How to Configure Freesco Virtual Router on vSphere 6.0

FREESCO, a NAT/firewall router/server based on Linux and available for free under GNU General Public License version 2.0 (GPLv2) in .OVA format. Freesco is very powerful and versatile and can connect multiple home or small office networks to most types of Internet connections including dialup. The latest version 0.4.5 (released 30-03-2014) provides following features:

  • Support for up to 10 network cards
  • Support for up to 10 modems for dial in use
  • Supports up to 9 virtual networks
  • Web and console based administration
  • Built in web server
  • Built in FTP server
  • Built in SSH server
  • Built in DNS server
  • Built in DHCP server capable of static and dynamic DHCP leases
  • Built in Print server
  • Time and day based Internet access per internal computer capabilities.
  • Ban and Allow internal cross communication of internal networks
  • Ban and allow of specicif Internal and external web sites configuration.
  • Support for PPtP and IPSEC connection
  • Support for multiple external dial up connections
  • Add on package system with many packages available at com 
  • Dynamic DNS support for most major services and customizable for others
  • System runs on minimul hardware (Pentium class with 16 MB of ram)
  • System fits on a 1.44MB floppy

In this post, we’ll learn how to install and configure FreeSCO Virtual Router and different networks communicate with each other.

Configuration of Freesco Virtual Router

To configure a Freesco Virtual Router for your lab environment, download it’s .OVA from VMTN Community.

Note: User name is “Root”, and Password is “Welcome1”. You can change password later on.

Double click on .OVA to import it. Set the VM name as you desire and set storage path and click Import.

Import Freesco as a VM without any NIC.

Now, we’ll create 5 NICs as per our lab requirements. In my lab environment, I’m using VMware Workstation 12 Pro, and following table represents the network configuration for whole lab environment.

In above table, VMnet0 will be used as Management network with network type as Bridged and 192.168.2.0/24 subnet, and rest of the virtual network adapters will be used as Host-only for connecting VMs internally in a private network. VMnet1 will be used for Storage capabilities such as iSCSI along with 10.1.1.0/24 subnet. VMnet2 will be used for vMotion feature with 10.2.2.0/24 subnet. VMnet3 and VMnet4 will be used for connecting VMs.

To create a vNIC, right click on Freesco VM and click Settings, then click on Network Adapter and Click Next and add network card as per following figure.

Open console of Freesco VM and enter user name and password to login. Type “setup”, and then “c”.

And main Router/Server Menu will appear. Press “l” from main menu to configure Initial router/server type.

Press “c” option to set Ethernet interfaces like following figure.

You can choose option “a” for setting up interface name, option “b” for IP address, and “c” for setting up subnet mask.

Everything should remain default except “Trust local network 1, 2, 3, and 4” to “y” for all trusted networks.

Now press “s” to save all configurations. Then, restart the VM by typing “reboot”.

In next post, we’ll see how VMs in different subnets can communicate with each other using FreeSCO router.

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