After my lack of success with FREESCO, I am still on the hunt for a decent lightweight router to run in ESXi to simulate a branch office scenario for my lab.  I looked at IPCop which looks like it would do the job, but it was 61MB.  Similarly PFSense looks very good, but not at over 100MB.  I then started my search again and I don’t know how I missed it – m0n0wall, 9MB.  This is much more like it:

Download the image generic-pc-vm from here

Copy to your datastore and register the VM.  I had to remove the included NICs and add my own.  As my goal is to route between 2 subnets, add 3 NICs (host only, or whatever, depending on what you are trying to achieve).

Boot the VM and in the console you need to go through the menu to designate your NICs.  You need a WAN interface, so I designated them as follows:

TypeNICESXi NIC Type
LANem1VM Network - used for management
WANem0Host Only
OPT1em2Host Only
OPT2em3Host Only

You can do this by going through option 1 on the menu and setting VLANs if appropriate, or just press enter and it will skip to NIC designation.

Then you need to set an IP address on your LAN interface, so choose option 2 and set an IP address you can reach from your LAN, then you can http://x.x.x.x to the IP address and login with ‘admin’ and ‘mono’

I was looking for a virtual router for VMware ESXi for my home lab and I came across FREESCO – a nice lightweight very simple to use linux router on a floppy disk.  No worries for all you command-line-ophobes, it is managed via a web GUI.

 

Download: http://www.screencast.com/users/esloof/folders/FREESCO/

Instructions 1

Instructions 2

 

Update – this looked so promising but I received errors on booting and never got it working at all.  I tried the latest floppy image from sourceforge, but the same – no joy, so I looked for an alternative: m0n0wall