[svlug] SOHO router spiced up was: Sheevaplug ?

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo mail at webthatworks.it
Sat Oct 24 03:45:23 PDT 2009

On Fri, 23 Oct 2009 14:52:50 -0700
Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> Quoting Ivan Sergio Borgonovo (mail at webthatworks.it):
> > I think the usage of home server and habits are a bit different
> > than yours (but well mine may be wrong) so I can't still get
> > convinced that I don't need a stand alone Linux router.
> You're undoubtedly right about prevalent home-server needs.  An

Actually I do have a server and if here in Italy was not such a pain
to change contract even with the same company to have a static IP
etc... I *may*[1] think about running my exposed smtp, web and such,
but still not directly exposed on the internet.

> edge router/NAT/filter appliance is very likely the most common of
> those needs, and the classic hardware from Linksys and others that
> was/is compatible with DD-WRT is probably just right, for it.

The problem seems to reside in that "was/is".
I had the feeling that the early experiments with open firmware were
more willing to accept compromises including binaries.
Rightfully they aren't any more.
On the other side it seems that manufacturers of such boxes are just
exploiting Linux code, using openness just as a marketing label
without being really willing to work according to free software

What you end up is a generation of fully supported router out of the
box with closed binaries that is EOLed and a new generation that is
still not really supported but is advertised as "open" by

If you're lucky enough to find an old model... you risk it won't be
supported for long considering most can be supported just on 2.4 and
as soon as the manufacturer will move to 2.6 they won't care any more
about providing an updated binary for 2.4.

> I was actually talking with my wife Deirdre about server-usage
> patterns, and made the point, while acknowledging Luke's excellent
> point that VPSes are increasingly compelling, that I'm simply very
> accustomed to doing all of my substantive computing on a real
> Linux server that's resident on my local LAN.

Here I've one more problem: [1]reliable bandwidth on DSL here is
My "public" stuff is on real iron (web) *and* VPS (smtp) on which
I've full control.
The risk of having such stuff on a VPS compared to having it at home
is the same as if they decide to increase DSL costs vs. VPS costs.
Of course I've backup etc... so if the VPS/real iron can't be used
any more for various reasons (eg. they declare illegal publishing
HOWTO on Postgresql or the bill start to be too expensive or they
forbid me to use some kind of UDP packet etc...), I'll move.
I fully agree with yours:

Still it is a pain that while now you could nearly randomly pick up
a server/workstation/notebook/netbook and see all its part supported
by stock debian kernel you can't pick up a router and see all its
hardware supported.

And I can't understand the technical nor the commercial reasons.
ubnt, marvell etc... stuff is not that different from what you can
find in an asus, dlink, netgear router.
So I was hoping that sooner or later we would see really supported
router and not pretending to be ones in the consumer market... so I
could buy 2 for few bucks and keep one as backup.

Ivan Sergio Borgonovo

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