Tweaking the Home Network – pfSense Firewall [Part 2: Initial Configuration]

Initial Configuration (via Web Browser)

In the previous article, we set up (at least) two network interfaces. The first, facing the Internet (the WAN) and the second facing the internal network (the LAN).

In our instance, our WAN interface will simply pass traffic onto our existing internal network, where it is subject to existing rules and management, while the LAN interface will become the first node of our new ‘Teenage Subnet’ through which our older boys (and possibly their friends) will access the network resources (including access to the Internet).

The new network: Users are seperated into subnets

So, anyway, we have a machine happily whirring away running pfSense and two interfaces configured, the WAN and the LAN. Now we need to connect up and get things configured.

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Tweaking the Home Network – pfSense Firewall [Part 1: Installation]

So, now we have teenagers, I’ve realised a need to create a little more separation with our home network. The intent of this is to give them a segment of the network where they can connect their wireless devices, use the internet and allow their friends to also connect their devices when they visit. With freedom comes responsibility, so we also want to be able to enforce limits on the hours of use, conserve bandwidth, and attempt to protect them from malware and viruses.

Future enhancements may include traffic reporting, content filtering – but for now we want to get them off the core network, and onto their own segment.

070523-F-9059M-226So, now we have teenagers, I’ve realised a need to create a little more separation within our home network. The intent of this is to give them a segment of the network where they can connect their wireless devices, use the internet and allow their friends to also connect their devices when they visit.

With freedom comes responsibility, so we also want to be able to enforce limits on the hours of use, conserve bandwidth, and attempt to protect them from malware and viruses.

Future enhancements may include traffic reporting, content filtering – but for now we want to get them off the core network, and onto their own segment.

Continue reading “Tweaking the Home Network – pfSense Firewall [Part 1: Installation]”

Linux for Kids

My best mate dropped over on the weekend and left me an ancient Sony Vaio that he’d acquired for his 7-year-old daughter.

Doudou LinuxAfter shooting the breeze over the beer, we got to talking about his daughters computer use. Essentially he (and she) just wanted “something she can use and have for her own” – he’d already been supplied with a Live CD of Doudou Linux which she’d been booting from, yet due to the failing hard drive in the near fossilized Vaio, the machine was taking far too long to start-up – by which time her attention span was exceeded.

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Installing VMware Server 2.0.1 on Ubuntu Server 9.04

The following guide will take you through installing VMWare Server 2 on a minimal install headless Ubuntu v9.04 (Jaunty) Server. For a step by step on setting up the minimal server, read the article I posted here.

Getting the Pre-requisite Packages

First up, you will need to SSH into your server, and paste in the following command to install some additional packages which allow for the changes required to the kernel and the building of the VMWare server.

sudo apt-get install linux-headers-`uname -r` build-essential xinetd

Getting the VMware Server TAR ball

Once the extra packages are installed, you will need to grab the TAR ball from the VMWare site, and drop it into the directory where you wish to run your VMs from. For me, I’ve chosen to keep them under my users home directory in a directory called (imaginativly) ‘VM’. The following commands will make the directory ‘VM’ under your users root directory, then change to that directory:

mkdir ~/VM
cd ~/VM

From the PC you are using to SSH to the server, open a browser and visit the VMWare Server page from here you will need to download the server which will require you to create a VMware account, and login so that a licence key can be emailed to you.

Once logged in, you will be directed to the download page containing all the binaries for VMware Server.

Download the relevant TAR image for your architecture and linux version to your local machine, and do an MD5 checksum to make sure it arrived intact.

There is also a patch which you will require, you will need a login to the Ubuntu Forums however, to access the file below:

http://ubuntuforums.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=94477&d=1227872015

From here, transfer the TAR and the patch file in whatever way works best for you. If you followed my server build guide and installed the optional SAMBA extensions, you should be able to easily open the home directory on your server via a Windows network share – or similar for you particular operating system.

Running the Installer

Back to our SSH session now, unpack the patch into your “~/VM/” directory, then extract the VMware Server TAR ball and run the installer:

tar xvfz VMware-server-*.tar.gz
cd vmware-server-distrib
sudo patch ./bin/vmware-config.pl ~/VM/vmware-config.pl.patch.txt
sudo ./vmware-install.pl

Accept the default options (there are a LOT of them) throughout the installation and allow the installer to build any modules or kernels it needs to during the setup.

Choose the Administrative User

When prompted for the name of the current administrative user, select YES and type in YOUR user name (otherwise it’ll use root)

Select the Directory to Store the Virtual Machines

When prompted for the directory to store your virtual machine files, type in /home/[YourUsername]/VM/Virtual Machines and allow the installer to create the directory

Entering the Serial Number

Next you will be prompted for the serial number which should have been emailed to you for your VM Server installation, simply copy out of your email and paste into the SSH window.

Back to selecting the default values now until you are returned to the prompt.

Just in case things didn’t go well

If you think you may have made a mistake in the configuration, you can easily re-run the configuration tool by typing:

sudo /usr/bin/vmware-config.pl

If you REALLY made a hash of it, you can always remove the installation by typing:

sudo /usr/bin/vmware-uninstall.pl

and start again 🙂

Accessing the VMServer Console

After you installation sucessfully completes you will be returned to the prompt in your SSH session. That’s it – you’re done. All you need to do now, is attach to the VM Server console via your browser by typing in the address of your server box which will look something like this:

https://[YourUbuntuServerName-or-IPAddress]:8333/ui/

Read the documentation, and start setting up some Virtual Machines, or download any useful looking Virtual Appliances that catch your eye from the appliance marketplace.

Note: If you experience issues with the web console appearing to ‘hang’ ensure that you have loaded the lastest Java Runtime Environment (JRE) – get it here.

Setting Up Ubuntu Server 9.04

Ubuntu Server v9.04 InstallationThis article will address the base (minimal) build that I’ve been using while trying out a number of Virtual Environments for use in my home network. I’ve chosen to use an Ubuntu Server v9.04 (Jaunty) as my base OS – partiallybecause I use a lot of Ubuntu machines, but mainly – because it’s a popular choice with a very supportive community behind it who are all too happy to help others who get into difficulties.


Getting the Software & Burning the Disc

First things first, get yourself over to the Ubuntu Server Download page and get the relevant .iso image for your computers architecture. Because I’m installing on a Shuttle XPC Sn95G5, I’ll be going with the 64bit version.

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Home Networking – the Why (not the How or What)

The first of what may become a series of presentations covering the home networking space. This presentation covers WHY you may want a home network, and what considerations need to be top of mind during planning.

I’ve just finished a presentation on Home Networking, The first of what may become a series of presentations covering the home networking space.

This presentation covers WHY you may want a home network, and what considerations need to be top of mind during planning.

Home Networking 01 Why Not How

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: home network)

Obviously things in this space change fast, so please feel free to comment and correct me if things get out of date, or if you plain don’t agree!