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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, IPCop needs pinging to stay awake? in Technical; Hi all - today's question is about IPCop. I'd temporarily forgotten about this botch-fix that myself and another technician had ...
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    El_Nombre's Avatar
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    IPCop needs pinging to stay awake?

    Hi all - today's question is about IPCop. I'd temporarily forgotten about this botch-fix that myself and another technician had done, but seeing as one of our older IPCop boxes is doing it's level best to choke and die I took it upon myself to go into work today and throw another one together JUST INCASE it does... That way I can flip the switch in Group Policy, so to speak, and use this slightly friskier model.

    Anyways, the problem we encountered was keeping the thing alive. We'd noticed it just not working either allowing traffic or using the web inteface without it being pinged every so often. Or at least not working without being under some kind of load. Also, seems like it refuses to work on a machine that hasn't pinged it first anyway... So we set up a ping as a scheduled task on a server we never used to run every two minutes for the rest of time and as I recall pinged it from a bunch of machines way back when.

    Did I miss something in setting up IPCop both times? Has anyone else known anything like this?

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Very interesting you should say this. We run smoothwall express 3 (which I believe at one point was closely related to IPcop), and I find that every morning requests just don't get processed for a short while until the user refreshes their page or waits long enough to get "contact" with the server.

    Likewise, if it has been say 30mins since I last contacted the box then I can't connect to the web interface or ping it straight away (i'll set it on a ping -t and wait about 5-6 attempts before it starts responding). It seems very similar if not identical to the problem you're having, although as noted the actual software isn't exactly the same. I have put it down to the fact we are running it on an old desktop which, when it ran Windows XP, often also "jammed up" and did weird things. Also the fact that is was setup in a "quick and dirty" way didn't help!

    For us, the ping/contact issue seems unique to each client wanting contact, and one machine making that contact doesn't mean everyone else will get it then first time. Very bizarre although the fact that I plan to get entirely new hardware is the reason why I haven't looked too closely into it.

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    El_Nombre's Avatar
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    Well, back in this morning and it's definitely doing this exactly as I described. I'll have a rummage and a post around and see if I dig anything up as we've set up three IPCops now and all three have done exactly this, until some time passed and our current two just started succumbing to the relentless pings and 'behaving'. It CAN'T just be me can it?

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    TheLibrarian
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    If you're using XP as the O/S could it be that the drives have stopped? Power settings etc.

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    To my knowledge both smoothwall and IPcop use a variant of linux. I'm dissappointed you say you have seen the problem on 3 separate installs, although is that in 3 different sets of hardware or the same physical box? if the latter it could be a hardware issue like ourselves..

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    El_Nombre's Avatar
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    Three separate boxes sadly - two Pentium 4s and one Sempron (most recent/current.) I've just got no idea what this is about. :S

    Are there any free alternatives to IPCop going that are as (seemingly) easy to set up? It's now more out of necessity that I get something running in terms of a proxy server that can filter out URLs/categories I specify.

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    Well, you could see if you have the same problems we have with smoothwall express 3? It's basically the same as IPcop anyway which may be a good thing (just as easy to use) or bad (the problem may be there still). We use it primarily for the dansguardian although I have pondered installing a vanilla dansguardian on ubuntu with squid and seeing if it makes any difference.

    I know that boosman/webman here use IPcop (with advproxy/url filter) so would be interesting to hear from others who use it and whether the problems are also seen.

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    El_Nombre's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help dgsmith.

    Okay I have a spare with a dual core/2gb in it I can rope into action as a test for Smoothwall and stick the url filter & advanced proxy on it also. Looking through the setup it does seem to be the same animal as IPCop indeed.

    But yeah, if anyone can throw me any more bones about my initial problem you'll save my sanity.

    I'll report back about Smoothwall also.

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    Do you have some sort of watchdog timer set in the BIOS? This tends to be a server-platform only type of issue...

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    El_Nombre's Avatar
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    Hi Tom

    Nah nothing like that, just set it up on an old-ish workstation.

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    El_Nombre's Avatar
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    Bluurgh well I've just set up that one, but rather than go Smoothwall some nitrogen bubble in my brain or something made me try IPCop again.

    THIS TIME it seems to have worked, though I have -t pings going on to it from a server. I might knock that out tomorrow.

    I'll see... It'll be a test to see if it's still awake bright and early tomorrow morning. I know I'm usually not!

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    El_Nombre's Avatar
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    We live and learn...

    ...Today I learned to RTFM.

    Separated the network cards; RED to router, GREEN to network rather than just assign the reservations and plumb it in willy nilly. Now it's happy. Now I'm happy. I said 'willy' .

    Cheers for the help though guys, I need shooting.

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    Interesting - did you have them both plugged in to the same switch/network before? With our's I just have both plugged in to the same switch as it wouldn't work with just 1 and I didn't want it to act as a "proxy" between the inet but rather purely as just a web filter.

    Maybe this is our problem too(!)

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    Assuming IPCop will still work similarly to Smoothie (it is effectively based on the 1.9 branch of Express, whereas our commercial products are on version 7(!) and next Express will be v8).. then it should be possible to use just the green i/face, and set your default gw on the IPCop to your green gateway, thereby allowing it to act as just a filter.

    HTH

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    El_Nombre's Avatar
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    Ah right right - thanks Tom. And thanks everyone who replied and helped my dreams of filtering out the games and pr0n become reality.

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