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[vox-tech] Thoughts on a Firewall Laptop
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[vox-tech] Thoughts on a Firewall Laptop

Hello All,
I am looking for advice on my home network project, which is making
good use of GNU/Linux on old hardware. It's a Pentium M with some RAM
and a 2 GB CF-IDE, upon which I installed Debian 5. There's no X.
My only Internet comes on a USB surf stick with a SIM card, which is
handy when on the go. After a lot of RTFM I got usb-modeswitch
configured to get around the Zero Install feature of the surf stick,
which is meant for Windows machines. At the moment, I bring Internet
to my home network like so:

[plug in that stick and wait for the LED to go green]
$ lsusb #just checking that usb-modeswitch did its thing
$ sudo wvdial #makes my external connection
$ sudo ./firewall.sh #brings up NAT and firewall to share the Internet

I plan to have this "firewall" laptop continuously on, but run NAT and
firewall on demand. I will plug in that surf stick whenever I want
Internet in my home network, then pull it out when I don't need it at

Now for the questions:
How do I automate the above? This firewall has to sense when it got
the stick, and react by waiting for the ttyUSB2 to be ready, dial out,
then run the firewall script.

How do I automate taking down the firewall? The firewall has to sense
that I pulled out the stick, take down the firewall and kill wvdial
and pppd.

I am asking about the automation, because I plan to remove the laptop
screen to save power. Now, if I took the screen out will Debian
complain? How do I connect to it to do system maintenance? Is that
possible without logging into root on this firewall?

Any advice or pointers to the right mailing list would be appreciated.
There are 10 types of people: ones that know binary and ones that don't.
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