|Source model||Open source|
|Latest release||3.1 / October 21, 2014|
|Latest preview||3.1 RC5  / April 15, 2014|
|Kernel type||Linux 126.96.36.199 (stable) / 3.4 (unstable)|
|Default user interface||web user interface|
Smoothwall is a private software company based in the UK that develops firewall and web content filtering software, and which also maintains the SmoothWall open source project.
Smoothwall is also 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.
Smoothwall began life as SmoothWall GPL, a freely redistributable version, in August 2000, with a proprietary version sold by SmoothWall Ltd from November 2001. It is now available in several free and paid-for versions.
According to figures released by the company, Smoothwall currently has over 1 million active installations worldwide.
Smoothwall Express, originally SmoothWall GPL, is the freely distributable version of SmoothWall, developed by the SmoothWall Open Source Project team and members of SmoothWall Ltd.
Released in August 2000, SmoothWall GPL was developed by Lawrence Manning and Richard Morrell to provide a quick and easy-to-use solution to the problem of sharing their ISDN connections with the rest of their LAN. Created using Red Hat Linux, SmoothWall GPL originally had two simple functions: control the modem to dial and hang up, and to route TCP/IP packets from the LAN to the Internet connection, and back again. The LAN was hidden from the public network by NAT, applied using ipchains.
Beginning with 0.9 in August 2000, the SmoothWall GPL 0.9.x series went through several versions based on the 2.2 Linux kernel, culminating in 0.9.9 SE in December 2001, which was probably the most popular GPL release. Each release led to a number of improvements, including PAT (port address translation), DMZ, PSTN and ISDN dial-up support, broadband (ADSL and Cable) support.
SmoothWall GPL 1.0 was released in December 2002, including all previously released patches and security fixes, and ended development of the 0.9.x/1.0 series, although it was supported by errata updates for another year and a half.
- 30 August 2000 - SmoothWall 0.9
- 2 September 2000 - SmoothWall 0.9.1
- 9 September 2000 - SmoothWall 0.9.2
- 18 September 2000 - SmoothWall 0.9.4
- 15 November 2000 - SmoothWall 0.9.5LF
- 6 December 2000 - SmoothWall 0.9.6
- 2 April 2001 - SmoothWall 0.9.8
- 15 September 2001 - SmoothWall 0.9.9
- 10 December 2002 - SmoothWall GPL 1.0
SmoothWall Express 2
Developed from 2002 to 2003, the next major release of SmoothWall was intended to be numbered 1.0, but the large number of changes and improvements led the development team to term it worth a 2.0 version number. The team decided that the name "SmoothWall GPL" wasn't inclusive enough, worrying that newcomers to SmoothWall wouldn't understand the acronym. On 16 September 2003, the name was officially changed to SmoothWall Express to imply speed of installation, use and operation.
Express improved on the functionality of SmoothWall GPL by using the 2.4 Linux kernel, improving the web user interface, and making many changes to existing features and adding several new ones.
After the 2.0 release, development and testing of the software was mainly led by SmoothWall Ltd. staff, with less work being done by outside volunteer contributors.
- 8 December 2003 - SmoothWall Express 2.0
- 22 December 2006 - SmoothWall Express 2.0 SP1
SmoothWall Express 3
On 1 September 2005, the fifth anniversary of the original SmoothWall firewall, an alpha version of Smoothwall 3.0 was released, code named "Grizzly", followed by "Panda" on December 23, 2005 and "Koala" on December 22, 2006. Express 3 uses the 2.6 Linux kernel and a new build system developed internally at SmoothWall Ltd. As Express 3 development continued, the team gradually expanded to include outside volunteers again. A subsequent beta release, named "Degu", increased driver support and added a new look GUI.
The first stable release of Express 3, dubbed "Polar" was released August 22, 2007.
In August 2008, SmoothWall Express 3 won the Best of Open Source Software Awards (BOSSIES) in the open source security category. The selections were made by the InfoWorld Test Center to recognise the best free and open source software for business, IT professionals, and IT staff.
- 22 August 2007 - SmoothWall Express 3.0
- 8 January 2009 - SmoothWall Express 3.0 SP1
- 6 October 2010 - SmoothWall Express 3.0 SP2
- 1 June 2011 - SmoothWall Express 3.0 SP3
- 18 June 2013 - First release candidate for SmoothWall Express 3.1
- 23 July 2013 - Second release candidate for SmoothWall Express 3.1 
- 15 April 2014 - Fifth release candidate for 3.1 
- 21 October 2014 - Final release of SmoothWall Express 3.1 (in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions)
|Source model||Closed source|
|Latest release||Advanced Firewall UTM / Guardian Web Security / Guardian Web Filter / School Guardian|
|Kernel type||Linux 2.6|
|Default user interface||web user interface|
In late 2001, Manning and Morrell, with George Lungley, formed Smoothwall Limited as a UK registered private limited company, company number 04298247. The company was formed to take the open source software and commercialise it, by expanding the software to include corporate and enterprise oriented functionality, and to provide dedicated support staff for customers to contact.
