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Firewall+VPN Appliance

I've been doing a lot of research lately about Firewall+VPN Appliances. My god do these companies make a lot of money off of their customers. You have to buy the hardware, buy the support contract, and last... if you don't like it, you can't return it!

So, the question has been raised. A Firewall+VPN Appliance is nothing but a hardened linux kernel running iptables + some vpn server. It has a minimum of 3 network cards... blah blah blah.

Has anyone here built a solid home brew replacement for the likes of a Watchguard Firebox or Cisco Pix (two compleatly different levels of firewalls)?

If so:

  • what distro did you start with?
  • how did you harden the kernel?
  • are you administering the machine through command line, or is a remote adminsitration tool availible?
  • in the end, was it worth it to build your own?


Political User
At school they started with gentoo linux, hardened with SElinux from the NSA. Hell, there are boxen out there with root passwords given out, with SElinux, and they have yet to be hacked.

It is hard to manage though, but they got it done, and have something like a Cisco PIX.

To build their own, they had inhouse linux tech, and an old server, it cost them next to nothing. And it has been up for 8 months now.
Whats up X? Why aren't you in #osnn? Anyway, the SElinux is a step in the right direction for me. Thanks.

Do you happen to know what vpn server they used, and if all administration was done through CLI? Lastly, do you know of an open-sourced VPN Server that can do MS-CHAP to take advantage of an Active Directory install?

Oh, by the way... the Qmail thing is looking good. Dev box has NetQmail+Vpopmail+Squirellmail. I like the ease of administration on it. Thanks for the tips with that.


Political User
I am not on #osnn cause i gave up on IRC. Has made me more productive, and lets me get important stuff in my life done (Homework, life, social life).

Also, i have no clue, but it is all CLI managed.

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