How do I set up a firewall with minimal disk access?

Kevin D. Kinsey, DaleCo, S.P. kdk at
Wed Nov 19 13:05:23 PST 2003

Jonathon McKitrick wrote:

>Hi all,
>I'm hoping to use an old laptop for a dialup firewall.  I'd like to leave it
>always on as part of the network, but I don't want it to have the HD running
>all the time.  If possible, I'd like it to work almost completely without
>the drive.
>How could I do this?
>NOTE: Please CC me, as I am not currently subscribed.  Thanks.
#man picobsd

PICOBSD(8)              FreeBSD System Manager's Manual             

     picobsd -- floppy disk based FreeBSD system

     picobsd [options] [floppy-type [site-name]]

     The picobsd utility is a script which produces a minimal implementation
     of FreeBSD (historically called PicoBSD) which typically fits on one
     floppy disk, or can be downloaded as a single image file from some 
     such as CDROM, flash memory, or through etherboot.

     The picobsd utility was originally created to build simple standalone
     systems such as firewalls or bridges, but because of the ability to
     cross-build images with different source trees than the one in the
     server, it can be extremely useful to developers to test their code 
     out having to reinstall the system.

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