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Is there a market for an open source router?

 
 
Ramon F Herrera
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      07-01-2008

"While Cisco accidentally created an open source router a few years
ago, getting caught with Linux in its Linksys, the company never
exploited this as a feature, but treated it as a bug, blaming chip
supplier Broadcom.

Netgear is definitely treating this as a feature."

http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=2612&tag=nl.e550

-RFH

 
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Snit
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      07-01-2008
"Ramon F Herrera" <(E-Mail Removed)> stated in post
a1bb0bfb-07ef-4d67-bef5-2f82875b2dd4...oglegroups.com on 6/30/08
6:07 PM:

>
> "While Cisco accidentally created an open source router a few years
> ago, getting caught with Linux in its Linksys, the company never
> exploited this as a feature, but treated it as a bug, blaming chip
> supplier Broadcom.
>
> Netgear is definitely treating this as a feature."
>
> http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=2612&tag=nl.e550
>
> -RFH
>

That is an area where Linux and OSS should shine... set it and, for the most
part, forget it... or even when you have to tinker there is a very limited
amount of functionality you expect from a router... UI issues become less
important (though, obviously, still are important just not as much as, say,
on a desktop computer).


--
"Uh... ask me after we ship the next version of Windows [laughs] then I'll
be more open to give you a blunt answer." - Bill Gates
<http://tmp.gallopinginsanity.com/gates/>

 
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Snit
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      07-01-2008
"The Ghost In The Machine" <(E-Mail Removed)00suus7038.net> stated in post
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)00suus7038.net on 6/30/08 6:37 PM:

> In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Snit
> <(E-Mail Removed)>
> wrote
> on Mon, 30 Jun 2008 18:14:34 -0700
> <C48ED30A.C46B8%(E-Mail Removed)>:
>> "Ramon F Herrera" <(E-Mail Removed)> stated in post
>> a1bb0bfb-07ef-4d67-bef5-2f82875b2dd4...oglegroups.com on 6/30/08
>> 6:07 PM:
>>
>>>
>>> "While Cisco accidentally created an open source router a few years
>>> ago, getting caught with Linux in its Linksys, the company never
>>> exploited this as a feature, but treated it as a bug, blaming chip
>>> supplier Broadcom.
>>>
>>> Netgear is definitely treating this as a feature."
>>>
>>> http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=2612&tag=nl.e550
>>>
>>> -RFH
>>>

>> That is an area where Linux and OSS should shine...

>
> Why? A router's a router. Granted, I'd probably trust a
> Linux-based router a little more, since I can readily get
> the source code for it -- but what does a router do? It
> routes. Could be Linux. Could be Windows. Could be BSD.
> Could be a custom solution that is specific to that router
> hardware, though nowadays microprocessors are extremely
> common anyway, making a software solution practical.
>
> (Also problematic if there's a bug therein.)


There are also sorts of special needs things that people might want... or,
well, semi-special.

Some examples: different types of logging and reporting of events (including
live reports), packet blocking or re-routing based on complex rules, someone
might want IP release and renewals to be automated based on time or events,
rules might be changed based on time and user in rather complex ways, on and
on... just a few things I can think of off hand. I am sure others can think
of many more.

>> set it and, for the most part, forget it... or even when you have to tinker
>> there is a very limited amount of functionality you expect from a router...
>> UI issues become less important (though, obviously, still are important just
>> not as much as, say, on a desktop computer).
>>

> The standard "router UI" nowadays would probably be web-based.


Sure... but it could be customized and made much, much more flexible than my
off-the-shelf general name brand router.