Based in Leeds and Southampton, with a USA office in Charlotte, NC, the company has continued to develop the commercial, closed source Smoothwall product range, while moving from its initial direct sales model to a reseller, channel-based sales model.
Smoothwall Server Edition was the first product from Smoothwall Ltd., released on 11 November 2001. It was essentially SmoothWall GPL 0.9.9 with support included from the company. This was — as were virtually all future products — made available to purchase on CD-ROM directly from Smoothwall Ltd. by mail order.
Initially announced in January 2002, and priced at UKP30, but never released, Smoothwall Home Server was an aborted attempt to tap into the home and residential market. It used the open source platform again as a base but included SmoothGuard, and would have permitted customers to make email support requests directly from Smoothwall Ltd.
Released on 17 December 2001, Smoothwall Corporate Server 1.0 was the first in a long line of separate, closed source releases from Smoothwall Ltd. Forked from Smoothwall GPL 0.9.9SE, Corporate Server included additional features such as SCSI support, and the capability to increase functionality via add-on modules. These modules included SmoothGuard (content filtering proxy), SmoothZone (multiple DMZ) and SmoothTunnel (advanced VPN features). Corporate Server was designed to become the backbone of all future products from the company, with the module functionality permitting customers to select the exact level of functionality they required. Further modules have been released over time, each providing a particular set of functionality, such as traffic shaping, and e-mail anti-virus and anti-spam.
After Daniel Barron, author of DansGuardian, joined the company in April 2002, a variant of Corporate Server called Smoothwall Corporate Guardian was released, integrating a fork of DansGuardian called SmoothGuardian. Corporate Guardian is a stand-alone web proxy, cache and filtering solution. SmoothGuardian was also made available as a stand-alone module for Corporate Server customers, replacing the SmoothGuard module.
When released on 13 June 2005, version 4 of Corporate Server was renamed to Corporate Firewall. In February 2008, Corporate Guardian was renamed to Network Guardian with the release of the 2008 version.
Released on 9 May 2005, Smoothwall Advanced Firewall targeted the enterprise market directly by bundling Corporate Server with all available add-on modules, and adding further functionality, including Active Directory, eDirectory & LDAP authentication and the capability to use up to 20 network interfaces with external connection load balancing.
In April 2007, the company released the SmoothGuard UTM-1000 hardware appliance, based on a commodity Intel Core 2 Duo 1U 19-inch rack-mountable chassis. The UTM-1000 came pre-installed with a variant of Smoothwall Advanced Firewall.
- 17 December 2001 - Corporate Server 1.0
- 30 May 2002 - Corporate Server 2.0
- 31 January 2003 - Corporate Guardian 2.0
- 15 May 2003 - Corporate Server 3.0
- 13 October 2003 - Corporate Guardian 3.0
- 18 October 2004 - Corporate Guardian 3.5
- 9 May 2005 - Advanced Firewall 1.0
- 13 June 2005 - Corporate Firewall 4.0
- 6 December 2005 - Corporate Guardian 4.0
- 8 June 2006 - Corporate Guardian 5.0
- 23 October 2006 - Corporate Firewall 5.0
- 20 November 2006 - Advanced Firewall 2.0
- 25 June 2007 - Corporate Guardian 6.0
- 31 January 2008 - School Guardian 2008
- 19 February 2008 - Corporate Firewall 2008, Advanced Firewall 2008, Network Guardian 2008
- Linux Format, Best Security Tool, 2001
- SC Magazine, Best Buy SME firewall, 2005
- "Smoothwall Express 3.1 Release Candidate 5 available for testing". Smoothwall.org. 2014-04-15. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
- "Smoothwall Product Family". Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- "Beta 6 "Voyager" and a New Name ...". 2003-09-16. Retrieved 2007-02-25.
- "SmoothWall Express 2.0 Release Notes". Archived from the original on 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2007-02-25.
- "Network firewall". InfoWorld. 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- "Smoothwall Express 3.1 Release Candidate 2 available for testing". Smoothwall.org. 2013-07-23. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- "Potted History of Smoothwall". Retrieved 2011-05-01.
- "Home Server Nearing Release, Screenshots Released". 2002-01-09. Archived from the original on 2002-02-14. Retrieved 2007-02-25.
- "Product Reviews: Smoothwall UTM-1000". January 2002. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- "Smoothwall Voted Best Security Tool In Linux Format Awards". 2002-04-26. Retrieved 2007-02-25.