I'm looking for an os router distribution with a very low memory footprint. I want to start it in a VM to join multiple VM subnets together in a lab environment.

Anything that requires that the host os (Windows XP) reboots is not an appropriate solution, for reasons that are out of scope of this question.

I am using freenas as an iscsi target in the vms, and I'm hoping to find something similar to route between subnets easily and simply, and without eating excessive memory.

Alternatively, if there is a commandline or two that I could execute inside freenas to turn it into a router that would be perfect too. It's ok for the guest OSes to have to reboot ;-) but rebooting the host os itself is not possible unfortunately.

  • 1
    Rebooting the host is only going to be required if your host OS or virtualisation technology requires it -- it will be completely unrelated to what you run in the guests.
    – womble
    Jan 1 '10 at 5:38

What is "a very low memory footprint"? 64MB? 64KB?

OpenBSD probably fits your requirements and is my router OS of choice. My HQ router is running at about 17MB with 1700 states in memory.


Vyatta Community Edition will do what you want. Also check out their docs. Here is an informative site that should help get you started.

If you do set up Vyatta, be sure to save you configuration after making changes, or you'll lose them after rebooting the router.


Looking at freenas documentation, it looks like it might be possible to just use freenas, setting gateway_enable="YES" in rc.conf:


Since all virtual subnets are directly linked to the virtual router (they're all on the same virtual physical network after all), it's probably sufficient to set this to 'yes', configure all virtual network adapters, and reboot the guest.


if you still search for a os router, try fli4l: http://www.fli4l.de/en/home/news/

it is easy to configure and has a very low memory footprint.

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