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Smoothwall Express

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The Smoothwall Open Source Project was set up in 2000 to develop and maintain Smoothwall Express – a Free firewall that includes its own security-hardened GNU/Linux operating system and an easy-to-use web interface.

The Smoothwall GPL project was founded in the summer of 2000 by Lawrence Manning (Principle Code Author) and Richard Morrell (Project Manager). Their goal was to create a Linux distribution that could convert a redundant PC into a hardened internet firewall device. With help from other early contributors; Jon Fautley and Tom Ellis, the first Smoothwall Firewall was posted to sourceforge.net at the end of August 2000.

The project was immediately popular and grew rapidly. Within weeks, thousand of copies had been downloaded and Smoothwall was appearing regularly on magazine cover CDs in the UK and overseas. Many more developers joined the team and new versions were released almost weekly, incorporating new features based on software contributions from all round the world.

Over the years, the project team has changed and the Smoothwall community has grown to include almost 17,000 forum members.
The goals of the project can be summed up as:

  • Be simple enough to be installed by home users with no knowledge of Linux
  • Support a wide variety of network cards, modems and other hardware
  • Work with many different connection methods and ISPs from across the world
  • Manage and configure the software using a web browser
  • Run efficiently on older, cheaper hardware
  • Develop a supportive user community
  • Use sponsorship from Smoothwall Limited to further these goals
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