Linux is the ideal choice for security systems; it is well proven, secure, highly configurable and freely††† available as open source code. SmoothWall includes a hardened subset of the GNU/Linux operating system, so there is no separate OS to install.
Designed for ease of use, SmoothWall is configured via a web-based GUI, and requires absolutely no knowledge of Linux to install or use.
The SmoothWall project was founded by Lawrence Manning, Richard Morrell, Jon Fautley and Tom Ellis in Summer 2000, with the first version �" version 0.9 �" released via the SourceForge open source collaboration site in August of that year. The intention was to create a firewall operating system distribution based on Linux, enabling a low-end, possibly otherwise redundant, Intel and compatible PC to become a hardened Internet firewall. The SmoothWall team created a real alternative to hardware routers with costs beyond the financial reach of most individuals.
From these small beginnings, the project grew rapidly. Soon hundreds of copies were being downloaded every month, and then thousands, with people using it all over the world. Even the project founders were amazed at just how quickly SmoothWall became so popular. The team grew; new features such as ISDN and ADSL support, Squid web proxying, and additional languages were added, and SmoothWall became �" and is still �" one of the most popular open source software projects.
The initial design goals are still the foundation of SmoothWall today, namely:
* Protect the local network from outside attack, whilst interfering as little as possible with user activities
* Be simple enough to be installed by home users with no previous knowledge of Linux required
* Support a wide variety of network cards, modems and other hardware
* Work with many different connection methods and ISPs across the world
* Increase ease of use, management and configuration by use of tools such as web access interface
SmoothWall is intended for use by anyone from home users to systems administrators. It can run on virtually any 32-bit Intel or i386-compatible PC from a 486 to an Athlon or Pentium 4, and it enables that PC to become a dedicated firewall appliance, aka a SmoothWall box. Apart from the PC to run SmoothWall on, all that is required is an Internet connection, some simple networking equipment to connect the SmoothWall box to the rest of your private LAN, and the SmoothWall CD image file.
What's New in This Release: [ read full changelog ]
· This release includes the enhancements and bug fixes from updates 1 to 4.
· If you have an existing SmoothWall Express 3.0 there is no need to download this release. Use the Update tool from within SmoothWall to download and install these updates.