Smoothwall not free software

Alex Hudson home at
Mon Aug 27 10:27:52 UTC 2001

On Sun, Aug 26, 2001 at 08:42:17PM -0600, Richard Stallman wrote:
> With those restrictions, those restricted parts of SmoothWall are not
> even free software any more.  I should talk with the main SmoothWall
> developers and ask them to change this; can anyone tell me who they
> are, and how to reach them?

Richard Morrell et al are contactable via the website I
believe. However - this problem has been reported to licensing at,
because I had a short conversation with David Turner about it. You ought to
talk to him if you haven't already.

> Also, I'd like someone to send me some basic information about
> SmoothWall, so I can avoid making foolish mistakes when I write?

SmoothWall is basically a GNU/Linux system you put on a gateway box,
targetted at home users and SMEs. It has a web interface, etc., so you can
configure it easy from your local network. Features include reasonable
security, support for protocols such as IPSec, IKE (via FreeS/WAN I
believe), support for most netowkr hardware including ADSL. It's a fairly
easy install too. To be honest, it's nothing amazingly special, but it's
nicely polished.

SmoothWall is pretty popular, in the UK at least. It has been on a number of
magazine coverdiscs, including Windows-oriented magazines, and is also
popular on old hardware (486s, etc.). 'Smooth Wall' also appears to be a
trademark, and the intention seems to be that SmoothWall will become a
commercial product. This 'commercialistation' is where a lot of the
disagreement comes from: Richard Morrell wants to be the sole distributer,
and doesn't like it when others sell copies of SmoothWall.

> Does anyone have a copy of version 0.9.8?  Please see if that version
> contains, under the GPL, older free versions of some or all of these
> non-free programs.  If it does, could you tell me which parts of the
> non-free code it has, and which parts it does not have?

Jason Clifford (jason at, jason at - not sure which
is 'primary') would be the person to talk to. I'm not sure if he's an
absolute regular user of SmoothWall, but he's the guy who pretty much kicked
all this off (see also He's
got copies of the software, and has investigated it fairly thoroughly from
the looks of things, so he should be able to answer in some fine detail.

I hope this helps some.



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