1.3. Prerequisites

This chapter will go through the hardware and network information you need to gather to proceed through in this guide.

1.3.1. Required Hardware

First, you need to make sure you have the following hardware.

  • Destination PC with an 486 or better based CPU

  • Bootable storage medium: disk drive, usb drive, CDROM/Floppy, compact flash drive...

  • 64 MB of RAM or more

  • Two Ethernet network interfaces

  • A client computer with network or serial console access to your new m0n0wall, a screen and keyboard to make your initial configuration


Check the manual that came with your destination PC to see what sorts of bootable storage devices are usable.

A keyboard and video card is required for the initial configuration. The serial console can be enabled in the webGUI after this initial configuration, allowing the system to run without a keyboard and video.

1.3.2. Optional Hardware

VLAN tagging: The following drivers/NICs either support VLAN tagging in hardware or handle long frames properly. All other drivers/NICs use software emulation that causes a reduced MTU (which may lead to problems).

  • hardware support: bge, em, gx, nge, ti, txp

  • long frame support: dc, fxp, sis, ste, tl, tx, xl (most)

Polling: The following drivers/NICs support polling mode to improve performance by reducing interrupt overhead (at the expense of a slightly increased forwarding delay). Polling can be enabled on the System: Advanced setup page in m0n0wall.

  • polling support: dc, em, fxp, nge, rl, sis, ste, vr

Wireless: The m0n0wall 1.2x series only support a few 802.11b wireless adapters/chipsets (most notably Lucent Hermes and Intersil Prism II/2.5. m0n0wall 1.3b, which is based on FreeBSD 6, supports (almost) all Atheros-based 802.11a/b/g cards as well (and some Ralink cards too).

1.3.3. Required Network Information

You'll need some information about your Internet connection. You'll need to know which category of the below list your Internet connection falls into, and the appropriate details. You can usually find these details on your ISP's website, and/or in paperwork you receive when you sign up for service. You can also call your ISP's technical support to get this information.

  • Static IP.  - If you have a connection with a static IP, you will need to make note of your IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS server IP's.

  • DHCP.  - If you have an Internet connection that uses DHCP, you need not gather any more information unless your ISP requires you to pass a certain DHCP hostname value (this is uncommon). If this is the case, you will need to check with your ISP to determine this hostname.

  • PPPoE.  - Many DSL providers provide PPPoE or PPPoA service. Either of these is supported with the PPPoE WAN option. You will need to know your PPPoE username and password and possibly your service name (though this can usually be left blank).

  • PPTP.  - A few ISPs require you to connect to them via PPTP. If your ISP requires this, you will need a username, password, local IP address, and remote IP address from your ISP.

  • BigPond.  - This setting is for BigPond cable connections. You will need your username, password, and possibly authentication server and domain.

You will also need to know if you are connected directly to the Internet or if you are behind a modem or other device that is connected to the Internet. For example, maybe your Internet connection uses PPPoE but you have a PPPoE modem that receives the IP address from your Internet provider and then offers those network services to your internal network using DHCP or static IP.


The instructions for using the m0n0wall device are written with the idea that your m0n0wall has direct access to the Internet. If you have another device between your m0n0wall and the Internet that offers security or otherwise affects the network traffic (such as a proxy service, NAT device or port use limitations by your Internet provider) the configuration instructions and troubleshooting may not apply to your case.

Make note of the appropriate information for your connection type for later use.


Be sure that you write down all of your existing Internet configuration BEFORE making changes to use your m0n0wall device. Once you have disconnected yourself from the Internet you will lose access to the numerous online help sources until you have re-established your connection.