New Look!

Well, my old server died (I think the processor fried itself somehow). Due to school workload, I wasn’t able to properly configure a new server until now, thereby this blog has been down for months (and, surprisingly, I’ve actually had people comment about it being down–mostly because they were unable to flame me, though *shrug*).

Anyway, I’ve finally got a new (actually, it’s quite old) rack-mountable server (minus the rack) running FreeBSD as a replacement. Moreover, I’ve changed the theme, so this site had both a different software and hardware look!

Smooth Wall

I’ve wanted to setup a serious linux-based firewall for my home network for some time now, and I finally got around to it yesterday.

There are TON of linux router distros out there, but instead of spending 8 hours picking & choosing, comparing & contrasting, nitpicking & debating, I asked someone else ;). Two buddies of mine have a similar setup at their homes: one uses Smooth Wall; one uses IPCop. I arbitrarily chose Smooth Wall (after actually setting it up, though, I think IPCop would have been a better choice–c’est la vie.

The installation is supposed to be quite painless, and it was–for the most part. The documentation and install process was intuitive and easy to follow, but it didn’t work OOTB. I probably only had so much difficulty because of hardware issues (fried NICs?) which is by no means Smooth Wall’s fault. Nevertheless, it took ~5 hours of bang-your-head-against-the-table troubleshooting ’till I could finally unhook the monitor & keyboard, shove it in a corner, and get some sleep.

I was also disappointed with two things that didn’t work as I had expected OOTB:

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