recommendation: stand alone cheap box

Hello there,

I'm looking for a stand alone Linux box that would enable me to sniff (and maybe block) network traffic of my small network (e.g., ~10 workstations).

The requirements are probably something like:

  1. Developer friendly. I would like to install my sniffer on this box. It is written in C, so I probably need full gcc support.
  2. Not too much memory. Probably 64-128MB would be enough.
  3. CPU speed not important. I assume that any 200MHz processor should be enough.
  4. Most importantly: at least two Ethernet ports.
  5. Should be as cheap as possible.

I would appreciate any recommendation.


Shai Rubin

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Coud this be something for you:

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Never used it but it keeps poping up as an answer to that type of question.

Best regards,


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Alain Mosnier


Thanks for the > Hi Shai,

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What you'd be looking at is the netDUO expansion card along with a connex-based gumstix. You'd probably want to go for the connex 200xm, since as you say, 200MHz is generally plenty to keep up with typical traffic on a 100mbit network. If you're really saturating the 100mbit, you'll probably drop some packets. In my testing, from userspace I can read about 60mbit/s on the 200MHz gumstix, about 80mbit with the 400MHz version using a UDP socket. A kernel traffic generator/sink has no trouble keeping up with 100mbit at 200MHz. The CPU gets pegged at 100% though when transfering the data from kernel space to userspace -- so if you really need to deal with max bitrate, you'll want to figure out how to efficiently transfer the data from kernel space to userspace.

There are commercial products starting to come online too, built on top of the gumstix/netDUO combination, with proprietary security software stuff on top.

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is one example; iirc they're using the 400MHz CPU with the netDUO card, in their own custom case.

Hope this is helpful info for you,

Craig Hughes CTO, gumstix

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recomandation for what? You have the details layed out right there. You want a uClinux system? or some sort of uCdimm/simm? I really dont see why you dont just setup an old system like the one above with 2 nics and install whatever linux distro you will (they all include GCC.. just remember to sellect it during install).

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You might want to take a look at the Linksys NSLU2.The free Linux OS for same is called "UNSLUNG".


Reply to
Michael Schnell

A Soekris 4501?

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Bob Smith

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