IPFire 2.11 available on ARM

by Michael Tremer, October 5, 2011

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The IPFire project is proud to announce the availability of an ARM port of IPFire 2.11.

A team of developers has been working on an ARM port of IPFire for the past few weeks and is now proud to announce the first beta release of IPFire 2.11 on ARM.
Why is ARM such an ideal platform for IPFire?

IPFire is small and well-known firewall distribution that has very few requirements on the hardware. It is so tiny that it fits on a small microSD card but can be enhanced by additional software depending on the network requirements and the power of the hardware. That means that a very small board is sufficient for a basic but secure router and VPN gateway. If there is more performance available, you can have Intrusion Detection, content filtering and many additional services.

In our society, environmental pollution has become more of a concern in our daily lives. We run a lot of devices continuously, in our homes and offices, and excessive power consumption is important to the environment, and our money. With the right combination of hardware and software, we are able to decrease our impact on the environment while still maintaining the features needed in todays networks. The team at IPFire seek minimum environmental impact and maximum features as one of our goals.

Here is our latest step towards that goal.

Today, we release the first IPFire image that can be installed on ARM hardware. The image contains the full installation of IPFire and be run on any ARM based device with an Marvel Kirkwood SoC or compatible processor.

Daily Data Inc. sponsored one Dreamplug from Globalscale which started the development and was used to build the code for the armv5tel platform. This is the lowest common denominator, and we expect to release another version for armv7hl in the near future to take advantage of the hardware floating point embedded in those processors.

For all these aims we need your help. If you are a developer, experienced IPFire user or a company or individual able to help, please consider supporting this project by writing to arm@ipfire.org.

Hardware donations are needed and very much appreciated. Compiling IPFire on ARM takes about half a week and there must be an extra kernel for every SoC that is on the market. We also need volunteers to test the current image (linked below), helping locate any bugs or features we have missed in developing the platform port.

We look forward to your response to this development. Only through your stated interest and continued support that can we continue to develop IPFire for the ARM CPUs. We need your responses to determine whether we will continue to expand IPFire into areas which have been neglected so far. Please join.

Download IPFire 2.11 image
Installation instructions