The Linux Router

The performance of the Linux router makes it an attractive alternative when concerned with economizing.

The bandwidth of a 133MHz Pentium I-based Linux router is about 51Mbps and that of a 200MHz Pentium I-based Linux router is 82.5Mbps. The performance of the Linux router on a 733MHz PIII is so high (90Mbps) that it saturates the 100MHz Ethernet. We also studied the effect of RAM on routing. In this case it turned out that there is no effect on routing performance with an increase in RAM. However, by increasing RAM you can set up larger RAM drives that you may need if your routing table gets quite large.

We have explored the performance of Linux router, its stability, cost, highly modular design, low power consumption, and so on. More work on the Linux router is underway to improve its routing performance. For a small office or laboratory, where the pursuit of cost-savings is a major consideration, the Linux router is the ideal solution. A typical configuration for a small business would be as shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7. Typical Configuration for a Small Business


This work was performed in the Computer Communications Laboratory and the Digital Computers Laboratory at the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore, Pakistan, under the supervision of Professor Shahid H. Bokhari.


Which Disk Image to Use

Adding Kernel Modules for Ethernet Cards

Kaleem Anwar ( is graduating in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering from the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Pakistan. His fields of interest include Linux, Java, control systems, computer networks, algorithm design and digital signal processing.

Muhammad Amir ( is graduating in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering from the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Pakistan. His fields of interest include Linux, Java, control systems, computer networks, algorithm design and digital signal processing.

Ahmad Saeed ( is graduating in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering from the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Pakistan. His fields of interest include Linux, Java, control systems, computer networks, algorithm design and digital signal processing.

Muhammad Imran ( is graduating in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Computer Engineering from the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Pakistan. His fields of interest include Linux, Java, control systems, computer networks, algorithm design and digital signal processing.



Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

About Linux Router

golecha.dinesh's picture

I am doing my BE project in Linux router But I dont get the exact idea about it and various questions arises like
is this practicaly implemented?
this project having very small apllication area can you modify it?
is it more secure?
so can you goide me for solving my problems and if you have any innovation then please convey me on my mail or here..........
good day............

Using Linux Machine as a router

Vikas khatana's picture

I am planning to use linux machine as a router and want to terminate leased line connection on it.
Can anybody suggest me that how to terminate a leased line on a PC.
I have a leased line with a modem with V.35 cable.
I want to connect this modem with linux machine through V.35 cable.

The bandwidth test with

Blanc57 (France)'s picture

The bandwidth test with different configuration is very interessant. It helped me a lot in trying to find the right configuration builfing a Linux Router. Thanks a lot for the work...

Linux Router

Sadiq Hussain's picture

I have been working on cisco routers and technology for last over 10 years and worked in Cisco Systems and recently developed interest in Linux and Linux routers. This article gave me lot of information that I needed to understand working of linux rotuers and I agree that some low cost alternative is needed to help ease and lower routing gear costs.

Try linux router from

Anonymous's picture

Try linux router from seems very interestedly.

Linux Routers

Keith Daniels's picture

Check out IPCop. A lot of things have changed since this article was written. It will show you what people are currently working on and give you an idea about how extensions (a al Firefox) can be used in a router system.

I set IPCop up to control the kids using p2p and locking me out of the internet by using all the bandwidth. I was impressed with what you could do with the software and how well the extensions worked.

Quite stable also.

"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my telephone.
My wish has come true. I no longer know how to use my telephone."
-- Bjarne Stroustrup

Linux Dual Routing+Fail Over+Control QoS

Lukas's picture

Hi, Im Lukas from Argentine. I use Linux servers for years, and this the best choice for manage network traffic and give services like Internet Connection to LAN, http web server, dns support, hosting, ssh remote conection, etc.

Now, i work in a Linux With Dual Routing or Most interfaces to the internet, but still having problems with the routes and packets.Any information is welcome.

This router offer many connections + ISP1 + ISP2 + ISP2, and fail over functions and control bandwith.

I'm networker Cisco butLinux is the best choice for an economize purpouse.

Thanks. Greetings.

Lukas (Mendoza - Argentina)

Can you tell me about OSPF support?

Anonymous's picture

I personally find the project impressive! The router as they test it can be up to the limits of the 90Mbps at the 100Mbps fast ethernet, and we naturally thing that the Linux box can also perform well with Gigabit Ethernet cards increasing the bandwidth of routing between LANs at a very high degree! The 8Mbps Wan slot(s) we can add is also just fantastic. But the big question is: What about with dynamic routing especially with OSPF (or RIPv2 / BGP)? The Linux router would be a just TREMENDUS solution when using those CPU intensive dynamic routing protocols. Commercial routers with just 50MHz processors and a little amount of RAM really suffer when using OSPF with large routing tables. I think that if the guys went that step forward then people would start construct the Linux router immediately! PPP / HDLC / Frame Relay etc. should have enough support on WAN interface too, and if they were add services such as DHCP then...the mirracle could really happen! :-) Well, I promise myself that I will construct the Linux router as soon as possible, in order to route connected networks first, but tell me please if you know about the OSPF module!!!

