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Linux/UNIX based Firewalls


Guest LilBambi
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Guest LilBambi

We really like freeBSD for routing and firewalling, however, freeBSD may not be for everyone because of the learning curve for building your own firewall and building your own kernel to customize the OS for your needs.A free Cisco offering was recently mentioned in an article on TechRepublic (free registration may be required to read the article). They really seemed to like it. I was wondering if anyone has used it and how secure it is.It is called Freesco. Which stands for Free Cisco. Part of the overview listed here, is below:

Freesco is based on the Linux operating system and incorporates many of the features of a full operating system into software that fits on a single 1.44 meg floppy diskette. With Freesco, you can make: a simple bridge with up to 3 Ethernet segments a router with up to 3 Ethernet segments a dialup line router a leased line router an Ethernet router a dial-in server with up to 2 modems a time server a dhcp server a http server a print server (requires TCP/IP printing client software) Freesco also incorporates firewalling and NAT which are resident within the Linux kernel to help protect you and your network. All of these features can be used in conjunction with each other or individually.
The site also says it can be run from a small harddrive as well.It appears to be based on an earlier Kernel than we are currently using in Linux, so I wasn't sure how secure it is.But because it appears to do quite a bit - for free - and it can run on a 386 computer with as little as 6-8MB RAM it does sound attractive B)
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Grasshopper

I came across a 286 Dell desktop from way back when and I tried a couple of different kinds of Linux boot firewalls. Never could get them to work. I think it's because 1) I'm Linux stupid <_< and 2) I think the NIC's I bought weren't quite the normal ones so the drivers didn't match.Oh well, I didn't need it anyway. Don't have the room for another computer.....yet. hehe

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Guest ThunderRiver

If you prefer Linux for firewall, use OpenBSD and Debian/Slackware. Both of them have quite nice reputation for both firewall and router. FreeBSD is nice, but I would not recommend it for server or firewall, because it has bugs, so it is not as secure as OpenBSDDebian/Slackware are both quite nice, and they both have high reputation like OpenBSD, but then again, they aren't that easy to set up, so it is not for everone. I personally find OpenBSD much easier to set up than Slackware or Debian. My two cents.

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I have a question.......all this time , a firewall on a seperate machine was discussed, but what about firewall on a standalone machine :) I mean which firewall would be recommended for Redhat based distro........and this firewall would be kinda............for personal use.......any ideas boys

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Guest LilBambi

Well, I'm not a boy, but .... :) RedHat has Iptables based capability for firewalling on desktop PCs that comes bundled with it.Many of the Distros have Iptables in their default installation.You might want to try do a"man iptables"(san quotes of course)at the commandline and see what you get.

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Guest LilBambi
Well, I'm not a boy, but ....  :blink:
If you were, you probably would get a lot of ribbing about your nick-name. B)
That's a fact Stryder! B)
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I have a question.......all this time , a firewall on a seperate machine was discussed, but what about firewall on a standalone machine :unsure: I mean which firewall would be recommended for Redhat based distro........and this firewall would be kinda............for personal use.......any ideas boys
Right now, I am trying out Firestarter, and it is very simple to set up and has all ports stealthed from Pc-Flank and GRC.Again it is at Source Forge.net:http://firestarter.sourceforge.net/
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FreeBSD is nice, but I would not recommend it for server or firewall, because it has bugs, so it is not as secure as OpenBSD
And OpenBSD doesn't have bugs?I could make a case against OpenBSD: there's a lot more reading material available for FreeBSD, hence it's easier to learn how to properly create a secure FreeBSD firewall than a secure OpenBSD firewall.What I'm trying to say here: blunt statements like yours aren't of much use. It's a bad idea to use a system you don't know simply because it has a good security record: you'd be better off using the product of which you know the quirks and vulnerabilities.I do agree however, that OpenBSD makes for an excellent firewall OS. As does FreeBSD. And Linux.
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I've got a friend who's the IT systems manager for a large energy conglomerate and with the budget of several million dollars at his disposal he's swapping out hardware firewalls for simple linux boxes that he's tweaked with rules and such for firewalls.. He said he won't use anything else now that he's got it the way he wants...--

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