--
Computers are incredibly fast, accurate, and stupid: humans are incredibly
slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond
imagination. - attributed to Albert Einstein, likely apocryphal

 
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Snit
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      07-01-2008
"The Ghost In The Machine" <(E-Mail Removed)00suus7038.net> stated in post
(E-Mail Removed)00suus7038.net on 6/30/08 9:26 PM:

....
>>>> That is an area where Linux and OSS should shine...
>>>
>>> Why? A router's a router. Granted, I'd probably trust a
>>> Linux-based router a little more, since I can readily get
>>> the source code for it -- but what does a router do? It
>>> routes. Could be Linux. Could be Windows. Could be BSD.
>>> Could be a custom solution that is specific to that router
>>> hardware, though nowadays microprocessors are extremely
>>> common anyway, making a software solution practical.
>>>
>>> (Also problematic if there's a bug therein.)

>>
>> There are also sorts of special needs things that people might want... or,
>> well, semi-special.
>>
>> Some examples: different types of logging and reporting of events (including
>> live reports), packet blocking or re-routing based on complex rules, someone
>> might want IP release and renewals to be automated based on time or events,
>> rules might be changed based on time and user in rather complex ways, on and
>> on... just a few things I can think of off hand. I am sure others can think
>> of many more.

>
> I for one would think that such reporting is best done elsewhere,
> after a logging box receives and processes event traps (SNMP).


Other might disagree. It allows for "choice". Hey! By saying that I do
not have to defend why anyone would want that choice.

>>>> set it and, for the most part, forget it... or even when you have to tinker
>>>> there is a very limited amount of functionality you expect from a router...
>>>> UI issues become less important (though, obviously, still are important
>>>> just not as much as, say, on a desktop computer).
>>>>
>>> The standard "router UI" nowadays would probably be web-based.
>>>

>> Sure... but it could be customized and made much, much more flexible than my
>> off-the-shelf general name brand router.

>
> Aye, that it could. Of course the only one using that UI should be the
> network administrator, as it gets into the guts of the router (e.g., what
> ports are opened in the NAT firewall -- very dangerous in the wrong hands).


Right... but the network administrator could very well be someone at home...
not a trained pro necessarily. In most cases there is a reason to *not*
have every single choice available for easy alteration. Hey, just like an
OS.

--
When thinking changes your mind, that's philosophy.
When God changes your mind, that's faith.
When facts change your mind, that's science.

 
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Linonut
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2008
* Tim Smith peremptorily fired off this memo:

> In article
> <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> Ramon F Herrera <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> "While Cisco accidentally created an open source router a few years
>> ago, getting caught with Linux in its Linksys, the company never
>> exploited this as a feature, but treated it as a bug, blaming chip
>> supplier Broadcom.
>>
>> Netgear is definitely treating this as a feature."
>>
>> http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=2612&tag=nl.e550

>
> That blogger is a bit confused. Linksys used both VxWorks and Linux in
> the WRT54G. Revisions 1.0-4.0 used Linux, then they used VxWorks from
> 5.0-8.0, then Linux in 8.1, then VxWorks in 8.2. So he is correct that
> they didn't exploit Linux in that model.
>
> However, when they found that many people were specifically seeking out
> the Linux models in order to install their own software on them, they
> introduced the WRT54GL, which was basically a 4.x version of the WRT54G.
> It was marketed as running Linux so you could hack it as a feature.


Was that before or after Cisco acquired Linksys, though?

--
Armadillo:
To provide weapons to a Spanish pickle.
 
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Hadron
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2008
JEDIDIAH <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> On 2008-07-01, The Ghost In The Machine <(E-Mail Removed)00suus7038.net> wrote:
>> In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Snit
>><(E-Mail Removed)>
>> wrote
>> on Mon, 30 Jun 2008 18:14:34 -0700
>><C48ED30A.C46B8%(E-Mail Removed)>:
>>> "Ramon F Herrera" <(E-Mail Removed)> stated in post
>>> a1bb0bfb-07ef-4d67-bef5-2f82875b2dd4...oglegroups.com on 6/30/08
>>> 6:07 PM:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> "While Cisco accidentally created an open source router a few years
>>>> ago, getting caught with Linux in its Linksys, the company never
>>>> exploited this as a feature, but treated it as a bug, blaming chip
>>>> supplier Broadcom.
>>>>
>>>> Netgear is definitely treating this as a feature."
>>>>
>>>> http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=2612&tag=nl.e550
>>>>
>>>> -RFH
>>>>
>>> That is an area where Linux and OSS should shine...

