SmoothWall Express 3.1 RC6

A small Linux distribution designed to act as a secure, easy-to-configure firewall/gateway
SmoothWall Express is a freely distributed and open source distribution of Linux founded by Lawrence Manning, Richard Morrell, Jon Fautley and Tom Ellis in summer 2000. It has been designed from the ground up to be used as a powerful and secure firewall or router.
Designed for ease of use, as well as to be simple to install by home users with no knowledge of Linux technologies, the distribution can be configured via a web-based user interface using any modern web browser.

Availability, boot options and supported platforms

The project is available for download as two CD-size ISO images that can be used to install the operating system on a local disk drive. The ISOs can be burned onto blank CDs or written to USB thumb drives. Both 32-bit and 64-bit hardware platforms are supported at this time.

The boot menu allows users to install the SmoothWall Express firewall with default settings or in advanced mode. In addition, it lets you to convert the ISO image to bootable flash, run the OS in single-user mode, as well as to explore the hardware and system.

The installation

The entire installation process takes place in the Linux console (text-mode). If you choose the standard installation method, you will only have to partition the hard disk drive in order to install the operating system.

Keep in mind that this is a server system and it has no graphical environment. Therefore, in order to enter the configuration interface, users must access the http://smoothwall:81 or http://smoothwall:441 using a web browser on another machine. The default username is "dial" and users should set a password for it from the get-go.

Bottom line

All in all, SmoothWall Express is a great little distribution capable of transforming any low-end computer into a hardened Internet firewall. It is easily installable and configurable by anyone, without prior knowledge of Linux technologies.

Reviewed by on April 22nd, 2014

last updated on:
September 3rd, 2014, 6:05 GMT
developed by:
The SmoothWall Open Source Project
license type:
GPL (GNU General Public License) 
ROOT \ Linux Distributions


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What's New in version 3.1 RC5
  • RC5 corrects a number of issues found since we released the fourth RC, settles on i586 and x86_64 as the architectures that will cause the fewest problems when upgrading from v3.0, contains a well-refreshed QoS feature, and has Marco's URL Filter mod and the DHCP Lease Table mod fully integrated.
  • This release is a refresh of v3.0's foundation and a culmination of five years of effort that began with the Roadster Test Vehicle. The build system has been thoroughly worked over, and the user interface has been freshened with several presentation improvements.
  • The vast majority of the work was done 'under the hood'. Here are just a few of the software upgrades: Linux 3.4, glibc 2.18, gcc 4.7, perl 5.14, squid 3.3, httpd 2.2.26, iptables 1.4.14, and openswan 2.6.41. Some of these updates are ready to enable new features such as HTTPS proxying in squid. In addition to these updates, numerous bugs present in v3.0 that caused hard-to-reproduce problems or minor errors in the user interface were squashed.
  • If the firewall admin notices little difference between it and the v3.0 she has been using, Smoothwall Express 3.1 will have achieved its goal.
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Application description

SmoothWall Express is an open source and tiny Linux distribution that provides a secure and stable firewall/router sy...

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