OSX router?


Hi everyone,

I'm primarily a PC guy and mostly windows. I'm interested in replacing my linksys router with a cheap linux box I was going to build from parts I had lying around and make it into a router using software such as shorewall.

Instead of using the PII 266Mhz, 192mb ram, 4.5gig drive box as the router, can I use a similar software under OSX to run on my B&W G3 which has 256mb ram and a 10gig drive? For ethernet controllers I have the built in apple one as well as a 3com 905C which I'm sure there must be support for in OSX.

Anyone using the osx box as a router / firewall?


U.S.D.A. Prime
OS X Server would be more suited to do a job like that, rather than plain old OS X. If you intend to do that with plain OS X, then you'll be relegated to editing config files if you want to go beyond the scope of a bare-bones firewall/routing configuration.

However: if you're experienced with Linux, you may wanna give Yellow Dog Linux a spin -- it's a Linux distro that runs natively on PPC machines, just like the B&W. It's RedHat based and has the best support of any PPC Linux distro. Check it out at http://www.yellowdoglinux.com


Notorious Olive Counter
The OS X firewall is FreeBSD's ipfw - perfectly capable of being configured to be a nice & capable home router/firewall.

However, the legendary Mac ease of use and configuration doesn't extend to the firewall - the built in firewall GUI is, unfortunately, embarassingly bad. You're far better off writing the firewall script yourself, if you know what you're doing when it comes to firewalls. Fortunately, the ipfw firewall has quite a nice syntax, much nicer (IMO) than iptables in Linux.

If you'd rather not go editing your own firewall script, you might want to look into brickhouse (check version tracker for a link). It's been a while since I used it, but it comes up with rather nice firewall scripts in my experience.


Thanks guys for replying so soon. I'm going to check out both suggestions. I'm not an experienced linux user but I know the basics so I'll probably be able to figure things out. I also very basic cisco IOS knowledge and configuring experience. Being mostly an NT/2K admin, I'm used to having a gui to help me along.

Actually I think having the G3 as my firewall vs the PII makes more sense. The G3 has a lower power consumption so its cheaper to run over the long haul... plus it looks way better than my old beige box.