> I am interested in using FreeBSD as a barrier between the big-bad
> Internet and my Win98 box like so:
> ISP | | ___________
> <-- ------ | FreeBSD | | |
> -------| DSL|-------| smtp/natd |--------| Win98 |
> ------ | http/ipfw | |___________|
> However, I would also like to use the FBSD box as an email hub and
> possibly serve low-bandwidth http traffic. The only interactive user
> will probably be myself.
> What would someone recommend as a minimum configuration to be able to
> sustain transfers through the firewall at ~640Kb/sec.? Of course,
> this will be peak, but I will be serving other things as stated above.
Minimum would be an i486DX2/66 with 32 MB of RAM. You could go as low
as an i386SX if you wanted, but I wouldn't use it for much else than
maybe PicoBSD. You can create a low end FreeBSD NAT gateway by dumpster
diving. xDSL, ISDN or cable modem routers are easy.
If you plan to expand the FreeBSD box to be a bonifide server with
users, ftp space, STMP relay with sendmail and other goodies the more
CPU and RAM, the better. Pentium Pro boxes work very well with FreeBSD.
Mine's running a pair of PPro-166s on an Intel PR440FX motherboard with
128 MB of RAM. It makes a very nice low end (by today's standards)
If you're stuck with ISA NICs, I'm partial to SMC8216s because of the
16K shared memory window. They can be found used. If you're going to
stick with PCI, I'm partial to any i8255x based NIC that's supported by
the fxp driver. In spite of Bill Paul's excellent mass production
effort at cranking out NIC drivers, those IMO are still the best NICs to
use with FreeBSD.
Bill can only do so much with broken hardware. :) It's because of
Bill's observations in his NIC driver release notes that I have stuck
with NICs that use the fxp driver.
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Before you buy.