Build Your Own Speedy Little Linux-Powered DIY Router


Building your own router might sound like a fools errand, but Ars Technica found that it was not only pretty simple, it also produced better results than most commercial options.

The project here uses a mini PC and an SSD. Once you gather those up, you’ll just install Ubuntu Server, set up a few very simple commands and you’ll be on your way to a completely DIY router. The end result is a speedy LAN router that outperforms most commercial options. Obviously most of us do not need this, but if you’re a fan of tinkering or you want complete control over your network, this is a pretty straightforward way to do it. Head over to Ars Technica for the complete guide, alongside their other plans for testing out some alternate operating systems.

The Ars guide to building a Linux router from scratch [Ars Technica]


  • Not a bad little project for understanding how a router works.

    Another good option is a Banana Pi + VLAN capable switch + IPFire open source software. I’ve used this as my production router at home for the past 4 months and it hasn’t skipped a beat. It is far more reliable than any of the commercial routers I have used previously, has tonnes of great features, and is very secure.

  • A cheap TP-LINK wifi router with some custom firmware like DD-WRT or openWRT, Tomato, etc. would be a better option than this cheap mini PC with nix. For starts the TPlink will have WIFI and 5 gigabit ports and probably a WAN/BRIDGE port.

  • The idea might also appeal to those to like to make an AiO-type appliance; router, web/file/FTP, NAS/media server, etc..
    I’d imagine this hardware probably supports other Linux/BSD-like distro’s. Router-specific OS’ like Smoothwall or pfSense are great alternatives if you’re not keen on tinkering with iptables manually or using other CLI wrapper tools.

    Heck, if aesthetics don’t bother you, there’s no reason to use an old desktop, Intel NUC (possibly even a Pi), depending on your needs/requirements.

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