SmallWall is very versatile and can run on a lot of hardware, but it does
have some limitations. The key limits are x86 CPU, at least 2 nics, and
driver support in FreeBSD 8.4. But there are some things that work better
One option is to skip all of the trouble and just order SmallWall
preinstalled on new hardware. We have been working with
mitxpc.com to have a prepackaged
and preinstalled system that just works out of the box. They even
have a custom image that defaults to the installed network cards.
http://www.mitxpc.com/products.php?cat=140 for the prebuilt selection.
You can build your own as well. It will need to be x86 and support
32 bit. It will need a 32 meg hard drive, DOM, CF card, or USB stick.
It will need to be able to boot off that device as well. And it will
need supported network cards. I recomend Intel nics as they have the
best support for vlans and jumbo frams, as well as being the easiest
on the CPU. The newest features (like UEFI and advanced ACPI) can be
a problem. Often, disabling those things can help. Memory can be as
little as 256 meg. Not sure where you can find memory stick that small
Since the hardware requirments of SmallWall are so small, a lot of
older hardware is just fine to use for a firewall. And some of them
are even low power.
Wyse WinTerminals with expansion slots for nics.
One user has a Fujitsu Futro s500 working, but the CF card took a
little more work then expected.
Older x86 firewalls that can boot unsigned images
Small form factor desktops with added nics.
Note that older AMD Geode and Via c7 based systems can be good to about
45 meg, but struggle after that. Atom based systems can get 600/mbps+
sustained. Base your hardware on your Internet connection speed.