Review: Astaro Security Linux 5.1

    Date 08 Mar 2005
    Category Firewalls
    11458
    Posted By Benjamin D. Thomas
    One of the more popular uses for Linux is as a router/firewall to secure a local area network (LAN) against intruders and share an Internet connection. Several specialized distributions have sprung up to simplify this task. These range from small, diskette-based distros like the Linux Router Project and FREESCO to larger systems requiring a hard disk installation. Among the latter is Astaro Corp.'s Astaro Security Linux (ASL) 5.1, which I recently reviewed as part of ongoing research into content filtering products. ASL is an RPM-based distribution that allows an administrator to easily turn an x86 PC or server into a router/firewall appliance.

    Unlike the firewall and router distros mentioned above, ASL is not entirely open source. Rather, ASL is built upon an open source base, but adds a well-designed but proprietary HTTPS graphical user interface that facilitates advanced system administration by users who aren't Linux gurus. Astaro provides technical support for configuration through the GUI but specifically disclaims support for changes made by root via Secure Shell login.

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