[clug] Home Firewall dedicated OS

David Tulloh david at tulloh.id.au
Tue Aug 25 22:35:28 MDT 2009

Ian McLeod wrote:
> Seems a better solution to set up home VPN is to bridge the modem to a 
> dedicated OS.. Is this a *viable* option in terms of investment in 
> time and maintenance required for the average small home network? And 
> secure enough compared to a hardware firewall and NAT (modem)?
> Seems there is SmoothWall and ClarkConnect free editions and something 
> called Devil Linux..
> Any experience with these things? Not concerned with philosophical 
> implications of a commercial company vs puritan GPL or whatever, just 
> something that is free and works well and is relatively easy to set up.
I used the free version of Smoothwall for several years and was happy 
with it, I was using it as a gateway/firewall/nat router, I never 
explored any VPN options.
The installation and setup was very simple, management was done through 
a web interface. It was very much like a modern modem or router to run.

My only criticism was that I had to manually update it, it would 
indicate when updates were available but only if I actually looked at it.

Keep in mind that these distros are good firewalls but aren't really 
designed for general use, I recall the updates would happily replace 
configuration files you shouldn't have changed. So if you are trying to 
do something that the distro isn't designed for (web hosting, file 
serving or whatever it doesn't support) you should probably go with a 
more general choice.


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