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Running XP network with Linux firewall



Hope this isn't too much off topic after all this is xp site not linux : )
Anyway to the point - I have a ethernet setup with an ADSL connection and currently use norton internet security as a firewall. I have heard that an additional low spec machine makes a great firewall and may provide a speedier connection to the net

Does anyone run a linux firewall with their xp setup - is it easy to do, can you tell me where I can find some instructions?

Thanks in advance

If your new to linux it may be a bit of a time consuming task. all setting up a firewall with linux is, is basically hooking your connection to your linux box and setting up the firewall program known as iptables which can do stateful packet inspection. and then sharing the connection to your XP box. I personally don't know any sites that cover the topic but i'm sure you can find some. or small books like linux for dummies even cover the topic.

Although some people say that the linux box using nat will make a better firewall it is all a opinion thing. it won't provide you with a speedier connection at all though just the same safety as if you had a hardware router.

I'd personally stick with norton, but if you have an extra box laying around pop linux on it and go as it will be a great learning experience.
I did it a couple years back with an old 486 computer, took a long time to set up, did not notice any speed issues (either faster or slower), as far as security goes, like what Qumahlin said, total opinion issue, some people swear by it, others think it is a waste.

As far as websites check linuxdoc.org how to's.

Here is one to get you started


I don't currently run my system this way anymore, so can't really give you current advice.

Sgt Shultz

Take a look around for Smoothwall, Astaro, Manndrake S.N.F., and Coyote distros.
They are Linux with the kernel modified to be a router/firewall.
I could never get them working with my hardware, so I used a Win2k machine with ISA server to do the same. However the machine needed to do this is a lot more than Linux would need.


From a Linux user to a newbie... if you want to use Linux as a firewall (and NAT), you might want to read up on securing it first. Linux is a very powerful OS, if used properly. If your Linux box is compromised, your whole network is in jeopardy.


I have been running Smoothwall (http://smoothwall.org) for about 12 months and it has been fantastic - port forwarding etc is all done through a Webbrowser.
The nicest thing about it is the built in DHCP server it has.
At the moment it is running off a old 486 DX50 with 128Meg of ram and a 1.6Gb hdd and i have had no issues at all with it.
The installation is extremly easy - more so than the mandrake one.
I know that using linux like this on a separate box won't actually change the physical speed of the connections....

but.... isn't it possible to setup the linux box to cache all your frequent websites, or prefetch them or something like that... (i think that's what a proxy server is like... i'm no expert...) your not actually speeding up the net connection but all your fav's would be ready to go at 100Mbps off the linux box???

Am i way offline on this idea?

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