Router + VM host
As a preface this is coming from someone who has just under $0 to spend on proper equipment but is nonetheless looking at a career in IT.
My skill level is such that if I'm pointed at a guide I can usually follow it successfully.
I have two PCs and up until now have been running a web server (CentOS) in a VM on my personal desktop. Recently I acquired an old junk machine and considered fulfilling one of my ideas.
I'd like it to function as both a router and virtual machine host (VirtualBox).
Router to provide a better firewall to my desktops and stop me from using so many concurrent IP addresses.
VM host to host my web server, planned mail server and potentially other services / experiments. This will also let me shut down my desktop when not in use, saving a lot of unnecessary electricity.
So the question I suppose is... where to begin?
What distro would make a good router while still providing a GUI (for configuing VMs)? I'm familiar with Ubuntu and CentOS and willing to learn. Considering it will do nothing else it can be fairly barebones.
I love router distros (Smoothwall <3), is there something I can install to provide web admin for things like firewall and DHCP?
I was considering just virtualizing the router, but then if there is a power failure and it fails to start for some reason while I am not there, my SO will harm me.
While it's true this seems unnecessarily complex, until the cost of real router + server hardware approaches $0 this is a fun alternative.
My plan is currently partially implimented, as I installed VirtualBox on the existing Windows XP and moved my server over there.
If you are willing to learn then Minimalistic Debian will do,
You can add any desktop environment on it. like gnome/xfce/fluxbox.
If you have Old Junk Machine for the job, rethink about running VM on it.
It wont matter if you run Web Server and Router on a one machine.