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BoydRice 03-06-2011 08:28 PM

Home Network Ideas and Suggestions - Need to put to use some old hardware

I am fairly familiar with linux and BSD on the desktop but now I have some spare machines that I want to experiment with a server/home network setup. I haven't done much with networking so I am looking for some good ideas of what to do with the machines on hand. I have the following to do whatever with:

spare machines:
1. IBM Thinkpad A22e, Pentium III, 192 mb of ram, has two nics.
2. G4 ibook, 512 mb of ram.
3. old compaq laptop, 64mb ram, pentium II or III(I can't remember)

linksys WRT54G version 8.1 running default linksys firmware
Buffalo wireless router running DD-WRT and usb connector for NAS capabilities.

External HD:
2 tb Western Digital

Lenovo laptop running Debian
HP laptop running Debian
older macbook pro running OS X

What I am looking for is suggestions on what to do with the hardware on hand. My first thought is to have the thinkpad with dual nics serve as the firewall that would then connect to the linksys router which would act more like a switch to the ibook, the compaq, and the buffalo wireless router. I was then thinking of hooking the external HD to the buffalo router to act as a NAS. I am unsure what to do with the compaq and the the ibook? Any suggestions? One thing I want is ssh access to all machines from inside and outside the network. Oh and no need for printing as I do not have a printer. Thanks in advance for any ideas.

comp_brad1136 03-06-2011 11:59 PM

My idea would be to make a basic server that acts as a firewall, provides internet connection sharing, file sharing, and allows remote administration.

Here is what I would recommend:

Configure your extra router to DISABLE dhcp. If it's a switch or a hub, you don't have to configure anything.
Hook one nic of your thinkpad to your internet router.
Hook the other nic of the thinkpad to one of your extra switches or routers.
Hook other extra computers to the switch i mentioned in previous line.

The network should look like so:

{internet connection} --> [thinkpad] <-- [extra router] <--[extra computer]
[extra computer]

On your thinkpad, you should experiment with (and probably in this order)
iptables NAT

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