Favorite VM of the week

October 12, 2007 at 11:46 pm Leave a comment

What with all the DVR and HD TV posts I’ve been making lately, you might have thought I should rename the blog to “Jack of all T.V.” 😛 Here’s more of that I.T. stuff (with a home flavor) that you’ve been coming here for:

Tonight, I’m starting a new feature “Favorite VM of the week”. In it, I’ll highlight a VMware virtual machine that you may find useful. Oh, and just because the feature has “the week” in the title doesn’t mean it’s going to run every week. For that matter, it may only run a couple of weeks. 😛

Since Fulvio recently released a pre-loaded VMware Virtual Machine image of Zeroshell, I decided to try it out. I’m been running ZeroShell since about March of this year to handle my WPA Enterprise wireless security. I’ve been using this new VM version without any issue now for about a week. During that time, I’ve had zero WPA Enterprise issues on my home wireless network. Previously, I ran Zeroshell on a spare Soekris net4801, but I thought that using it solely for WPA was a bit of a waste of the potential of these little boxes. I mean, the capacity I was using it for was to handle a few Radius requests per hour. That’s hardly a challenge for a net4801.

Anyhow, Zeroshell is a linux distribution with the aim of being an embedded system type distro that doesn’t require any use of the command-line shell (hence, the name). It can be used as a router, a firewall, a captive portal, a DNS server, a DHCP server, an LDAP server, a radius server, a VPN server, to generate certificates, and probably even more. On Fulvio’s todo list is to make Zeroshell a Net balancer, a web proxy, an access-point, an IMAP server, and an SMTP server. You might say “Big deal, I can do all that on [insert favorite Linux distro here]”. But, can you do all of that through a web interface and without editing a single configuration file? Zeroshell can!

Best of all, with Zeroshell you can backup and restore the configuration of the ENTIRE Zeroshell box, all at once, in a single file. When I moved Zeroshell from my net4801 to the virtual machine, I simply backed up my configuration via the web interface, then loaded that configuration on the VM via the web interface and told it to activate. Within minutes, I was done. WPA clients were authenticating with it, and all was right in the world.

Disclosure: I wrote the WPA2 Enterprise HowTo for Zeroshell, so I may be a little partial. It really is a great little distro, though.

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Entry filed under: Networking.

HDHomeRunner for Mac WPA Enterprise security at an actual Enterprise

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