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 From:  Manuel Kasper <mk at neon1 dot net>
 To:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Status report and outlook
 Date:  Sat, 30 Apr 2005 23:47:21 +0200

first of all, let me say I'm sorry for being a bit unresponsive
lately, and also for the fact that there hasn't been an updated
m0n0wall image for over a month now. My personal situation has
changed, and I can't devote evening after evening and weekend after
weekend to m0n0wall development anymore. One of the consequences of
studying effectively 80% while working 50% plus ~25% sidelines. You
do the math. ;)

Now, here's what's going on with m0n0wall now: as I've already
announced, the next beta release will be based on FreeBSD 4.11. Due
to the rather unsatisfying experience with FreeBSD 5.3, it has been
decided to postpone further experimentation with 5.x until a later
date when it has hopefully become more mature. It is said that 5.4,
which is due very soon, should improve network performance, but
that'll have to be proven first.

I think that the best way to continue is to work towards a 1.2
release based on FreeBSD 4.11 first. Sure, we won't have Atheros
support, but I'm not sure that those who wanted it are entirely happy
with it now. I still believe that "real" access points connected to
an Ethernet interface on m0n0wall provide a better solution than
kludgy hostap stuff for most people, so wireless isn't a top priority
(since we can't do much more than simply taking what FreeBSD has to
offer anyway).

Then when 1.2 is out, we can try to find an answer for some basic
questions, like whether FreeBSD should continue to be the operating
system of choice for m0n0wall, or if not, what else could be used.

Currently I'm working on the next m0n0wall beta release (1.2b8),
based on FreeBSD 4.11. I've decided that while I'm at it, I might as
well document the whole procedure of making a m0n0wall image from
scratch (i.e. a clean, stock FreeBSD installation) with all its
little important details. The primary intention is not that people
will use the documentation to actually build their own images from
scratch, but to document and preserve all the details so that people
who would like to make changes to an existing image can see how
m0n0wall and all of its parts are built. It's obviously going to take
me longer like that, but I think it's important and should have been
done before.

To give you an idea of what it's going to look like, I've put up a
very early version at <http://m0n0.ch/temp/m0n0wall-image-guide.html>.

What's more - thanks to Fred Wright, the ipfilter bugs (window
scaling, ICMP checksum adjustments) have again been fixed, and the
whole kernel building procedure has become cleaner, with more options
being set at the kernel configuration level. There are still some
other things left to be fixed for 1.2b8 though - especially the
captive portal with RADIUS, as it's in a rather buggy state now

Thank you for your patience!

- Manuel