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Old 01-09-2006, 10:04 AM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Salo, Finland
Distribution: Red Hat 9
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Creating a network gateway from scratch

Greetings all!

I have three computers, two running WinXP and one Debian Sarge. My internet connection is a student village common LAN (controlled by university computers department), and I'm only allowed to connect one computer to it. So, now I'm thinking of setting the Debian system as a gateway/firewall and share the internet connection to the two XP computers. I have three 10/100 NICs in the Debian system for this, and one of course in each XP system.

I have very little experience in networks, and in Linux so I'm going to do a lot of reading and need a lot of help. So here's some questions..

1. First off - is Debian good for this kind of configuration, or do you recommend some other distribution?

2. In the student village networking manual they warn that if any DHCP-services are sent to the student network, they will immediately close my connection and possibly press charges for "obstruction of data communication" (loose translation, not sure what the terms are in english). How can I be ABSOLUTELY sure this doesn't happen?
The manual states that building internal LAN's and sharing the connection IS allowed.

3. Should I use this IPTables thingamajig or what? As far as I've understood, with IPTables I can control the incoming and outgoing traffic quite freely, but it seems very complicated, and as a Windows-user I'm not very fond of long scripts and lots of command-line parameters. Any suggestions?

HUGE thanks for any answers!

Old 01-09-2006, 10:10 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: New York
Distribution: Debian Sid
Posts: 185

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Debian is perfectly fine for your task. To set up a linux system as a gateway you need to enable IP forwarding. The shorewall firewall can do it for you (see the extensive docs and config file). Check out Guidedog for a much user-friendlier way (basically you can enable it directly with one simple command, but you'll want a firewall anyway, so check out Guarddog/Guidedog, Shorewall and Firestarter [another GUI]).
You should definitely not use iptables directly unless you're a seasoned linux user; the other firewall utilities I mentioned use iptables for you.
Old 01-09-2006, 02:00 PM   #3
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Registered: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,553

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to make sure you are not running dhcp server do
ps -ax | grep dhcpd
if it returns nothing then you are OK

there used to be a package to instal in debian called ipmasq that like so many debian things has walk you through gateway setup script

It is also possible to run squid to cache pages for the other machines

and just configure the firewall with iptables or try one of the scripts that do it


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