C.1. Why Run a Flash Based System?

Would you like to run your IPCop machine as a fan less network appliance? Many IPCop users remove their CD drives, floppy disks, keyboards and monitors from their IPCop firewalls. How about removing the hard drive?

Using IPCop's compact flash install, a compact flash card will simulate your hard drive. You will wind up with a very quiet machine, no disk drive noise and often no fan noise. Flash based systems are usually run on small “MiniITX” or other small footprint machines. Several manufacturers make machines that are great for use as IPCop machines, complete with multiple network cards.

Of course these machines tend to be more expensive than machines rescued from the dumpster.

Another popular reason to run from a small compact flash system is that these systems tend to be extremely portable. You can pack one along with your laptop and use it as a firewall in your hotel room.

You may be wondering about the viability of such a system, given the limits on the number of times a compact flash can be written to. IPCop changes its file system attributes so that the last file access time is not recorded on the flash's simulated hard drive. Logs and other temporary files are kept on a ram disk. The logs are compressed weekly, at shutdown and when the ram disk begins to fill up. Using this strategy, it has been estimated that a compact flash should be able to last 5 years.