>>
>> Why? A router's a router. Granted, I'd probably trust a
>> Linux-based router a little more, since I can readily get
>> the source code for it -- but what does a router do? It

>
> It's a gatekeeper for your physical network.


Somehow I think Ghost knows what a router is a lot better than you do.

>
> As such, there's a lot of traffic that can be blocked at
> the gateway that doesn't need to ever make it's way into
> the rest of your physical network.


So what? What has that to with whether the router runs Linux or a
proprietary firmware?

>
> Ethernet is a broadcast medium, so the advantage of this is blatantly obvious.
>


Please expand, unless, as usual, you're playing silly word games to make
yourself appear informed about a blatantly obvious subject to most of
the rest of is.
 
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Subway steel
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2008

"JEDIDIAH" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On 2008-07-01, The Ghost In The Machine <(E-Mail Removed)00suus7038.net>
> wrote:
>> In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Snit
>><(E-Mail Removed)>
>> wrote
>> on Mon, 30 Jun 2008 18:14:34 -0700
>><C48ED30A.C46B8%(E-Mail Removed)>:
>>> "Ramon F Herrera" <(E-Mail Removed)> stated in post
>>> a1bb0bfb-07ef-4d67-bef5-2f82875b2dd4...oglegroups.com on
>>> 6/30/08
>>> 6:07 PM:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> "While Cisco accidentally created an open source router a few years
>>>> ago, getting caught with Linux in its Linksys, the company never
>>>> exploited this as a feature, but treated it as a bug, blaming chip
>>>> supplier Broadcom.
>>>>
>>>> Netgear is definitely treating this as a feature."
>>>>
>>>> http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=2612&tag=nl.e550
>>>>
>>>> -RFH
>>>>
>>> That is an area where Linux and OSS should shine...

>>
>> Why? A router's a router. Granted, I'd probably trust a
>> Linux-based router a little more, since I can readily get
>> the source code for it -- but what does a router do? It

>
> It's a gatekeeper for your physical network.
>
> As such, there's a lot of traffic that can be blocked at
> the gateway that doesn't need to ever make it's way into
> the rest of your physical network.
>
> Ethernet is a broadcast medium, so the advantage of this is blatantly
> obvious.
>
>> routes. Could be Linux. Could be Windows. Could be BSD.
>> Could be a custom solution that is specific to that router
>> hardware, though nowadays microprocessors are extremely
>> common anyway, making a software solution practical.
>>
>> (Also problematic if there's a bug therein.)
>>
>>> set it and, for the most
>>> part, forget it... or even when you have to tinker there is a very
>>> limited
>>> amount of functionality you expect from a router... UI issues become
>>> less
>>> important (though, obviously, still are important just not as much as,
>>> say,
>>> on a desktop computer).
>>>

>>


Are you sure that you're talking about a router and not a firewall?

I realize that routers usually include firewall functionality but what
you're talking about sounds more like the functionality of the firewall
rather than the functionality provided by the router.

- ss


>> The standard "router UI" nowadays would probably be web-based.
>>

>
> Basically, a better appliance means you are less inclined to roll your
> own.
>
> --
> vi isn't easy to use. |||
> / | \
> vi is easy to REPLACE.
>
> Posted Via Usenet.com Premium Usenet Newsgroup Services
> ----------------------------------------------------------
> http://www.usenet.com



 
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Moshe Goldfarb.
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Posts: n/a
 
      07-01-2008
On Tue, 01 Jul 2008 15:42:39 +0200, Hadron wrote:


> Please expand, unless, as usual, you're playing silly word games to make
> yourself appear informed about a blatantly obvious subject to most of
> the rest of is.


Jebbediah talks like that crazy professor in the old made for TV Superman
series with Jim Reeve.
IOW in rhymes and riddles.

