Simon Willison’s Weblog


Easy routing with Linux

20th October 2002

I spent the last few days setting up a home network. I’m living in a student house with 4 other people and we recently shelled out for a 1 Mbit cable connection fron BlueYonder. I had never built a network before but neither had anyone else so the task of putting it all together fell on my shoulders.

I’ll get straight to the point. Dachstein (an offshoot of the Linux Router Project) is sheer magic. Having wired up the whole house through our 8 port switch I realised that BlueYonder only allow you to connect one PC at a time to the cable modem; we needed a router. Dachstein is a linux-router-on-a-disk—all you need is an old PC with a floppy disk drive and a couple of network cards (no hard drive required). You download a windows executable and run it, insert a floppy disk and the software creates a router disk for you. A few configuration steps later (mainly to do with selecting the correct drivers for your network card) and you have a fully functional, ultra secure linux router. Simple—at least, it would have been simple if BlueYonder’s system for adding a new Ethernet MAC address to the list of addresses supported by the cable modem actually worked. As it was I ended up having to transplant the network card from my already configured desktop in to the router, but once that was done everything worked a treat.

My next project is to add an SSH daemon to the router so I can log in and play with it without plugging in a monitor and keyboard. Luckily the LRP has an excellent documentation site which includes a step by step guide to getting SSH running.

This is Easy routing with Linux by Simon Willison, posted on 20th October 2002.

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