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Old 09-10-2005, 04:54 PM   #1
Registered: Feb 2002
Location: USA
Distribution: Fedora, CENTOS
Posts: 209

Rep: Reputation: 32
Setup ssh and vpn router from home: suggestions/help


Okay, I have been reading the Network forum for a while now. Search, editing my search query, searching again. I know this is out there but I just can't find it.

So I apologize if this has been beaten to death already. If someone knows the forum thread I should be reading please point me in that direction.

With that said, here is what I'm trying to do:

I've recently inherited a rather heavily used Dell Inspiron 4000 laptop. The system works fine but has quirks that make it unfit for use as a laptop. However, I thought I could use it as an internal router to my home LAN.

This is what I'm envisioning:

Evil--------------cable----------netgear------dell-------------Other Computers
Internet---------modem---------router-------laptop-----------on LAN

So from the outside I SSH to my IP address.
The netgear router forwards the request to the dell laptop.
If the SSH request is from an "approved" source (correct username, mac address, other security concerns not yet known, etc..) laptop routes request to the correct machine on the LAN.

I'd also like to use this setup for a linux vpn server (if it's possible, I'm a networking noobie).

I know how to do port forwarding on the router so it's easy to point incoming SSH requests to the laptop. What I'm not sure about is:

1) Is the dell laptop necessary or is it redundant?
2) Is it more secure to use this laptop?
3) What distribution of linux should I install on the dell? Smoothwall? or Slackware 10.1? Other distributions?

I think I can install and configure the vpn server via POPTOP (The LQ tutorial on how to do it in Slackware is quite clear) but I don't know if it is necessary if I use smoothwall linux.

All help is appreciated.
I hope I haven't re-invented the wheel with this post. If I have I'm sorry.

Old 09-11-2005, 02:05 PM   #2
Registered: Mar 2003
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Slackware, RedHat, Debian
Posts: 12,047

Rep: Reputation: 67
1) It is neccesary if you want to login to one machine and then onto another LAN machine.

2) More secure than what? More secure than not using a machine there? Probably but it adds another layer of complexity.

3) Smoothwall would probably be the easiest as it has vpn features built in and configureable via a web interface.
Old 09-13-2005, 08:40 AM   #3
Registered: Feb 2002
Location: USA
Distribution: Fedora, CENTOS
Posts: 209

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 32
Thanks for the reply.

I only suggested SSH since it seemed the easiest to setup.
Ultimately I want to setup a home VPN. The DELL being the VPN server for my LAN.

I've got SSH working fine finally. I'm going to try to follow the Slackware VPN tutorial next. I've chosen Slackware over smoothwall since I smoothwall doesn't seem to include VPN server software with it.


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