Life with SmoothWall

Well it has been 6 months since I installed the SmoothWall Firewall and I must say it smoothwall_logois one of the best linux installations i have ever used. Simple to modify, easy to restore (I will get into that shortly), rock steady and reliable.

It all started back in January of 2008, I was having trouble with my Linksys firewall since it did not have enough forwarding ability, i think it was limited to 20 forwards, which was just not enough for me. So I started looking into re-using one of the old systems I had laying in the basement. I choose a compaq c400, 256MB RAM, a 4 GB hard drive and 3 NIC’s.

I have only tinkered a little bit with the system, then I saved the config to a floppy and that was it. The system has been running now for 120 days without a reboot, it would have longer had we not lost power one day. In the beginning I was tinkering with multiple external IP’s, so i was trying a few mods, of which thee are a nice amount. If something ever went bad, I just rebooted from the CD and re-installed the base, then loaded my config from the disk and I was back in business in minutes.

Originally I was going to put together a dual machine load balanced, failover configuration. But since it was sooooo easy to restore the configuration, even on another machine i figured I could afford to be down for an hour while i install a new copy on a new machine and restore the saved config.

As for the mods the forum has a section for mods, it is not very easy to find the onew you want. There is a post that is updated fairly often that links to the postings/threads for each mod. They give a nice standardized description, install / uninstall instructions for each mod. It is just not very easy to search for mods that you don’t know exist. Support however, is very good since the posters are always online answering questions.