solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird

Here at the Lair we’ve been proud of running – as a server, on the actual internet – a machine literally from 1995, with original motherboard CPU and everything. The plan has been to run it ’till it died, because we can.

But unfortunately, we really do need to build a new proper programmable router, so we can put the terrible, terrible Comcast router into bridge mode. (Seriously: this router is terrible.) And the 1995 machine is… not fast, so we can’t use it, even though that was its original job, years ago.

(It’s a P5-166. No, really. Thank you, Debian.)

But I haven’t built a router in a while. I want to run Debian Linux on it so it can also run DNS and a couple of other small services the current P166 runs, and it wouldn’t hurt for it to have three cards inside either – one for the fixed-IP side of the LAN, one for the DHCP side.


Anybody have recommendations? I’m thinking about gigabit network cards in particular – what has the best, most reliable, fastest drivers, what specifically to avoid, things like that. As above, we’re going to be running Debian for a a bunch of reasons.

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Date: 2017-04-12 01:45 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] angelwolfgeek
I've had one of these in my wishlist for a while

4 ports, semi modern cpu with 4 ports and optional wifi and intel cards (cause realtek is nothing but pain and suffering), in a pretty small case. Not as fun as building your own in a regular desktop but cheap as chips, passively cooled and vaguely looks like a proper consumer router if you squint at it right.

They have a bunch of different processors and options so poke around, but ars apparently has a bunch od articles with this manufacturer's product

Date: 2017-04-12 01:57 am (UTC)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
From: [personal profile] mdlbear
I used an earlier version of this set for a while. There are several options for the daughterboard, depending on whether you like Intel or Realtech

Date: 2017-04-12 12:43 pm (UTC)
stickmaker: (Steamboat Abdominal Snowman)
From: [personal profile] stickmaker

Router? You mean one of those things for making grooves in wood?

Date: 2017-04-13 12:14 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] angelwolfgeek
Oh, true, but you don't really need anything more here. But yeah, you should totally go for intel cards.

Realtek is just... ugh. Also, I once had a realtek based *pci* gigabit card that would break any linux based system I tried it on - drove the processor usage right up in an odd way that would only show up on top as kernel processor usage.

If you're building your own off a standarish chassis, totally go for intel.

Though, it might be tempting to go for second hand fibre for total overkill ;p

Date: 2017-04-17 02:33 am (UTC)
alinsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alinsa
I have a Soekris 6501 I could probably sell you for cheap...

Date: 2017-04-17 05:04 pm (UTC)
alinsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alinsa
Presumably you could toss a low-power PCIe video card in it, but if it's just for a router... why? (I'm pretty sure just the OS would use it, though, not the BIOS)

You can toss a harddrive in the case, but you're better off just adding a mSATA disk (it currently has one in it that I can leave there).

Should run Debian ... runs CentOS fine, at any rate. I think you have to do a net install, but don't quote me on that. (Might be able to install off USB). Also runs pfSense fine.

Also has GPIO headers on the board if you want to control something in the real world with it for whatever reason. ;)

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