I think his name is Professor Pepper-winkle or something like that.

Crook: "What will the kyrptonite do to Superman"
Professor: "It will kill him" "Kill him it will".

and so forth...

--
Moshe Goldfarb
Collector of soaps from around the globe.
Please visit The Hall of Linux Idiots:
http://linuxidiots.blogspot.com/
 
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Snit
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      07-01-2008
"Subway steel" <(E-Mail Removed)> stated in post
486a36b4$0$25953$(E-Mail Removed) on 7/1/08 6:52 AM:

>
> "JEDIDIAH" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> On 2008-07-01, The Ghost In The Machine <(E-Mail Removed)00suus7038.net>
>> wrote:
>>> In comp.os.linux.advocacy, Snit
>>> <(E-Mail Removed)>
>>> wrote
>>> on Mon, 30 Jun 2008 18:14:34 -0700
>>> <C48ED30A.C46B8%(E-Mail Removed)>:
>>>> "Ramon F Herrera" <(E-Mail Removed)> stated in post
>>>> a1bb0bfb-07ef-4d67-bef5-2f82875b2dd4...oglegroups.com on
>>>> 6/30/08
>>>> 6:07 PM:
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> "While Cisco accidentally created an open source router a few years
>>>>> ago, getting caught with Linux in its Linksys, the company never
>>>>> exploited this as a feature, but treated it as a bug, blaming chip
>>>>> supplier Broadcom.
>>>>>
>>>>> Netgear is definitely treating this as a feature."
>>>>>
>>>>> http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=2612&tag=nl.e550
>>>>>
>>>>> -RFH
>>>>>
>>>> That is an area where Linux and OSS should shine...
>>>
>>> Why? A router's a router. Granted, I'd probably trust a
>>> Linux-based router a little more, since I can readily get
>>> the source code for it -- but what does a router do? It

>>
>> It's a gatekeeper for your physical network.
>>
>> As such, there's a lot of traffic that can be blocked at
>> the gateway that doesn't need to ever make it's way into
>> the rest of your physical network.
>>
>> Ethernet is a broadcast medium, so the advantage of this is blatantly
>> obvious.
>>
>>> routes. Could be Linux. Could be Windows. Could be BSD.
>>> Could be a custom solution that is specific to that router
>>> hardware, though nowadays microprocessors are extremely
>>> common anyway, making a software solution practical.
>>>
>>> (Also problematic if there's a bug therein.)
>>>
>>>> set it and, for the most
>>>> part, forget it... or even when you have to tinker there is a very
>>>> limited
>>>> amount of functionality you expect from a router... UI issues become
>>>> less
>>>> important (though, obviously, still are important just not as much as,
>>>> say,
>>>> on a desktop computer).
>>>>
>>>

>
> Are you sure that you're talking about a router and not a firewall?
>
> I realize that routers usually include firewall functionality but what
> you're talking about sounds more like the functionality of the firewall
> rather than the functionality provided by the router.


In the context of the discussion - OSS for a router - one can assume a
Firewall would almost surely be included.


--
The direct use of physical force is so poor a solution to the problem of
limited resources that it is commonly employed only by small children and
great nations. - David Friedman

 
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Doug McIntyre
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      07-01-2008
JEDIDIAH <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>> Are you sure that you're talking about a router and not a firewall?


> The only real difference is the software it's running. The fact
>that a router anymore is just a specialized PC of sorts has caused
>that line to blur considerably.


This is only true for the lowest end cisco devices. Most midrange and
highend routers have lots of ASIC gear in them to do lots of nice things.

Even most firewalls have lots of ASICs in them to get the throughput.
A pure CPU based router/firewall is only the most basic, slowest box
in cisco/juniper's product line.

> Does Cisco even sell "real routers" anymore (running IOS or whatnot)
>that don't have some sort of firewall capacity?


Define firewall. Even the most basic low-end cisco has always had ACLs
going way way back in history.
But you do have to license the stateful inspection FW feature.
 
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