better?

Ancient System:
Pentium 166Mhz

Old System:
PII 450MHz
256 MB RAM

Both machines can operate well with DamnSmallLinux and that is what I will probably use to implement Firewall unless there is a consensus as to a better suited distro.


Last edited by deBebbler; 02-25-2009 at 12:20 PM. Reason: cla
Old 02-26-2009, 02:19 AM   #2
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u may look at

the system requirement is very minimum
i have been using this for more than 3 years.
so i dare to suggest
Old 02-26-2009, 11:30 AM   #3
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I happen to have a machine similar to the your "Old System". It is currently running Smoothwall Linux on my home network. Runs very well. The ram gets about 90% usage or so (maybe due to my iptables rules though).
Old 02-26-2009, 11:39 AM   #4
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the answer depends on your expected load
if you have only a couple computers you intend to put behind your firewall the lower spec machine should work
if you have more computers then use the more powerful one
how much the firewall has to think has to do with how many routes the computer has to keep track of simultaneously, which is to say how many computers behind that firewall accessing the internet connection at any one given moment

think of it this way, a small town of population 2000 might get away with only a couple mailmen to deliver all the mail because there are a relative handful of mailboxes to stuff
but a giant metropolis like chicago would need far more mailmen otherwise it would take a phenomenally large amount of time to deliver all the mail

the firewall/router is like the post office, it handles the routing from the internet connection to your internal network and also gathers requests from your network and sends it to the internet connection just as the post office takes mail from the truck and hands it out to the town and at the same time gathers mail from the town and puts it on the truck

Last edited by frieza; 02-26-2009 at 11:43 AM.


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