List of router and firewall distributions

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This is a list of operating system distributions designed for use as the operating system of a computer acting as a router and/or firewall.

Name Status Type Architecture License Cost Description
Alpine Linux Active Linux distribution x86, x86-64, ARM Open source Free Linux distribution running from a RAM drive. Its original target was small appliances like routers, VPN gateways, or embedded x86 devices. However, it supports hosting other Linux guest OSes under LXC control, making it an attractive hosting solution as well. Uses Busybox and musl.
Bifrost Network Project Active Linux distribution x86 ? Free The goal of this project is to find out stability, performance, filter capabilities, administration, computer security, scalability and development possibilities of a Linux-based streamlined router/firewall system. Recent distributions are being used as pure Internet routers, equipped with 1 GB or more of internal memory.
BSD Router Project Active FreeBSD derivative x86, x86-64, sparc64 Simplified BSD License Free Router distribution that uses Quagga and Bird.
ClarkConnect Inactive Linux distribution x86 ? Free but paid support Firewall and Internet server distribution. Now known as ClearOS.[1]
Updated on ClearOS' web page: ClearOS Pedigree[2]
ClearOS Active Red Hat Enterprise Linux derivative x86, x86-64 GPL and others Free or paid registration Router and firewall for SMBs with network, gateway and server modules accessed through WebConfig. A paid registration for extra online services is available, but not necessary for operation of the product.
Devil-Linux Active Linux distribution x86, x86-64 ? Free Firewall/router/server distribution running from CD.
DD-WRT Active Linux distribution MIPS, x86, ARM ? Free or paid registration for x86 Embedded Linux firmware distribution available on a variety of wireless routers.
Endian Firewall Active Linux distribution x86 ? Free (PC) or hardware version UTM distribution with routing, firewall, anti-spam and anti-virus for web, FTP and e-mail, OpenVPN, IPsec, hotspot functionality, and captive portal (missing in community version). Endian Firewall Community (EFW) is a complete version for x86. The anti-virus for EFW is Sophos or ClamAV. The intrusion protection is Snort.
fli4l Active Linux distribution x86, x86-64 GPL (Free software) Free Linux-based router project supporting a large set of layer-1 technologies (e.g. Ethernet LAN, Wireless LAN, ISDN, DSL, UMTS), layer-3 protocols and functionality (IPv4, IPv6, stateful packet filter), and various network-related functionality (e.g. Bridging, Bonding, VLANs; DNS, DHCPv4, DHCPv6, IPv6 RA; PPP (client+server), PPTP (client+server), Multilink PPP, OpenVPN, 6in4 tunneling; support for various DynDNS clients, NTP time synchronization). It is easily extendable by a large number of additional packages.
floppyfw Inactive Linux distribution x86 ? Free Single-floppy router with Linux's advanced firewall capabilities.
FREESCO Active Linux distribution x86 ? Free Free replacement for proprietary routers supporting up to 10 network cards and up to 10 modems.
FreeWRT Inactive Linux distribution MIPS (Broadcom) ? Free Router distribution.
Global Technology Associates, Inc. Active FreeBSD derivative  ?? ? Free (limited functionality) or paid GB-OS firewall and UTM appliance.
IPCop Active Linux distribution x86 Open source Free Router/firewall distribution.
IPFire Active Linux distribution x86, ARM GPL Free Router/firewall distribution.
Kerio Control Active Linux x86-64 Proprietary Paid hardware or virtual appliance Router/firewall distribution.
LEAF Project Active Linux distribution x86 ? Free Linux Embedded Appliance Framework; a customizable embedded Linux network appliance used as an Internet gateway, router, firewall, and wireless access point.
Linewize Active Linux distribution x86 Kernel GPLv2, Firewall GPLv3 Free, with paid services available Linewize is an open-source cloud-managed layer 7 firewall distribution providing complete network usage analytics on a per device, user and application basis.
Mikrotik RouterOS Active Linux-based MIPS, PowerPC, x86, TILE ? Demo (full functionality for 24 hours) or paid Linux-based operating system with MPLS, BGP, OSPF, firewalling, traffic control, VPN, IPsec. Free version requires one to sign up for an account on their website.
m0n0wall Inactive FreeBSD derivative x86 ? Free Development ended 2015-02-15. Small web-administrative router/firewall/VPN (IPsec/PPTP only; no OpenVPN) distribution.
Netdeep Secure Active Linux-based x86, x86-64 Open Source Free, with paid services available First Next Generation Open Source Firewall, with Deep Packet Inspection.
