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Old 01-07-2004, 12:54 AM   #1
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Registered: Nov 2003
Location: New York, USA
Distribution: Mandrake 9.1/Damn Small Linux
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Suggestions for a CD based router/firewall distro

- After experiencing numerous problems with my Trendware router and Windows XP (and just wanting to mess around with Linux), I've decided to make a small internet server/router to share net connections to the computers on my network. The sever is a pretty weak computer, P2 or Celeron, don't remember which, 64mb RAM, CDROM, floppy, no HD, and because of the lack of a HD, I want to find a CD based distro to configure everything on. (Possibly with the option to save the settings to a floppy?) The setup I'm planning is:

Motorola SB4100 cable modem
Linux Box acting as a router >>> 5 port Linksys Hub
1 Mandrake box, 1 98SE box, 1 XP laptop, 1 Xbox, 1 Ps2

(with a nice diagram and everything)

Anyway. Figured I'd come here and ask for suggestions before inducing asprin-curing fits of computer rage.

And remember- I'm quite a newbie at Linux, and networking in general, only having set up a LAN using a router. Of course, I'll be willing to read up on whatever you tell me I should.

Thank you in advance!

Old 01-07-2004, 06:58 AM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Leafy Hertfordshire, UK
Distribution: SuSE 7.1 Pro, 9.0 Pro, 9.2 Pro, SLED 10
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I run Smoothwall, myself ( and have a similar LAN config to yourself. It's very easy to set-up and once up, a breeze to configure via a web browser.

It's been hugely reliable running for over two years now, 24/7, on a machine that would otherwise have been consigned to a skip (P75, 32MB RAM, 550MB drive, 2x 3Com Etherlink III ISA) and is supported by a large user base.

It's not, by any means, the only dedicated firewall -- IPcop is another I've heard good things about -- but I do have first-hand experience with it (as a fellow Linux noob ) and can only say I'm very pleased with it.


Old 01-07-2004, 01:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply...

However, Smoothwall needs at least 550mb of HD space, and the box I have doesn't have a HD. Which is why I was looking for a bootable CD Linux distro. (somewhat along the lines of Knoppix, but maybe gateway/router/firewall based?) Or maybe Knoppix would work fine.

I do have a 64mb USB flash drive, but I really doubt that the motherboard would allow booting off of that, it being so old.

Do you, or anyone else, know of a good bootable CD/floppy/USB based distro?
Again, thanks in advance.


*edit* Oh, and remember... I'm fairly new at Linux, so I'd rather stay away from things like Slackware. I'd be willing to learn, though. =)

Last edited by ConcreteClam; 01-07-2004 at 01:12 PM.
Old 05-25-2004, 03:59 PM   #4
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Distribution: Slackware
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Give Coyote Linux a try ( It is a floppy-based firewall, with a nice web interface that allows you to entirely manage it. Plus, it is possible to optionally put it on CD, or on a hard drive.


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