building a router/firewall

Mike Lovell mike at
Thu Mar 4 01:47:40 MST 2010

Joe C wrote:
> I've been assigned with the task of make the following computer as a
> router, preferably with a web interface to configure it.
> It has the following hardware three NICs, Intel Pentium 3 733 Mhz, 512 MB RAM.
> Google isn't being very helpful. I'm guessing my search terms are just
> wrong as it keeps sending me to stuff that is for hardware routers
> (like the linksys Linux router) instead of full computers.
> I need a DHCP server, internal DNS, our connection is a dedicated IP
> address, I also want to assign the external DNS servers to openDNS
> instead of our ISP's, & a firewall obviously.
> I can't think of anything else that we need it to do.
if pfsense isn't working, i'd try openwrt on it. but that is cause i 
have used it in a similar way before. :)

openwrt does a pretty good job as a router and has the functions you are 
asking for. it has support for running on a standard x86 platform. but 
i'll admit that installing in on something like a desktop pc is a bit of 
a pain. if you can have your boot device be something flash based that 
is removable (USB drive, CF card, etc.) then installing openwrt for x86 
isn't too bad. just plug the flash into a computer and dd the images 
onto the flash, put it back in the router, and boot it. this is exactly 
how using openwrt on something like an ALIX board works. you could use 
this method for installing to a hard drive but it is a little more 
clunky to move those around between boxes for installs (plus it does 
feel kind of wrong to was gigabytes of hard drive space for a image that 
is only a few megabytes).

so theres a thought that may or may not be worth anything. :)


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