Nethserver as a router/firewall on my notebook

Hi everyone,
I’m going to be probably a Nethserver’s new user.
I’m not a network expert or a geek whatsoever, but I often spend my time learning new stuff about computer, and I am now interested in this OS to realize a new project.
So, before I install Nethserver on my notebook I’d like to understand if it suits my needs.
I’d like to make my notebook work as a router/firewall. In a few words, it should get internet connection from another router/AP or my smathphone in tethering through its wireless adapter (which is going to be a WAN port), then sharing the connection through its only one ethernet port (which is going to be a LAN port), to which I’ll plug a little switch or an AP.
Actually, I’ll probably install it on Vmware first.
Can Nethserver work this way? Feel free to give me any advice?

Hi @mur and welcome to NethServer communtiy! I am glad you found your way to these forums.
It should be possible this way yes… BUT
Is your intention to still use your laptop as a workstation for day to day use? In that case: find another solution!
I think you are better off by getting yourself a small, low consumption, small form factor system like an Intel NUC with dual network adapter and use that as a dedicated system for your NethServer install.
Or just find an old pc with 2 network interfaces that has a decent amount of memory and preferably a low consumption processor. I found this post on makeuseof that gives some insights in how to build a low energy system:
Maybe the low end option could be something for you.
You already mention you will use VMWare first. That is a good start to get used to NethServer and try what it can and can’t do. There are several alternatives for VMWare like VirtualBox. If you use a bare metal hypervisor, we have several successful installs on ProxMox, HyperV and ESXi

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Hi @robb and thank you very much for your answer.

Is your intention to still use your laptop as a workstation for day to day use? In that case: find another solution!

No, not at all. it is just kind of an experiment in order to understand how this OS works. Moreover, it might come in handy when my internet connection drops, which happens very often lately.
The other solutions you told me about are a bit more “professional” to my eyes, and it might be something to think about when I get a better understanding of this OS and, of course, if I really need it

Ok, I’m going to install it on my Vmware and see what happen. If I bump into any problems, which is going to happens for sure :-)) I hope you all will be patient with me, and help me overcome them.

Have a good day,

If you install in VMware, the most logical option is to configure just 1 interface as GREEN. In VMWare configure that interface as bridged so it will be on the same subnet as your laptop.
This way you can test all nethserver options except the gateway functionality

As Green? I don’t think I got it.
If I configure just 1 interface on VMware how can I possibly use Nethserver properly?
In this way, through what is the internet connection going to pass from wifi adpater to ethernet port?

In the case to configure NS just with a GREEN interface, your laptop host will connect directly to your ISP router (through WiFi) You don’t use the wired interface at all.
NethServer is a lot more than a gateway. You can use it as an account provider and all the other applications that you can install on NethServer are available.
If you want NethServer as a gateway, you will need it on dedicated hardware. You mentioned to use your laptop. That should be possible, however I think I recall some trouble with a WiFi adapter as (RED) interface.
In test mode as a VM in VMWare, I think you are stuck with the scenario I proposed, unless you create a virtual network in VMWare with other clients that use NethServer as a gateway. Then NethServer RED interface will be bridged on your LAN subnet. NethServer GREEN will be a virtual interface in VMWare and all clients will use a virtual interface within VMWare, Of course you need to create your clients in VMWare too and configure them with network settings on the same subnet as your GREEN interface.
This kind of testing will need a lot of RAM since NethServer likes at least 2GB and each client 1GB. And your host OS also needs some Ram…

“WiFi adapter as (RED)” meaning as WAN port?
Thank you

Technically you should say RED as “external interface” for the network behind NethServer.
It often occurs that when you can’t bridge your ISP modem/router, NethServer RED interface is on the private subnet of the internal interface of your ISP modem/router, commonly called “double NAT”
ExternalIP ISP modem/router (public IP address)
ISP modem/router
Internal IP ISP modem/router (private IP address often
External IP NethServer RED interface IP on the same subnet as the internal IP of the ISP modem/router (192.168.1.x/24) where x is a number between 2 and 254, GW is the internal IP address of ISP modem/router)
Internal IP NethServer GREEN interface IP (any private IP adres not part of the subnet of the RED interface, for instance 192.168.2.x/24)

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