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I am trying to set up Ubuntu 12.04 as a router so I can isolate an IP subnet. For the isolated subnet, connections are only allowed via port forwarding. Other than that, neither inbound nor outbound connections will be allowed. (I intend to use Shorewall rather than mess with netfilter and iptables myself, if it matters.)

Yesterday I tried a number of possibilities in my /etc/network/interfaces and couldn't even get the machine to not pause during booting, much less work. I will admit I did enable forwarding in the kernel, but I wouldn't expect that to break this.

Here's what I tried:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

#net - Internet and normal CS network
#explicitly listing this slowed down boot?
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet

#loc - this is the security class network (sandbox)
#For simplicity we set it up as full
#Took out auto because might be causing delay on boot;  restore when fast.
#iface eth1 static
#      address
#      netmask
#      broadcast

The commented lines show options I tried initially, then dropped when the machine still wouldn't boot without the full minute networking pause. I checked kern.log, and it basically says the network process terminated with status 1, which wasn't terribly helpful.

Should I disable Network Manager? What should I have in my file? Do I even need anything in this file other than the default, or is it just for ifup/ifdown?

A diagram of my network is attached. Sorry about the messiness; it was intended for my own consumption and evolved over time. My Ubuntu machine is the "fw" (firewall) machine in between the networks, and it has a separate NIC on each network. I am now setting up a new machine from scratch in case that's easier. Diagram of my network

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So, where is the ubuntu server on your diagram? The middle FW? and oh! are you trying to accomplish this using one NIC? have you installed dhcp-server bind9 have you configured dhcpd.conf properly? can you include in your question. You need a firewall at least using Webmin – Achu Jul 26 '13 at 15:50
My Ubuntu machine is the "fw" (firewall) machine in between the networks, and it has a separate NIC for each network. I have not attempted to set up DHCP yet, nor a firewall. My first concern is simply getting routing with forwarding working. – Paul Jul 26 '13 at 17:47
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Ok, I think my main mistake was leaving off the "inet" on the second adapter. The new machine reboots happily. I think there must have been another problem with the original machine that it didn't like the cut-down file above.

Also, a very useful command (for now?) for testing this file is:

sudo bash /etc/init.d/networking restart

This is deprecated; technically I think you're supposed to do ifdown and ifup for each of your interfaces now.

Here is my /etc/network/interfaces:

auto lo
iface lo inet loopback

auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

auto eth1
iface eth1 inet static

I still don't know if this file is actually required or not, especially once I set up shorewall.

share|improve this answer
If someone wants me to post some of my shorewall config files for this, let me know. – Paul Aug 5 '13 at 22:33

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