Router distro (was Re: [ale] Smoothwall 2.0 or IPCop 1.3.0?)

Joe Knapka jknapka at
Fri Feb 6 13:04:37 EST 2004

My router box died yesterday (disk failure), so last night I browsed
around looking for a router distro to run from CD or floppy. I looked
at SmoothWall <>, IPCop <>,
LRP <>, LEAF <>, and
Devil Linux <>.

I ended up using Devil Linux. I like it for the following reasons:

(1) Like all the "router" distros, DL runs off of removable, read-only
media. DL seems to include essentially all the routing/firewall
features of IPcop, but doesn't have a web management interface.  It
does have a reasonable console (curses) interface, and makes setting
up basic configurations very simple. You burn a CD, boot it, customize
the configuration using the "setup" UI, then save the config to a
floppy. You can also hand-edit the rc scripts, and the save-config
utility will preserve your changes.

(2) For my purposes, DL had a shorter learning curve then SmoothWall
and its derivatives. DL encourages you to custom-configure your
firewall rules etc by editing the config files, rather than hiding
everything behind a friendly-but-frustrating web interface. However, I
didn't spend much time trying to figure out how to customize IPcop to
do what I wanted; I may look into IPcop further.

(3) Unlike LRP, DL is actively maintained.

(4) Unlike LEAF, DL contains all the standard command-line network
tools (ifconfig, arp, iptables, etc). LEAF makes it very, very
difficult to figure out why stuff isn't working, because you simply
can't use the CLI tools to poke at stuff.


-- Joe Knapka

I'm gonna do everything / silver and gold / but I got to
hurry up before I grow to old. -- Joe Strummer, 1952 -- 2002
If you really want to get my attention, don't reply to this;
instead, send mail to "jknapka .at. kneuro .dot. net."

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