MInimal hardware requirements

So from old topic , Pentium III is too old and Pentium IV will be no supported, qhich is minimal pc configuration suggested ? I need justfirewwaal, AP, VPN, an WOL feature.

I don’t use VPN, but a quad-core 1 GHz 64 -bit mini-PC serves quite well, as does a NanoPi quad-core ARM SBC. The latter is 32 bit and future support uncertain.

Indeed, I have a dual-core CubieTruck ARM SBC which is also quite adequate too, although no longer manufactured.

Any 64-bit machine would probably suit as a “trial-horse”

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To be sure about long term support, follow the “Linux main stream” ( x86_64, 2GByte RAM ).
32Bit systems aren’t really support anymore. :frowning:

In my experience (IPFire 64 bit), you need 3GB RAM to run ClamAV & Web Proxy/URL Filter - so as not to page to storage. System will run on 2GB, but paging slows responsiveness a lot.
I have most of mine on 4GB (2x 2GB matching pair to take advantage of memory interleaving).

Look for an AES-NI capable CPU, for ease up a lot the CPU load for VPN.

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I was running IPfire core update 134 on a Pentium III 1GHz with 512MB of RAM, 100Mb/s network adapters and wi-fi AP. Was fast enough for a 20Mb DSL connection.
Problem is that 32bit arch will be less and less supported.

As a minimal 64bit config, I’d suggest using AMD Athlon 64 with 1GB RAM. A 3500+ can manage a >400Mb/s connection, but might be not very good for VPN usage as it doesn’t support AES-NI instructions (like most of the CPUs before 2012).

A cheep option is a off lease i5 3rd gen PC.
I use a HP 620 plus But the price has gone up since I bought mine.
The HP 620 is cheeper but 1 NIC.
Would have to use USB not sure of the performance.

AMD Athlon 3500+ has a TDP of about 60W.
Ten times power drain than a boxed firewall, only for the CPU. Plus the crew of the gig: mainboard, ram, network cards, graphic card, hard drive/s (hope not optical drive!) plus inefficiency of the power supply.
230W? 280W maybe it’s more realistic.
According to CostToTravel, every kw consumed in germany costs around 0,25 €. Yearly energy bill for a 280W firewall is about 620-630 euros (around 2500kw consumed par year; 2000 if you consider 230W as the consumption, this lead to a save about 20% on euro values).

For 180-200 euros you can find an used HP Elite 8200 MT. It carries a 320w power supply, 90% efficient at 50% load (it’s not the best, but it’s rather high), 87% at 20% or 100% load.
The smallest CPU available for that model of computer is about 4x more powerful than AMD Athlon 64 3500+, doubling the threads without SMT, the second top tier about 11x with 4 threads.


Top tier hits more than 14x. First i3 2100 CPU has 65w of TDP, i5 2500 and i7 2600 95 but a far more efficient way to manage power consumption on low CPU-intensive tasks than the Athlon 3500+

Data about performance is pure math on PassMark benchmarks, don’t take that for granted but… Maybe for less energy consumption you can have a better performance hardware that can lead to a better performance and more services. Consider that Intel Core 2nd generation is not “that” efficient and not that patched for vulnerabilities. Looking deep enough maybe you can find a far less power demaing hardware with more efficient CPU like second gen Ryzen *GE with a mainboard… and saving more power (35W of TDP…) Saving that money from the energy bill.


Sometimes old hardware is just… energy (and money) draining.

EDIT: after a deep search i found that seems are 3 different specs of AMD Athlon 3500+, and i was not able to find all data on AMD site, unfortunately. 59w, 45w, 35w of TDP. And without an equivalent “ARK” (Intel spec archive) for team read, i am not able to find a precise and reliable source of data.
So the math i did about energy/power consumption, computational power and money for electricity bill can be between “optimistic” and “incorrect. A lot”, which is far from what i wished for, nevertheless i was not able to make a precise evaluation of power drain and energy cost even with first informations i found.
So looking for a newer hardware could not be that gain about energy and money, but in any case for the same amount of energy spent, the firewall is far more powerful, so the energy saving strategies could, at the end, save few more bucks than expected.
This experience, regardless, don’t change my opinion: too old hardware often is a waste of energy (therefore money) and time (sometimes it’s priceless).
It’s nice to have a collection of old hardware, keep it tidy, clean, run time to time. A 24/7 device should be the most computational-power efficient compared to energy drained.

Hi everyone.

I only installed ipfire yesterday and running it on the following board:

https://www.jetwaycomputer.com/JBC430U941.html

Works just nice and the CPU supports AES-NI.
Didn’t measure total power consumption, but should be not overly high.

12V 3.3A power adapter. You can read the power consumption looking for the ampere related do 230V section of the brick.

To clarify, you are referring to an HP t620 plus thin client.
Idle power consumption 5.8W without an expansion card.
Couple of questions:

  • What NIC did you put in it?
  • Can you hear the fan?

Yes, they have gotten kind of expensive.

No, you can read the volt-amps. Volt-amps != watts for switching power supplies. Watts must be measured with something like a Kill-A-Watt.

[ EDIT ]

Actually, multiplying the power supply input ratings for volts and amps gives the power supply’s input requirement with 100% load. It is not good engineering practice to run a power supply continuously at 100% load, so power supplies are usually over-sized a bit.

What NIC did you put in it? 

Can you hear the fan?  

Dell Broadcom II Dual Port Gigabit PCIe Network Interface Card 0G218C
No. Room with serve and dehumidifier.
Walked over to it and very quite. and don’t feel air blowing.

On the subject of power consumption a dedicated IPFire appliance is the clear choice.
Like that from Lightning wire.
If power consumption is the end all part of the equation than ARM / Pi would be the thing
If you can live with the lack luster performance
A HP t620 (none plus model) thin client with a USB nic would run Circles around a Pi.
And cost less to buy. Forget the environental impact of building new computers.

My post was not clear. I should have said that AMD Athlon 64 are the oldest 64 bit CPU I’ve tested and that IPFire runs well on it.
At the plug, I’ve measured a consumption of 75W (=100€/yr in France). It is a lot for a firewall. But my house is located in a cold place and has electric heating, so my firewall acts has “useful heater”. :wink:

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Nice consumption and smart positioning for the device :slight_smile:
Sometimes these small common sense tricks are never well considered…
Last Server and UPS i positioned were raised by floor for about 10cm. You never know when a lot of rain comes…

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Since Core Update 150 I get the message “You are running IPFire on a legacy architecture and it is recommended to upgrade” on the main page.

My system is an Atom D2500 with 3GB RAM and it seems to run fine: https://fireinfo.ipfire.org/profile/5ee22b4ffb32edd119681ccaa7ea0c45321dc9f5

Any need to upgrade it?

Read this blog post and it will explain why you should upgrade from 32 bit to 64 bit.
https://blog.ipfire.org/post/32-bit-is-dead-long-live-32-bit
Your fireinfo profile shows that your processor is 64 bit capable so just do a backup and then re-install and restore the backup.
You will need to follow the section about “RRD-Graphs & Sensor-RRD-Graphs are wrong” in the wiki at https://wiki.ipfire.org/optimization/hardware-change
as the graphs are affected by the change.

Atom D2500, according to Intel ARK


supports x64. So lucky you, it’s only a matter of reinstall and restore. But feel free to clean up your hardware, put more ram in (if possible) and use another disk drive if the current is quite old.