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Article: Turning the SEGA Dreamcast into a Linux firewall/router

Jun 9, 2003 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 79 views


This highly detailed 101-page how-to article provides the necessary background and procedures to turn a SEGA Dreamcast gaming console into a Linux-based software router with firewalling and virtual private networking capabilities. The article explains how to create the necessary toolchain for compiling both programs and the Linux kernel, and shows how, starting from scratch, you… can build a Linux operating system that runs entirely in memory.

Why bother?

Today, the total costs of ownership (TCO) of a personal computer are so low, that you might wonder: “Why bother to build a software router based on a gaming console?”

Actually, a number of technical challenges made the project particularly interesting, including . . .

  • First, the hardware architecture is a non-x86 computer system, so there is the challenge of learning to work with a “foreign” platform.
  • Next, there is the challenge of learning to setup and use cross compilers. Cross compiling raises a number of issues you don't run into when you are simply recompiling your favorite program to run on your (x86) PC, assuming the program was already designed to run on an x86 platform.
  • Last but not least, I haven't found any articles describing the set of steps I summarized above — so, I wanted to be the first! :-)

Ready to start?

Here's everything you need . . .

  1. Read the full 101-page article (400KB PDF file)

    “ADSL software router with firewalling and virtual
    private networking on embedded devices with Linux
    on the example of a SEGA Dreamcast gaming console”

    by Christian Berger

  2. Patches needed by the article (51KB gzip file)
  3. Sample system image (2MB binary file)

Note: As you read the article, you'll want to download the image file and follow the instructions given in Chapters 2 and 3 of the article for burning the file. Once you've booted your SEGA Dreamcast, use your browser and open the following address:

Talk back!

Do you have comments or questions on this article? talkback here

The article is Copyright © 2003 Christian Berger. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

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