I need to build a router with following requirements:

  1. 2 physical interfaces (WAN and LAN)
  2. Should be able to handle several VPN tunnels
  3. VPN tunnel should be routed to certain VLAN
  4. Web-based GUI

What Linux distribution can I use as start? Or maybe there is a distribution that fits my needs already?


Well, from personal experience I can recommend Vyatta, which is a Linux based Router, Firewall, VPN and can do much more. Vyatta also sells the hardware and software.

But my personal favorite is pfSense. pfSense is a free, open source customized distribution of FreeBSD tailored for use as a firewall, VPN appliance and router<taken from the pfSense site>.

You did not say anything regarding the expected load on the system, will the system be for a large company, small business, or personal. You could buy a server from a vendor with no OS, or use a desktop. If this is for a small business I had good luck with the ALIX system boards.

  • +1 for pfSense - you can fire up multiple OpenVPN server instances (we use one for each remote office and route accordingly) or use the PPTP or IPSec VPN servers that are also built in. Meets all the OP's requirements, is easy and intuitive to install and set up, has a decently large community of users and best of all is free.
    – nedm
    Feb 20 '10 at 22:00
  • I just installed a ALIX based pfSense firewall at my church where I help out with IT. So far it's worked out better than the Cisco PIX 501 for a few reasons. PIX is EOL'ed by Cisco....don't have to worry about with an open project. Cisco's VPN client has limited OS support these days as they are trying to push people to their SSL solution. And it's much easier to manage which is a plus in a team of volunteers that have a range of skill levels when it comes to dealing with networking. Feb 21 '10 at 1:21

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