IPFireIPFire is a source-based, Linux firewall/router distribution with a modular design, with one of the easiest installation and setup routines of the group of Linux- and BSD-based firewall and router distributions listed on this site.

Origin – Home Page: Germany – IPFire

License: IPFire is Free Software (GNU GPL), free to download, tweak, distribute and use.

Comments: Like most of the firewall and router distros listed on this site, IPFire sports a ncurses-based installer. While the default installation does not offer many of the advanced features that you will find on Astaro Security Gateway Home Edition, or pfSense, it comes with lots of addon applications to extend it’s basic functionality. In addition to its use as a firewall, you could – with installation of the appropriate addons – use it as a home application server.

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You may view the base features of IPfire as well as that of other distros in the firewall cum router category in the feature overview of Linux and BSD firewall and router distros.

Some of the addons available for installation are:

  • hostapd
  • ClamAV (this should be a default feature and not a addon)
  • Spamassasin (this should also be a default feature)
  • Samba
  • NFS
  • Asterisk

A complete list of the addons is available here.

Be aware that although the addons are easily installed from the browser-based admin interface, additional configuration of some of the addons requires that you tweak configuration files from the command line, that is, from the console. For example, by default, IPFire can not be used as an Access Point (AP). However, by installing hostapd (and configuring it from the command line), your IPFire firewall may now be used an Access Point.

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Where IPFire bests other distros in its category is in hardware detection. It was able to automatically detect the Linksys and Belkin wireless USB cards (on the test machine), whereas Astaro and SmootheWall could not.

Download: Installation images for supported platforms are available here.

Tutorials/Tips: You may access installation instructions and other docs at the IPFire wiki, and have your questions answered at the IPFire forum.

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