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DIY linux router questions

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by james888, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. james888

    james888

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    I recently out about these. There is a myriad of linux router distros out there. Since I found out I find the idea really cool on the pretty shallow basis MOAR POWAR, although I do not need it. My current router is a netgear 3700. I have an intel core 2 duo 6300 1.86ghz little system that does not do much right now. Say I were to put a nice wireless card for wireless internet and a couple dual port gigabit cards I would have something a heck of a lot more powerful than my netgear 3700. I would imagine the OS I would choose out of the many out there would have more features than my current router. I imagine I could make an all in one wireless router, nas, and media server.

    I feel I might be imagining too much so please feel free to burst my bubble.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
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  2. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    Aye it's totally possible. I built a router a bunch of years ago using Freesco running from a floppy. It was kinda slow. :p

    I can't be of much help though as many moons has passed since then.. So I'm interested too. My biggest worry (if it is a worry) is that a router is often your first connection at home, so I imagine you would have to think about security, especially if you have it as a media server as well. But again this is only what I imagine, I don't actually know. Will follow thread. :)
  3. terrastrife New Member

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    This is what I used last time. However routers these days are powerful enough to do everything anyway (with either Atom or ARM CPUs).
    http://www.clarkconnect.com/
  4. james888

    james888

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    I honestly would not use it as a media server or nas if I were to even make one but those are features often talked about. Security wise, I have only read good things.

    I know todays routers are powerful enough; my 3700 is a great router. My reasons as stated are shallow, those and it would be fun to do which I did not say.

    You may of used that but there is a lot more.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_router_or_firewall_distributions
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2013
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  5. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    I run x86 on my esxi server but I would rather it was a stand alone box so the net doesn't go down when I reboot the server I was looking at a via or pentium m itx board. They have better single thread performance than an atom.
  6. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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  7. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    I run a P4 S478 with 512MB DDR, IPfire OS, and a Intel Pro/1000 MT Dual Port Server Adapter. This setup has been rock solid for the past two months of 24/7 operation without a single reboot or glitch. The options in the web based interface is endless!
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  8. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Cool something like that is on my list to check out and try to learn; probably on a VM at least at first. Think I may get bite on that AMD deal above but could benefit more from running AD and MS DNS on it right now.
  9. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Yes that combo from MC would be good if you plan to do say HTPC and router in a VM
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  10. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Well actually on that I would probably run bare metal Windows server install for domain controller and dns box, at least at first. Have my old P55 box too for running VMs with lots of 150GB Raptors and a couple smaller SSDs on an IBM M1015 (LSI) RAID card.
  11. _JP_

    _JP_

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    I'm interested about this too. It's one of those project I actually can get the hardware to do it. I've been looking for a distro that didn't require a 1GHz CPU, but would benefit from 2 threads.
  12. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    IPfire only requires "Intel Pentium I (i586), 128MB RAM and 2GB hard drive space"
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  13. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    For basic use you could probably get away with a pentium 1 just like you could run vista on 512mb ram. It will work but as soon as you try and do anything it will slow down. The main reason I started to run ddwrt on my server was it has all the power it needed to run VPN and a few people running bit torrent without lagging. Most routers only have the performance of a mobile phone so when you start hammering it it will just die. My wndr3300 net gear tops out at 2mbit on VPN and 500connections where as the vm could max out my 8mb upload with ease and handle 4000+ connections.

    You could use pretty much any pc as a router I would just prefer the pentium M and via chips for their low power consumption. I tried to use an Atom CPU before but it's single threaded performance is about equivalent to a 700 p3 so it would just max out one HT core.
  14. james888

    james888

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    So you can brodcast a wireless network?
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  15. Zen_

    Zen_

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    I like the idea of setting up a couple VM's with one running something like pfsense or ipfire and the other running your media center. If you are doing this to learn something and go way overboard for a home network, I think you can even run pfsense as a trunked router on a stick with vlans and all that good stuff.
  16. james888

    james888

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    I just read a lot of stuff the last few hours. It seems I would just have to install the distro and attach a spare wireless router as an access point. I am not sure if this would be any better than say my netgear 3700 performance wise.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
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  17. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Oh well I didn't know you wanted this "DIY Router" to be wireless but I guess I am kind of surprised it can't do it provided the box has an 802.11 NIC.
  18. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    I think if I built a gateway I would opt for something that didn't use a whole lot of power. VIA has an x86 quad-core at 1.2Ghz. The only one I've found for sale so far is here but I don't quite like the price. At idle this thing sips only 20 watts for the entire system with a 32gb SSD. For something that's on all the time I don't think I would want something that would eat a lot of power.
  19. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    Dont get a quad for a router especially if it's just for home use. Like I said
    Before an efficient single core itx board with dual lan goes for about £30 on eBay ~$55 USD combine that will a passive pico psu and you have a router that sips power and can take any firewall/router os you want.
  20. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    You could even make a Raspberri Pi into a router, though you would need USB NICs... one for wired and one for wireless.
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  21. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    since you already have VT compatible hardware (e6300) i think you should install ESXI on it and run your router OS from that along with another operating system and use it as a media center back end then all you have to do is fill it with hard drives. mine streams to the 3 xbox's, 2 iphones, ipad and couple of android phones.
  22. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    This. Unless its a quad-core made by VIA, in that case you know that it will sip power. People bash VIA for having slow processors but if you consider how much power they use versus how fast they are, it's a good deal if you're looking for low power x86.

    I feel very strongly for the low power market, modern VIA CPUs should not be discounted.
    Wrigleyvillain says thanks.
  23. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    The problem i have with them is the same as the dual core atoms and the amd FX chips. they will work fine if its a finely multi-threaded program but they suck at single threaded performance.
    The via 1.8ghz dual core chips are marginally faster clock for clock than the Intel atom in multi-threaded benchmarks. in single threaded they are about 40% faster but via clocks the cores at just 1.2ghz on the quad so you so you could just undervolt a 45nm E8500 to 1v@2ghz and have more performance for the same power and a huge selection of boards. either that or a mobile quadcore.


    but for a dedicated router OS a 1+ghz single core via would be fine or any other chip that was not an atom.

    another thing if your building a computer that will be on 24/7 invest in a good 80+ power supply so its not acting like a heater and using up power at double the rate.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  24. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Agreed; you don't have to some zealot environmentalist to know such matters and will only get more important going forward. I also like lower power bills.
  25. Geofrancis

    Geofrancis

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    I agree I just mean for the home server/media center you don't want to go the route of lots if slow cores you will start running into performance problems as soon as one core is running at 100%. That's why I went the route of consolidating my servers into one box.

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