SmoothWall Express 3.0 under Hyper-V

SmoothWall Express 3.0 under Hyper-V

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The other day I setup a virtual machine running SmoothWall Express 3.0 under Hyper-V.  If you are not familiar with this OS – let me be lazy and quote Wikipedia:

SmoothWall is a Linux distribution designed to be used as an open source firewall. Designed for ease of use, SmoothWall is configured via a web-based GUI, and requires little or no knowledge of Linux to install or use.

I wanted to play around with it to see if I could set it up as a filtering proxy; so I downloaded the installation ISO file and tried to install it in a Hyper-V virtual machine.

I created a virtual machine with 512MB RAM, a 127GB dynamically expanding virtual hard disk, 1 CPU and two legacy network adapters connected to different networks.

For the most part, it “just worked”.  The installation was a very traditional Linux installation process (contrary to the Wikipedia quote above) and I only encountered two hiccups:

  • It did not detect my network adapters by default – and did not tell me that I had to go and kick the network detection routine.  This lead to some confusion where I was trying to configure my public / private interfaces and it believed that it had no network adapters.

  • At first the system was failing to get a DHCP address from my DHCP server.  On a hunch I checked the option to Enable spoofing of MAC addresses on the network adapters – as shown here:
    Which seemed to solve the problem.  However I was able to go back the following day and uncheck this option and have the system work correctly.  I am not sure what really happened with that.

But I now have it up and running perfectly:

Smoothwall1 Smoothwall2

And it is functioning as a filtering proxy.  Now I just have to wade through mountains of configuration files to actually get it to filter the right things :-)


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  • And I just went and got a SonicWALL to throw in front of my Hyper-V server!  Very neat idea.

  • Do any of these Linux firewall appliances actually run successfully in "enlightened" mode under Hyper-V?  It'd be a lot smoother, and probably, more performant if they did.

  • Well I've setup untangle (in bridging mode) and have to have the checkbox checked (MAC Spoofing) but I haven't tried something as a Router with or without the setting yet.

  • Andy -

    There are none that I know of.  It should be possible to install the Linux integration service - but that would involve recompiling code - which is something that I am not allowed to do :-)



  • With the Linux Integration Components 2.0 it is possible to enlighten ipfire. But you have to setup a development system to compile the drivers. Another solution is to use Endian with a Debian Kernel. I have tried both and it works pretty good, but it is a lot of work.

  • my smoothwall doesnt show any graphical configuraions windows.

    and I am not very aware with linux commands.

  • reza -

    Smoothwall is managed using a web browser on another computer.  That said - I would like to ask that if anyone has questions about how to use smoothwall that they go to the smoothwall forums:



  • Could you be more specific about what "kick the network detection routine" means. How did you do it exactly?

  • Hi,

    Does it supported by Microsoft on Hyper-V virtual machine ?




  • BG -

    Supported by Microsoft? Absolutely not, but it does work.



  • As Raith also asked, could you be more specific as to what you meant by having to "kick" the network detection routine?

  • Just installed Smoothwall Express on a Hyper-V VM and ran across the NIC detection problem.

    Stopped the VM, removed the virtual NICs and replaced them with 'legacy' adapters.

    Now works a treat.

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