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Convert Netbook to Router/Firewall?

Discussion in 'Linux Hardware' started by Videodrome, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. Videodrome

    Videodrome Guest

    I'm interested in using a Security-centric distro to turn my old HP-Mini Netbook into a kind of router / firewall. I figure I'll still received the network wirelessly and share it through the Ethernet port to my Desktop PC which has not Wifi capability of it's own.

    One concern I have is from some blog articles I've read saying effective security programs like Snort or Suricata require a few GBs of RAM and my Netbook only has 2 GBs.

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    In the mean time, I'm kind of interested in the Security Onion project or anything that provides a desktop just so I have a simple interface to hookup to Wifi. I'm thinking if this works I might try to buy, over haul, and resell Netbooks as Wifi/Firewalls so I want to keep it kind of simple. If it was just for myself, I might screw around with OpenBSD.

    Or.... maybe I could install some minimal desktop and install some Linux security programs.
  2. Mitt Green

    Mitt Green Guest

    Basically it doesn't matter which distribution you are going to use, firewall configuration and software are pretty much universal. I would suggest something like NetBSD or maybe DragonFly BSD (but it works only on amd64). Also Slackware will be a good choice, it has server/router/firewall software on the installation media. But as I said it actually isn't that important and a matter of taste. Slackware starts ssh by default. In OpenBSD/NetBSD, I would rather choose NetBSD since they offer the same tools maybe not in the default install and the actual installation is somewhat easier (curses in Net vs 1-by-1 text installer Open).

    So, I would use Slackware/NetBSD with openssh and openvpn. Linux has many different security enhancement features in the kernel (which of course requires compiling your own kernel), I believe NetBSD has something as well. I reckon onions are slow and basic security enhancements will be fine. If necessary, Tor is always ready to use on the desktop.

    My two cents.

    PS Tell when you'll have done, just curious.
  3. Videodrome

    Videodrome Guest

    Would DragonFly BSD support my Broadcom 4312 wifi? Is there something in particular you like about DragonFly compared to FreeBSD?

    I've had strange difficulties with trying to use Dragonfly or install packages on it. It's like I had to change the default partition scheme to help it work right. After all that, I'm not sure how I would get the Wireless internet working on Dragonfly.
  4. Mitt Green

    Mitt Green Guest

    Not sure about hardware support in there, and I offers also /boot and / partitioning scheme, which I particularly don't understand.

    DragonFly is smaller than Free, and contains somewhat better packaging system, it's something of bleeding edge (let's say different) technologies with the kernel, package manager and the file system.

    Try NetBSD, they support more hardware, and even my two-year old laptop is fair for it. It is also smaller than DragonFly.

    As for particular hardware support, try searching their site; they've added a lot in 7.0 release actually.

    I actually failed to install DragonFly (tons of errors, search gave me nothing, but hey, how many people use it!; and I was too lazy to write to their list), but from what I've read on their website, it looks like something very interesting.
  5. ryanvade

    ryanvade Guest

  6. Videodrome

    Videodrome Guest

    Work in progress, but I decided to go lean with Arch Linux. I did a simple tweak to the Network Manager so that my Wifi network is shared to the Ethernet port.

    So I'm actually posting this from my Desktop PC connected by Ethernet to my Netbook which is connect by Wifi to the AP.

    It's sort of like my Netbook is the Man In the Middle, but there to be the good guy. I figure I can just install some security programs to it so it can filter traffic.

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