Openwall Active Linux x86, x86-64 ? Free GNU/*/Linux (or Owl for short) is a small security-enhanced Linux distribution for servers, appliances, and virtual appliances.
OpenWrt Active Linux x86, x86-64, MIPS, ARM, PowerPC, AVR32, CRIS, m68k, SPARC, SuperH, Ubicom32, etc. GPL V2 Free Niche Linux distribution with a focus on CPE-routers and similar embedded devices. Its comprehensive build system is based upon a heavily modified uClibc#Buildroot and suitable for embedded systems in general.
OpnSense Active FreeBSD x86, x86-64 BSD 2-clause Free Fork of pfsense
OS/VX Active Linux distribution x86-64 ? Free VyOS derivative ported to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS runtime with many improvements. Intended to be run on a specialized hardware platform, but can be used with an ordinary PC too.
pfSense Active FreeBSD derivative x86, x86-64 ? Free or paid Customized distribution tailored for use as a firewall, router, DHCP server, gateway, OpenVPN, IPsec, proxy and anti-virus (Snort).
SmartRouter Active Linux distribution x86 ? Free SmartRouter Project is a router/firewall distribution based on BrazilFW.
SME Server Active CentOS derivative x86, x86-64 ? Free Router/firewall[citation needed] and web-, file-, email- and database server distribution based on CentOS.
Smoothwall Active Linux distribution x86 various Open source licences Free or paid Router/firewall distribution with a web interface and light terminal.
SonicWALL Active SonicOS  ?? ? Paid hardware/virtual appliance and Live CD[3] Router/firewall and UTM.
Sophos Active Linux derivative x86, x86-64 ? Free, Paid or hardware/virtual appliance UTM - offers free home use for up to 50 clients. Provides HTTP/S web filtering, spam filtering, antivirus (web and email), VPN (PPTP and a HTML5 agentless VPN) and Point-to-point links between UTM and other devices via IPSec and SSL-VPN. Formerly Astaro Security Gateway.[4]
Threenix Active Linux distribution x86 ? Free or paid Enterprise-class router, firewall, VPN, intrusion protection, e-mail security and web security with a powerful CLI for simple and central administration.
ClarkConnect Inactive Linux distribution x86 ? Free but paid support Firewall and Internet server distribution. Now known as ClearOS.[5]
Updated on ClearOS' web page: ClearOS Pedigree[6]
Tomato Firmware Active Linux distribution Broadcom only: MIPS, ARM ? Free Free HyperWRT-based, Linux core firmware distribution for many Broadcom-based wireless routers, originally Linksys WRT54G. Now being ported to ARM-based consumer routers.[7]
Untangle Active Debian derivative x86, x86-64 ? Free with paid add-ons GPLv2 firewall and router that runs 13 paid and 13 free open source applications including spam blocker, virus blocker, web filter, OpenVPN, IPsec, protocol control and more.
Vyatta Subscription Edition: Active. Community Edition: Inactive Linux distribution x86, x86-64 ? Free or paid Enterprise-class router, firewall, VPN, intrusion protection and more delivered as a complete network operating system that runs on x86 hardware or in XenServer, VMware or Hyper-V to provide vFirewall, vRouter network virtualization functionality.
VyOS Active Linux distribution x86, x86-64 ? Free Based on Vyatta. After Brocade halted development of Vyatta CE (free edition) in favor of the subscription edition, this project aims to keep open source development going.
Windows RRAS Active Windows add-in feature x86, x86-64 ? Requires prerequisite Windows OS license Windows Routing and Remote Access Service is a feature that can be installed on Windows (mainly server) Operating Systems, and can perform routing functions, NAT, and implement firewall rules.
Zentyal (formerly eBox Platform) Active Ubuntu derivative x86, x86-64 Open source Free with paid services available Zentyal is an open-source router/firewall and small business server.
Zeroshell Active Linux distribution x86 ? Free (contribution required for some graphing functions) Web-administrative router/firewall live CD with QoS features. It is also able to act as a Wi-Fi access point with advanced features such as the multiple SSID and 802.1x RADIUS authentication. Zeroshell supports VLAN trunking (802.1q), bridging, WAN load balancing, and fail-over features.


  1. ^ "ClearOS". Retrieved 2015-07-31. 
  2. ^ [ "ClearOS legacy editions"] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2015-12-24. 
  3. ^ "WXA 500 WAN Acceleration Software Live CD - Dell SonicWALL, Inc". Retrieved 2015-07-31. 
  4. ^ "Next-Gen Firewall | Network UTM Firewall Appliances | Sophos NGFW". Retrieved 2015-07-31. 
  5. ^ "ClearOS". Retrieved 2015-07-31. 
  6. ^ "ClearOS legacy editions". Retrieved 2015-12-24. 
  7. ^ "Tomato for ARM routers". Retrieved 2015-07-31.