[lug] An idea...

PC Drew drewpc at colorado.edu
Sat Aug 5 18:59:21 MDT 2000

Here's an idea that I'm gonna throw out for comments, cheap shots, or
one-liners from everyone.

This whole topic of using linux as a firewall got me thinking.
Linksys came up with the Cable Modem/DSL firewall that I use...why
don't I make and market my own?

I've got a few problems with setting up a linux box as my firewall.
Namely, I want to have a firewall that's sole purpose in life is to
protect my network.  That then means that I can't use it to write
software.  I can't use it as a "for fun" or "for learning" machine,
because it serves a very important role for me.  That means that I
have to buy another computer to do this.  That takes $$ and (more
importantly) space in my small apartment.

Why do I like the Linksys so much?  Because it's small, cheap, and
doesn't take any time to setup.  What don't I like about it?  I'm
limited in what I can do with it.

Why am I writing this email?  Because I'm want people's thoughts about
basically getting some small embedded linux machines, loading a VERY
stripped down version of linux (i.e. Linux Router Project?), loading
DHCP, NAT, firewall software, etc.  And making a secure, easy to use,
linux firewall appliance that's CHEAP.

Also...who feels that they aren't able to VPN with their
friends/neighbors/work easily and would like to?  Well, this would be
another feature of this firewall appliance.  It would use SSH to VPN
with whatever network the user wants.  If the user so inclined, it
would also allow the two networks to use the Network Neighborhood in
Windows to share files (i.e. with samba).

What are your thoughts?  Does anyone have any experience with embedded
linux appliances?  Is it something that could be done inexpensively
(the software would be free and GPLed, I'd donate my time to make
these boxes so I'm referring to the hardware)?

If anyone knows of a product like this, I'd appreciate the help
getting my foot out of my throat.

PC Drew

  "I lived through the IPO Rush of '99"
     - T-shirt c. 2034

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