Open Source Gateway Server Setup

Open Source Gateway Server Setup

An open source gateway server is easy to build these days. Grab a computer, an extra ethernet card, and a Linux cd. You'll be off and running in no time


September 27, 2011

One of the first "projects"  I embarked on when I first started using Linux was a gateway/router box. I had a switch. And rather than just go buy something from a store, I made an open source gateway server.  This allowed me to SSH into my house from away. From there I could log into any of the running boxes on the inside of the firewall.

The box was an old Dell, with a Pentium II.  I used CentOS 4, and it ran for a good five years before the motherboard finally crapped out. But I didn’t want to set up another box. So I just robbed one of the NICs and stuck it in the computer that’s always running here.  I made that Ubuntu (Lucid) box into an open source gateway / router fairly easily.  I think I followed along with this page about an open source gateway / router setup.  This setup only took a few minutes, if I remember right. The first one took a couple of hours, way back when…

Now, rather than log into a gateway / router / firewall box, then hop through to the desktop box, I’m right there immediately.  Unfortunately, so is anyone else.  If you’re going with this setup, you’ll want something like denyhosts setup that will block folks after a predetermined number of failed login attempts.

My current setup is DSL Modem > Ubuntu Lucid desktop > Wireless Router (set up as an access point) > rest of house (via a switch). This open source gateway server and router setup means configurability. I can’t do as much with most off the shelf hardware.  I don’t require much, so I’m not using it to anywhere near its full potential, but the options are there if I want to employ them.

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