Product & Company FAQs

What is the Smoothwall Open Source Project?

The Smoothwall Open Source Project was set up to develop and maintain Smoothwall Express – a free firewall that includes its own security-hardened GNU/Linux operating system and an easy-to-use web interface. The project is entirely funded by the company’s commercial arm; Smoothwall Limited, which also employs many of the key project team members. There are also a number of individuals with no association to SmoothWall Limited who are voluntary project team members.

Who are Smoothwall Limited?

Smoothwall Limited provides resources and funding for the Smoothwall Open Source Project. As the commercial arm of Smoothwall, it offers a range of supported commercial applications to schools, enterprise networks and small/medium businesses. For more information visit the Smoothwall Limited website.

What is Smoothwall Express?

Smoothwall Express is a network firewall produced by the Smoothwall Open Source Project Team. Designed with home and small business users in mind, Express is based upon a security-hardened subset of the GNU/Linux operating system and is completely Free*  to use, download and distribute.
*Free as in beer, libre, freedom. There is a lengthier explanation of “free software” on the GNU website.

What does Smoothwall Limited produce?

Smoothwall Limited produces security solutions with commercial support designed for schools, enterprise networks and small/medium businesses. Products include the Guardian range of web content filters, advanced firewalls and other Internet, email and VPN security applications. In 2007 the company also launched its first ever Unified Threat Management (UTM) hardware appliance; the UTM-1000. These products are supported by Smoothwall’s own technical team (based in Southampton) and a global network of resellers. For more information visit the Smoothwall Limited website.

What is the Smoothwall Open Source Project Team?

The Smoothwall Open Source Project Team consists of a group of dedicated, talented people who contribute towards this project in their own personal free time.
A large amount of code is also contributed during working hours by key Project Team members, who are also permanent employees of Smoothwall Limited. For more information about the core project team members, please click here.

Who owns the Smoothwall Open Source Project?

While Smoothwall Limited funds the Project, and the Project Team manage and contribute to it, no single entity can lay claim to the Project in its entirety. All program code and other works are the copyright of their respective authors unless assigned and noted otherwise by the author. The Project in essence belongs to the community that contributes to it.

Who has overall responsibility for the Project website?

Smoothwall Limited has overall responsibility for all web content, except for user postings and 3rd party contributions, where responsibility (for submission, content, ownership and copyright) remains with the authors. The underlying infrastructure behind this web site is managed and funded by Smoothwall Limited.

Who has overall responsibility for the Smoothwall Express code?

Aslak and Datalas have overall control of the Smoothwall Express code base managing both the build and test processes as well as the release process. This may change to include other members of both Smoothwall Ltd and other Smoothwall Express team members.

Is the Smoothwall Open Source Project in competition with Smoothwall Ltd?

No. Smoothwall Ltd’s security products are designed for commercial customers and come with support packages. Smoothwall Express is a Free, Open Source firewall aimed at small and home office users.

The Smoothwall Open Source Project and Smoothwall Ltd operate a symbiotic relationship. The Project provides a fertile testing and development ground for bleeding edge features (some of which are used by Smoothwall Ltd under the terms of the relevant licence) and in turn, Smoothwall Ltd provides employment for key team members. Without support from Smoothwall Ltd, Express would not exist in its current form and project team members would not be able to deliver the quick fixes and feature-rich functionality that sets our Open Source firewall apart from the rest.

How are Smoothwall Limited’s products licensed?

Smoothwall Ltd’s software products are released under a dual license that accommodates GPL-licensed code alongside software written specifically for our commercial products. Where appropriate, features developed in this way are often ‘back-ported’ and re-licensed under the GPL for use within Express. Other 3rd party software remains under various original licenses (e.g. Perl, Apache, etc).