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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    May 2011

    What should I do for my "gateway" box?

    I think Samba's new ability to be a domain controller for Windows is just great, and I'd like to do that for my home network.

    Meanwhile, I want to ditch the "equipment lease" from TW and buy a basic “cable modem” and use it on a gateway machine, with the WAN interface on one NIC and a gigabit switch on another NIC.

    It should do NAT and DHCP to fully replace the gateway router.

    I also want a local DNS so my machines and VMs can find each other by name.

    What should I be looking at to accomplish this? Is there a distro that does what I want, or should I look at a general-purpose installation and then install a package that gets most of the things going? Please point me in the right direction.


  2. #2
    It may make most sense to use a Linux firewall distro - the entire OS is designed from the ground up to be a firewall/router. They do the heavy lifting for you, but sometimes configuration of them is as confusing as doing all the commands yourself. But a couple really popular ones are Smoothwall and pfSense (BSD-based).

    Sometimes, you can re-purpose an old wireless router (who doesn't have a dusty Linksys or two in the bottom of a drawer somewhere?) to do the same. Two good examples of that are Tomato and OpenWRT.

    Here is a pretty good (i.e., long) list of Linux firewall distros.

    As to the DNS question, take a look into dnsmasq, it is a light-weight daemon that does just what you want; DNS for a local lan. it literally will read /etc/hosts on the server, then anyone else on the LAN using that server's ip as a name server can resolve an ip-to-host in that server's /etc/hosts file.

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