Experiences With eBox Platform (Total Network Solution for Small Business)

By Angsuman Chakraborty, Gaea News Network
Saturday, September 1, 2007

eBox platform provides a mini-debian installation along with its modules to allow you to provide and manage network services on your corporate network. The key capabilities includes support for multiple external network interfaces with load balancing, traffic shaping, transparent proxy, firewall, content filters, DNS (domain name server), NTP (time server), mail server, Jabber Instant Messaging server, SAMBA for file sharing, DHCP and more. In short it promise to be a one-stop solution for all network services needs for small businesses. Particularly I was interested in load balancing between multiple ADSL providers and traffic shaping capabilities. Here are my experiences with eBox platform.

eBox allows you to test it from a live CD which I opted to do for simplicity. The machine booted quickly with the Live CD and I was presented with a Firefox browser in maximized mode. The default password is ebox which allowed me to login to system.

Initially I started with two interfaces - a LAN connection to my corporate network which provides transparent internet access using a gateway and a USB ADSL connection from VSNL / Tata Indicom modem. I expected the system to recognize both the interfaces and specify the IP addresses etc. Unfortunately it recognized only the LAN interface and ignore the USB.

I then used the alternative LAN cable for VSNL (Broadband provider) with an additional LAN card. It did recognize both the interfaces now but I was unable to successfully configure either of the interfaces & gateway after several attempts. Let me clarify few points here. First of all I am very well conversant with setting up IP addresses & gateway. All the interfaces are in working order and are tested to be properly working. And yet I was unable to use either or both of them to configure for outbound connections. This was very frustrating to say the least.

For some reason eBox doesn’t allow me access to the console / terminal. I tried Ctril-Alt-F1 through Ctril-Alt-F12 without success. In fact after trying it I was unable to return back to the GUI.

Add to it the prospect that you have to dedicate a machine for eBox makes it an unattractive proposal for me.
My first foray into eBox was a disaster to say the least.

I have decided to stick to Fedora and use Anastosov’s patches to enable proper load balancing and transparent fail-over. At least I know I can make it work. Any better suggestions welcome.


February 14, 2010: 6:31 am

So how do I configure port forwarding on TAD100 ?

May 25, 2008: 3:16 pm

that were old days…
now, you can easily aptitude install ebox on the latest ubuntu hardy.
it works great here…

September 13, 2007: 1:31 pm

I did all that without any effect.

September 13, 2007: 12:46 am

For the interface to act as a gateway, you need to set as external.

September 3, 2007: 7:20 am

Hi Javi,

I used ADSL 2+ modem (TAD 100) provided by my broadband provider. The interesting thing is that the modem is configured as a router and firewall. So I just have to give the ethernet interface connecting to this modem a static IP in 192.168.1.x range, configure the router to and I am done. is the IP of the router / modem. The external IP address is also attached to the router where I can use port forwarding to allow external servers to connect to my machine. While the modem uses ADSL technology, I don’t have to use ADSL because the modem is setup as router & gateway and also uses NAT.

I was using a Pentium 1.8 Ghz machine with 256 MB RAM and Intel chipset Motherboard / Mainboard. The ethernet cards are Linux compatible as I used them before on Fedora Core 6 machines. I was unable to even connect to the internet even though the ethernet interfaces were showing and the IP addresses and gateway configured correctly.

Let me know what further details I can provide.

Thanks for your offer to help.

September 3, 2007: 2:27 am


Could you elaborate a bit more which problems you experienced configuring the interfaces?

Last time I tried the eBox live-cd I could use it successfully to set up a multipath scenario in our office.

The USB thing is normal, we haven\’t even tried such a connection yet. We will work on it very soon.

However, if you have at least two network interfaces and you stick to the following rules you shouldn\’t have any problem:

- You must have at least one internal interface which your clients will connect to

- You must have at least one external interface - marked as such on the network configuration- plus your gateways accessible via your external interface.

As I said before it would be cool if you tell us a bit more about your issues to try fix them :)



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