Thursday, October 27, 2005

Coyote Linux

For a home firewall I use Coyote Linux personal firewall (CL firewall). It runs off a single floppy disk and handles my needs. I use an old 486-33 VLBus with 16M Ram. There is no hard drive in the system, just a floppy drive, the motherboard, video and network cards (two).

I have also installed this at work where the network is shared by between 5-10 people at a time. As I write this, the uptime is 45 days, 51 min, which is an improvement over the old D-Link hub. It needed to be restarted weekly to keep the internet connection running. It runs over PPPoE (DSL).

My next step is to all dynamic dns updating to both firewalls, currently I use DynSite at work and at home I use the Official Windows Update Client - DynDNS Updater. I actually didn't know it was the official client until I wrote this article, I had settled on it after my own research. I don't let it run all the time, I have it scheduled to run every two weeks or at boot up; and only to update if changed, or 28 days have passed. The latter is one requirement of any modification to the CL firewall, that it must force an update. If not, the address can be dropped by and must be re-registered. (It has happened to me once, luckily my preferred IP name had not been taken during the lapse.)
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I may upgrade to the BrazilFW made by Claudio Roberto Cussuol who has taken on maintaining the floppy disk version. Vortech Consulting is moving on to IDE based or CD based versions only of the personal firewall (plus their commercial versions).

I love being able to re-use old hardware for this purpose; I know you can buy router/firewalls for under $100 but really, you get what you pay for. We ended up tossing ours at work because it was so unreliable. The CL firewall is much more robust, and configurable, especially in its port forwarding and DHCP server abilities. I also like the DNS caching, which improves internet performance.



Blogger dolly said...

You can visit my Coyote Linux Add-ons site if you will be looking for additional Coyote Linux packages and Add-ons. Just now i'm working on ez-ipupdate packages that will update your ip on dynamic DNS services without need for windows client.

1/04/2006 2:45 AM  
Blogger Richard Sleegers said...

Yes; I currently use Windows clients and I do not like to leave them running all the time. On my home machine I run one twice a month automatically, and close it manually after checking the last update time. (So it doesn't expire after 30 days)

1/05/2006 4:05 PM  

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