I was recently delving into thoughts of building a small home server to run random things off of (maybe a TF2 server). Thinking about this further I realized I would need to get a better firewall system for my current home network. I was wondering what would be a good Linux distro to run for a home network firewall?

There are a ton of distro's out there, and it is kinda overwhelming when you're new to it. I have looked at Zentyal (previously eBox), SmoothWall, M0n0wall and a couple others. I have little experience in setting up firewalls, but I am willing to do some research into it and give it a shot. I would just like a little help with the starting ground. If someone could provide some pro's/con's of available distro's or some insight on what might be best to set up in a home network it would be appreciated!


1 Answer 1


The distro called ipcop exists since 2007 and is designed exactly for your purpose. http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=ipcop

I think there are many reasons strongly in favor of ipcop that put it ahead of the bunch:

  1. Designed for your purpose
  2. Long history + high ranking in google search "linux firewall distro"
  3. Latest release: 2012 February

As the other post mentions, pfsense can be interesting to, a big difference is that pfsense (like moonwall) is based on FreeBSD, not on Linux.

  • I reviewed (most of) the manual for ipcop and it does seem like a decent linux firewall distro, however my concern is that it does seem to rely on mostly dated hardware (it still speaks of floppy disks as a main boot source). Have you used ipcop? Would you say it is still reliable? I do like the ease of use for the web interface for it, and their classification of each zone in a network (Red, Blue, Green, Orange).
    – SirCobalt
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 18:11
  • Hi @SirCobalt, nope, haven't actually used it. I keep an eye on the various distros and have my list of options for specific purposes, and ipcop is my top candidate for firewall, but that's all.
    – janos
    Commented Apr 21, 2012 at 23:20

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