1. Introduction

FREESCO 0.2.7 is the last version in the 0.2.x series and is no longer activly maintained. However, security related bugs or vulnerabilities are still fixed. One of these fixes is a mandatory installation of the so called ICMP patch package. Do this after you have completed the installation of your FREESCO 0.2.7. If you are starting from scratch, it is advised to download the latest FREESCO 0.3.x instead.

One reason to use FREESCO 0.2.7 could be because more 3rd party add-on packages are available for this version, however a lot of the 027 package authors have left the FREESCO scene and/or the packages are based on older versions then the 03x packages. The choice is up to you!

1.1 What is FREESCO ?

FREESCO 1) is a single floppy disk router written by Serge V Storozhevykh, which can be configured as a dialup/isdn/cable/dsl router/internet gateway, and includes dns, dhcp, telnet, control http, print, and time server functionality. It boasts ease of use, reliability, and small size. It is based on a Linux 2.0.38 kernel, and includes many custom scripts that provide a lot of functionality in a small space. It can run from a single floppy disk, or be installed on a hard drive. It is designed to be as easy to use as possible for people with no experience with linux, thanks to a setup script to configure most features, and a web admin interface which can do most remote administration from a web browser.

FREESCO supports up to 3 ethernet cards and up to 2 modems 2). Both, CISCO and FREESCO, have their positive and negative features. The main advantage of FREESCO is its price, hehehe, you know this word, you like this word, you love this word, what can be sweeter then this word. :-) FREESCO will cost you only your old dust-collecting 386/486/586 computer you were going to throw out few years ago. The main disadvantage of FREESCO - it doesn't have dynamic routing feature, it can be only a static router.

Some of the features of FREESCO are:

  • Bridge mode
  • Firewalling and Network Address Translation (NAT)
  • DNS Server
  • DHCP Server
  • HTTP Server
  • Telnet server (only one connection per time)
  • Print Server
  • Remote Access Server (up to 2 modems)
  • Time Server

So you can build a simple bridge or a simple router or a very complex router/server which includes all these features.
the setup procedure offers you a few basic configurations. Choose one and tune it by adding or removing features later, by running setup in 'Advanced mode'.

A more in depth introduction of FREESCO can be found here

1.2 Hardware requirements

Freesco requires a 386 or higher Intel x86 compatible PC, 8MB of ram, (16MB is recommended for full features when running from a floppy disk), at least one compatible Ethernet card, and optionally a harddrive and/or modem. 16550A UART serial ports are required for external modems. Machines with non standard floppy drive controllers, for example many laptops with external floppy drives connecting to a PC card slot, are not supported. Ethernet cards connecting to a PC card slot are also not supported3). Winmodems are not supported.

  • CPU - any 386 or better
  • FPU - not required
  • RAM - absolute minimum (with swap) 6 MB, normal (on the edge between swap/no swap) 8 MB, recommended 16 MB or better
  • FDD - 1.44 MB
  • HDD - not required for 8-16 MB RAM system, but recommended (for swap and for future extensions like addon packages)
  • Ethernet adapter(s) - see hardware configuration for details.
  • Modem(s). Beware of winmodems, they will not work with FREESCO. If you have old 386/486 computer w/o FIFO'ed COM ports it's recommended to use internal modems as they come with fast FIFO'ed port. Hayes compatible (external) ISDN modems via a serial port are supported, but most internal ISDN cards are not. USB is not supported.

1.2.1 Other requirements

  • read this manual at least once.
  • Some brains and basic TCP/IP networking knowledge. There's a good TCP/IP primer online.
1) FREESCO stands for FREE ciSCO and has nothing common with SCO Unix
2) FREESCO 0.3.x supports upto 10 ethernet cards and 10 modems
3) a later developed package adds PCMCIA support
freesco/manuals/027/1.introduction.txt (156718 views) · Last modified: 2005/09/14 00:49 (external edit)
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