Anniversary: Core Update 50 released

by Michael Tremer, July 23, 2011

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Today, we are going to release the 50th update of IPFire 2.9. Because of that fact, a more detailed report:

How time flies. Already 6 years ago, IPFire was forked from the IPCop codebase to break new ground. Ways should be differentiated from its predecessor, to make installation, configuration and securing a small office and home networks easier and more functional.

The project grew further and further and after two years version 2 was born. This was completely distinct from the predecessor IPCop except of the idea, the web user interface and the installer. But really new was the basis IPFire was now working on: Linux kernel version 2.6 and the completely updated userland were compiled with GCC 4 – that still rings a bell by those who had to deal with that then. A milestone in the eyes of the developers who finally built a packet management system that is responsible for the installation of additional features but most importantly handles updates as well.

Since 44 months and 50 core updates, IPFire is working better than on the first day. The developers keep working on little updates that improve the base system and addons, but also bring major updates on the way. That is why the system runs very great on recent hardware and keeps up with new technology. A very special attention is paid to safety-critical problems. Many security issues of third party packages have been patched, tested and delivered only within a couple of hours.

You cannot find these things in some other free projects: Today, it is also the great third anniversary of the last update for the well-known firewall distribution IPCop. We often get asked if there is still any active development in the project and if there was not a “version 2.0” in alpha state. Comparing the development of IPFire and IPCop, one can easily see, that IPCop is hardly there where the IPFire project already has been four years ago.

Currently, IPCop is based on the Linux kernel 2.4, which is hardly maintained by the kernel developers, but however there has been no update that has found its way into the IPCop distribution. Libraries and externally maintained addons are not supported by their upstream projects for a long time and most notably, the hardware that IPCop is supposed to run on is not supported by that old codebase anymore. IPFire got rid of these problems a long time ago!

In Core Update 50, which is released today, there are updates to the packages squid (version 3.1.14), Python (version 2.7.2), apache (Version 2.2.19) and smartmontools as well as collectd.
From now on, IPFire is installable and configurable in Polish language and there have been a couple of small issues removed on the web user interface.

At last, I want to say thank you to all the people who helped IPFire on its way to become what it is now. We hope to receive such a great support by the community and all interested people in the future, too. Thank you all.