I used on practic Linux as

Pavel's picture

I used on practic Linux as router solution and it is perfect. I worked in Internet company where I used cisco routers and linux as routers. I had PII 800MHZ with 256M RAM. And perfomance of this router was perfect. it has 4 ethernets, many firewalls rulles and sniffer based on libpcap and postgreSQL server which collect IP traffic statistics. I have never feal that througput is lower then WAN router can support. In case of DoS somitemes cisco 2610 is dead, but Linux was alive and wrote logs. Ofcause it was hard to connect to it throught ssh ,but it was alive and responds.
Also I used BGP, OSPF on this router (used gated, zebra) with a big table (up to 200 routers in OSPF on P4 2GHz 512 RAM)
I had 4 WAN channels to router cisco 3640 and it was directly connected to the Linux router which was as bacbone router between WAN and my ISP network. It works as router, as traffic accouter and advanced firewall (kernel 2.4.20 with using utility of iptables and iproute2 package). What about policy routing? It works on Linux without problems!!! And sometimes it is more flexible then cisco.
I am cisco certified but anyway I love linux. I didnt run PRI/ISDN and HDLC WAN on linux, but it is possible. Therea meny project on Linux. - Linux with PCI Digium card - good replacement for cisco access server.
I tested Linux on real networks in Russia.
Now I am currently live in USA and many people here not understand strengths of Linux. microsoft and cisco for them is best way in IT, this is actually market influence.

How about the performance of NAT with P2P runnging ?

dtl mark's picture

Recently , i buy a linksys router , it performance is too....bad !
i have no $$$ to buy a cisco , so i thinking to make a Linux router with a old P-III 700 /w 256M RAM , i don't know the performance of this , P2P like BT , e2k , over 10,000 port open concurrent , can the p-iii reach the 100Mbps performance ?
i got a free 100BAST-T link form my ISP , yes! this is free !!! in fact 6 month test , i need to make report of performace to the isp serive every month , when i direct connect my pc to the isp link i got 70~86Mbps , but though the linksys router , it's drop to 50~60Mbps , it's not bad , sice , there have 40mbps+ , about 10 time faster than my 6M ADSL form other ISP , but when i rung p2p app , yes like bt , it's drop lower , lower ,and lower , than halt-up !!! , this $50 us router , just can't handle the high trsffic , this chep linksys router , i tested ,when i limited the concurrent port can be opened to 50 , the linksys will not halt.
but this will wasst the badnwith of the link ,
i just want to know , if the 700Mhz P-3 will work , i will but a old one to use at a router , if not , i will buy a ture router can habdel it ! , the price is $200 , well , 40 vs 200 , 5 time !

256 MB of RAM = more than 16,000 simultaneous connections

Anonymous's picture

With 256 MB of RAM you should be able to sustain a bit over 16,000 simultaneous connections by default, with tuning more, look at

And for an easy to use linux firewall try smoothwall

HTH HAND etc...

how to design linux router

saurabh's picture

can anybody sent me documentation on "how to design linux router".

Re: The Linux Router

Anonymous's picture

Also, lets give Mr. Dave Cinege some credit here. You could've at least mentioned his name in your article. Visit and read about his experiences and lack of acknowledgement throughout this projects history. I know I'm ranting here but DAMN IT CORPORATE AMERICA......GIVE BACK!

Re: The Linux Router

Anonymous's picture

Why? Why would anyone give credence to the insane embittered rantings of a physchotic. He had a great idea that he started, but then refused any offers of assistence to make the project more usable. His sole answer to questions in the support forums were read the code and call people stupid.

Then he declared a day of morning when Terry Nichols was executed. You remember him dont you Dave?
The mass murderer you viewed as a hero.

Are you still signing your name Dave 'kill a cop' Cinege?

Nichols was never executed. Y

Anonymous's picture

Nichols was never executed. You may have thought of McVeigh, but you went so far as search for the wrong guy on Wikipedia...or is this Dave so insane he called a day of mourning for someone still alive?

Re: The Linux Router

Anonymous's picture

Additionally, it would have been ideal if the cisco 2600 that was being referenced could have been tested in the mix of machines. e.g., 133, 200, 733 - to give a true "feel" for the overall performance of Linux Routers. I am silently cheering for Linux-but need direct indisputable evidence of performance as well as price and functionality. BTW: I think the layout of your work was fantastic - lets add the cisco device into the mix and retest!

Re: The Linux Router

Anonymous's picture

Has anyone done comparative tests with more than one flow of traffic?
What about traffic with the average packet size much smaller than 1500 bytes at the same level of bandwidth? It's usually the number of packets per second that will kill a router, not the throughput.
What about the number of different traffic flows, can it still cope with 50,000 traffic flows at the same throughput?

Linux is the cheap answer, but you have to remember, it's not always going to be the best, and it's not always going to perform adequately.

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState