MikroTik – suprisingly good stuff!

February 27, 2010 at 9:13 pm Leave a comment

MikroTik.  No, I’m not talking about some insanely tiny parasite, I’m talking about a routing platform.

About a year ago, a friend of mine introduced me to MikroTik.  It’s Linux-based and uses a command-line based environment to perform configuration for lots of network services.  You might think this is just another Linux distro, but it’s not.  You never actually get to a normal Linux command line with MikroTik’s RouterOS. It’s closer to a Cisco router than any Linux distro I’ve dealt with in the past.  It has auto-complete, color coding, and interactive help. In some ways, it’s even nicer than Cisco IOS.  A tool called Winbox exists to let users who aren’t command-line fans have full access to this power via mouse clicks.

The bad news is that it is completely different from Cisco, or any other router I’ve used before.  It has a huge range of services and the documentation isn’t easy to follow. The wiki they run has lots of example commands, but it’s not very long on explanation, consisting mostly of lists of commands.  Add to that conflicting information on various versions of RouterOS, and it’s hard to know what to do if you are new to it.

Thankfully, Greg Sowell has a few video tutorials to help the MikroTik newbie at http://gregsowell.com.  His tutorials give you a good introduction to things, then go on to explain in depth how things like the firewall and various VPN features actually work.  If you are new to MikroTik, this is currently the best freely available information online (at least, that I’ve been able to find).

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Entry filed under: Networking.

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