Great Circle Associates Firewalls
(April 1994)
 

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Subject: Re: Cost of firewall hosts; BSDI Unix
From: Ken Hardy <ken @ bridge . com>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 1994 09:19:01 -0500
To: atr @ maine . net
Cc: firewalls @ greatcircle . com

>Also, what is the status of BSDI Unix?  In the most recent UNIX REVIEW there is 
>an article titled "Farewell to Berkeley UNIX."  Does this mean BSDI will no 


That article is simply about Berkeley, the University, shutting down
its Unix development group.  BSDI is an independent company producing a
commercial version of BSD Unix for x86 platforms.  Berkeley's action
does not affect them, or any of the other Unix-on-x86 efforts.  Of
course, it affects the future direction/source of their R&D.

We are using BSDI on our firewall.  A runtime-only license is something
like $250, or with full source for ~$1000.  They recently released
version 1.1, and it seems very stable.  Circa 6 months ago, I queried
this list for recommended OSes for x86-based firewalls, and BSDI came
the most highly recommended.  I have no complaints about it; it seems
very stable in the configuration I am using and is doing everything
that I ask of it.  It's on a 66MHz Dell '486.

If cost is a big issue, there seem to be multiple free Unixes available
for x86 platforms.  I've got Linux running on a 20MHz 386 as my Usenet
News server, and it seems stable, as well as more efficient (faster)
than BSDI.  I'm told by some, though, that Linux is a little weak in
networking, but it _should_ be fixed in version 1.1 due real soon if
not already.

The responses for firewall systems I received from this group were
ambivalent about Linux; BSDI was recommended as true BSD, a known
entity, vs. Linux which is an amalgam of BSD & System V, the security
aspects of which have been less fully explored.

That, at least, is what I gathered from the experts assembled here.  I
defer to them for clarification or correction.

-KH

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