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 From:  Jim Gifford <jim at giffords dot net>
 To:  m0n0wall at lists dot m0n0 dot ch
 Subject:  Re: [m0n0wall] CDROM ISO
 Date:  Wed, 31 Mar 2004 23:29:47 -0500
On Wed, Mar 31, 2004 at 11:01:25PM -0500, Jim Wells wrote:
> First my appreciation of Manuel's efforts bringing this project to all of
> us. We have been using the m0n0wall for just a few months and we have been
> fascinated with the ability to connect vpn tunnels to the cisco pix and
> linksys vpn endpoint firewalls. Truly a great product.
> I wanted to know if there is any reason not to run the m0n0wall from the
> cdrom with the floppy on a standard pc with 2 nic's opposed to using the
> image version to a hard drive or the flash version. I know the flash version
> is small but we can pickup old Pentium II or III computers for almost
> nothing plus an extra network adapter for less than the cost of the hardware
> for the soekris. I just wanted to get some pro's and con's from some of the
> users on the list.

Running m0n0wall from a cd-rom with a floppy for config is fine, and
works just as well as the others.  There are a few things to keep in mind

Software updates require creating a new cd and swapping with the one on
the box, instead of just uploading an image in the other versions.  That
means you have to physically touch the box for every upgrade.

Floppy drives are SLOW.  No, they're SLOOOOOOOOOW.  Every single update
results in a write to the floppy, and can become a frustration.  This
also creates the impression that the web interface is slow when in fact
it isn't.

Floppy disks fail.  Make sure you have backups of your config.  Of
course, this makes sense for all versions.

Once a configuration is "nailed down" the floppy can be write protected,
and so is potentially more secure.  Having the entire system running from
read-only media has a strong appeal for many people.

An old pentium 2 or 3 computer with a CF-IDE device with the generic-pc
image should work as well as a soekris with a CF card.  Or you could use a
real hard drive in the machine, although that's a source of noise and
heat and potential failure down the road.

I do recommend avoiding the entire cyrix line of processors though,
as they have tendencies to behave in unexpected ways.

I hope this helps,