Help me replace my aging home OpenBSD desktop machine running mail, DNS, DHCP, apache and pf with something quieter and more power efficient.
For about 10 years now I've run a pretty similar setup on my home networks.
- I'll have some sort of not super-fast consumer broadband with static IPs (DSL, in my case).
- I'll plug the broadband into the first network interface of a really old desktop machine with OpenBSD and two network interfaces which I'll call the router. (This is running qmail, djbdns, dhcpd, apache serving only static content, some very minor packet filtering, and network address translation.)
- Then, I'll plug a generic switch into the second network interface of the router, and one of those unfortunate consumer wireless access points (WAP) into the switch. (Currently, this is a netgear wireless router that I restart all the time, previously, it was a series of Linksys wireless routers that didn't work at all.)
Right now an old Dell desktop (a 233 Mhz PII with 128M RAM and a 12G HDD) is acting as the router, and it's really loud and probably costing about $5-10/month to run in power. I'd like to replace it with one or more low power embedded type devices, but I have no idea which to consider.
On one hand, I've been looking at the Soekris 5501
. It seems to have the same specifications as my current really old router, but I think it's passively cooled and takes virtually no power. However, I've never used one before, and I'm not sure whether I need to worry about constant writes to compact flash, and/or whether there are competitors I should be aware of. I would probably install OpenBSD on compact flash and have a similar setup to my current one.
On the other hand, I've been looking at the various consumer hack-able single purpose devices, like any of the wireless routers that run DD-WRT
. Likewise, people seem to hack random devices like the NSLU2 to have Linux
on them, but I'm not sure whether this is actually usable in practice or more for fun. While these solutions seem like they wouldn't be as general, I wouldn't feel terrible outsourcing my DNS to the cloud (so long as I could do the same sorts of things, and possibly put up a SPF record), but I'd like to keep my e-mail (mostly forwarding and mailing lists) and apache in house, and I still need the network address translation and packet filtering.
So I guess this question boils down to: what sorts of embedded devices do you use at home to solve these problems, and do you use any third party services to complement your solution?