[SATLUG] Home network

Bruce Dubbs bruce.dubbs at gmail.com
Wed Apr 2 11:48:06 CDT 2008

Justin Burdette wrote:
> I finally decided it was time to upgrade my home network. I'm adding in
> wifi, and I'm also buying a couple of small form factor Dell units (P3) to
> run as firewall, web server, DHCP, etc...
> I'm trying to figure out what distro would be the best for these
> applications. What I'd prefer is something that I can log into from my main
> PC (using OpenSUSE 10.3, probably through rdesktop or something like it) as
> these machines won't have a monitor/keyboard/mouse attached. I'd like to be
> able to run a basic GUI...no need for GNOME or KDE, but will probably go
> with Fluxbox.
> My next question, which I shouldn't even have to ask, but I haven't done
> mixed networks in so long that I've forgotten how. What I would like to do
> is run all of my wired units with static IP addresses and have DHCP assign
> addresses for wifi connections and wired machines that I'm working on for
> customers. The Linksys I have doesn't seem to like static IPs when its DHCP
> is enabled...it was set to assign in the range and I
> couldn't do anything with my static IP of Is there an easy way
> to set this up on a Linux DHCP server?
> Last question...I presume the firewall box should do strictly that, no DHCP,
> Apache, FTP server, etc...correct? A P3 system with enough RAM and swap
> should be able to handle the other services, yes?
> Thanks again...always great to have a group of people to bounce ideas around
> with. Maybe next time I can make it to the meeting, too!

I use Linux From Scratch for exactly that application.  It doesn't take 
a lot of horsepower to run a firewall.  Mine is 800MHz with only 128M ram.

I do also have a print server hooked up to it.  Adding dhcp would also 
be reasonable, but I prefer static addresses.  I don't encumber my 
servers with X or a window manager, so they are quite lean.  In fact, 
the system does not even have a keyboard or monitor.  The fewer 
applications you have on the box, the less often you need to upgrade the 
applications.  Other than a basic LFS install, you would only need 
iptables, sudo, dhcp, openssh, and openssl.  Optional packages may be 
postfix (for mailing status messages only), ntp, and logrotate.  The 
whole system would be less than 300M of disk space and you can get that 
down to less than 100M if you wanted to without a lot of effort.  Adding 
other capabilities like cups is not unreasonable.

   -- Bruce

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