Question regarding mail and dns server on Alix/Soekris?

David Duong dduong at
Sat Apr 12 00:26:21 UTC 2008

Luke Dean wrote:
> On Mon, 7 Apr 2008, David Duong wrote:
>> I'm planning to redoing my home network.  I currently have one server 
>> (Opteron 170) that is currently a NAS, Email, and DNS server (btw, the 
>> main OS is FreeBSD).  I was thinking of purchasing an Alix2c3/Soekris 
>> 5501 and use it as a Email + DNS server.  Then dedicate my main server 
>> as a FreeBSD NFS server.
>> My question is, has anyone installed a mail + DNS server on a 
>> ALIX/Soekris PC?  If so, is it able to handle the load?
> I received a Soekris 4801 for Christmas 2005.  I put FreeBSD 6 on it. 
> It's my home network's gateway to the outside world, router, firewall 
> (pf), dns server (bind), time server (ntpd), and socks proxy (nylon).
> I wanted this to be a highly reliable machine, so I opted not to install 
> a hard drive.  It boots from the compact flash card, mounted read-only 
> so it won't wear out.  I didn't want to trust my email or web content to 
> a memory disk, so I've got those services running on another box.  It's 
> running "sendmail" just for nightly status reports, but that's probably 
> not what you're interested in.
> It wasn't easy to set this up, but it was very rewarding.  FreeBSD's 
> "diskless" startup code was in a state of flux when I put this box 
> together, but I expect it's a lot better now.  I've been happy with it. 
> I'm tempted to try upgrading it to FreeBSD 7 on some rainy weekend, and 
> I may even install a DHCP server on it this time.
> I'm not sure what numbers you're interested in for determining if the 
> box can handle the load.  "top" registers no load, a mostly idle CPU, 
> and mostly free memory.  "pfctl -s info" registers between 800 and 1000 
> states and 255 searches per second when I'm saturating my connection 
> with p2p traffic and using a bunch of complicated stateful firewall 
> rules and priority queueing.
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Thanks for the reply!  I appreciate it :)

So my plan is basically this, have a Soekris/Kris box with Postfix + 
Dovecot etc, then mount the appropriate user's mail directories to my 
future NFS server.  That way, nothing is being written on the compact 
Flash card in the Soekris/Alix box and it's just being passed on to the 

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