Minimum hardware configuration for Linux based router

Minimum hardware configuration for Linux based router

Post by Alex Ai » Mon, 14 Sep 1998 04:00:00



Hi

I have a couple of old 386 and 486 PCs I would want to use as routers on a
TCP/IP WAN network. I will install Redhat Linux 5.1 on them. The PCs have 8
MB RAM, but I may bump that up to 16 MB if possible. I would enable IP
Masquerading on them. The links between sites would be with standard 2/4
wire leased line modem connections. Main use of TCP/IP WAN would be for
Internet access through a central location and to interconnect sites for
other services.

Are these PCs okay for what I intend to use them for. Would they perform
well, or should use higher powered PCs.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 
 
 

Minimum hardware configuration for Linux based router

Post by Jeremy.Rump » Tue, 15 Sep 1998 04:00:00


Alex,

Sounds like you've found a new use for those 386's and 486's. To give you
and idea i've got a similar setup and here's the specs.

router:

486dx/50
16mb ram
RH 5.1

kernel recompiled with optimizations set for a 486. Also compiled it to be
optimized as a router not a host. Ip masq and firewalling compiled in statically.

2 NE2000 NIC's on an ISA bus.

My outbound internet connection is a motorrola netsurfer wave cable modem, which
connects to one NIC via twisted pair. The other hosts are connected to the second NIC
via coax cable.

For stress testing, I started about 5 big (60mb) downloads from about 3 different hosts.
Total flow rate was about 1.2-1.6 Mbit/sec. The 486 router just chugged along with no problem.
A top session on the router showed that I was only at about 10% cpu utilization (with full masquerading).
I would really like to have the internet bandwith to peak it out and see what it's full limitations are
(i'm not complaining about 1.6 Mbit/sec, that's fast). Overall i'm very amazed. You should have
absolutely no problem routing leased lines with those machines......

-------------------------
Jeremy Rumpf
Senior Operations
Caresystems Corp


--------------------------


> Hi

> I have a couple of old 386 and 486 PCs I would want to use as routers on a
> TCP/IP WAN network. I will install Redhat Linux 5.1 on them. The PCs have 8
> MB RAM, but I may bump that up to 16 MB if possible. I would enable IP
> Masquerading on them. The links between sites would be with standard 2/4
> wire leased line modem connections. Main use of TCP/IP WAN would be for
> Internet access through a central location and to interconnect sites for
> other services.

> Are these PCs okay for what I intend to use them for. Would they perform
> well, or should use higher powered PCs.

> Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


 
 
 

1. Minimum hardware configuration for Linux?

Hello,

Some people that I work with are thinking about distributed control
systems, and for this purpose I would like to convince them to give
Linux a try.

For this purpose, an absolute minimal hardware configuration is a
good selling point. I am thinking about configurations like this:

        text-only display or no display at all
        small hard disk (maybe 100 megabytes?)
        modem card or maybe ethernet card
        minimal memory (maybe 4 megabytes or even 2?)
        slow processor (386 or maybe even 286?)
        no CD-ROM
        maybe software to support parallel port zip drive?
        digital/analog card or cards

Is it even thinkable to put Linux on a machine like that? I have
read some brief remarks about hardware requirements for linux,
but I would be very interested if someone has specifically looked
into the minimal configuration problem and devised some working
configurations.

Are there any "tiny Linux" distributions out there? It seems
like such a thing would be useful in many contexts!

Thanks for your time,
Robert Dodier  
--
``There lives somewhere a hookah-smoking genius locked in a Chinese Room
filled with ideographs and untranslatable requests put through slots
from the outside.  For this he is paid fifty dollars an evening.''
    --Ron Bloom

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