The Smoothwall Open Source Project was set up in 2000 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 Smoothwall GPL project was founded in the summer of 2000 by Lawrence Manning (Principle Code Author) and Richard Morrell (Project Manager). Their goal was to create a Linux distribution that could convert a redundant PC into a hardened internet firewall device. With help from other early contributors; Jon Fautley and Tom Ellis, the first Smoothwall Firewall was posted to sourceforge.net at the end of August 2000.

The project was immediately popular and grew rapidly. Within weeks, thousand of copies had been downloaded and Smoothwall was appearing regularly on magazine cover CDs in the UK and overseas. Many more developers joined the team and new versions were released almost weekly, incorporating new features based on software contributions from all round the world.

Version 0.9.9 was a major milestone for the project team, who perceive it as the point at which the project “grew up”. Released in September 2001, this version incorporated a web-based multi-language GUI so the firewall could be used and administered by non-Linux people. It also included the Snort Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and support for ADSL modems and PPPoE connections.

December 2003 saw the release of Smoothwall Express 2.0 and an array of comprehensive written documentation. By June 2004, Express 2.0 had seen over 200,000 installations.

The alpha version of Express 3 (code-named Koala) was released in September 2005. Based on the Linux 2.6 kernel, this test version featured new open architecture, designed to make it easy for developers to produce their own security components. With the benefit of software contributions from around the world, a Beta version followed in 2007. This version was code named “Degu”, in remembrance of one of our team’s pets, who sadly died during development. (Admittedly though this was not much of a surprise given the length of time it took us to get to beta!) A current, final and stable version of Express 3.0 (code-named Sammy) is currently available on the download page.

Over the years, the project team has changed and the Smoothwall community has grown to include almost 17,000 forum members.
The goals of the project can be summed up as:

Be simple enough to be installed by home users with no knowledge of Linux
Support a wide variety of network cards, modems and other hardware
Work with many different connection methods and ISPs from across the world
Manage and configure the software using a web browser
Run efficiently on older, cheaper hardware
Develop a supportive user community
Use sponsorship from Smoothwall Limited to further these goals
The Smoothwall Open Source Project is funded and supported by Smoothwall Limited. 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.

Potted History of Smoothwall, by Senior Developer – Lawrence Manning

July 2000

Richard Morrell and I form the basic idea and choose the name Smoothwall. I send a mail with subject “F*ck me it works!” after getting a basic web-based dialer (with config) to work on my desktop.

Agust 2000

Web front end is ‘specced out’. Toni Kuokkanen produces the Smoothwall logo & work begins on a stripped down (50mb) version of the Redhat distro. Smoothwall 0.9 is released on 30th August 2000.

Lots of bugs but it works! Modem only.

September 2000

I discover a nasty bug in 0.9 (forgot joliet support in kernel), release versions 0.9.1, 0.9.2, 0.9.3 and 0.9.4 within weeks of each other and practically faint (but refuse) when WatchGuard offer to fly me out to Seattle to talk about working for them.

October 2000

First test of VPN works successfully between 2 modems. We now have an ipchains-based firewall with a DHCP server, dns proxy, log viewer and VPN capability that can be installed from cdrom in less than 2 and a half mins. (Autoprobing VI … etc)

November 2000

0.9.5LF released. This was specially made for Linux Format (UK magazine). It added support for running an SSH server, to replace the original telnet server that was, prior to this release, included for low-level remote admin. It was also used as a staging post to get more features like ISDN and VPNs solid and useable by all.

December 2000

0.9.6 released. This was mostly a clean-up release that fixed niggling bugs. It also included support for multiple PPP profiles, for people who wanted to dial up to different ISPs.

April 2001

0.9.8 released. This was the last version of Smoothwall that had a web interface designed and implemented by myself alone. It was also the first Smoothwall to include support, out of the box, for people with connection methods other then modems. That is, it supported Ethernet-presented ISP connections, as well as ISDN. Other new features: Java-based console, portforwarding, a web proxy-cache, and an actual manual!

September 2001

0.9.9 released. This was a true milestone release, and was the first time that Smoothwall included significant code from someone other then me. Smoothwall properly “grew up” and included support for translation into approximately a dozen languages, a re-themed interface, web-installable updates, snort IDS, VPNIng via the web interface, and many other new features.

December 2002

1.0 released. This release was based on the venerable 0.9.9, with all patches preinstalled. The intention was to give people a known- good and reliable version while we worked towards the brand new kernel 2.4-derived 2.0 version.

December 2003

2.0 released. This version upgraded the kernel to 2.4, which gave Smoothwall much improved firewalling thanks to 2.4′s stateful packet inspection with iptables. Smoothwall GPL was officially retitled Smoothwall Express. This version added a revamped web interface (and introduced the “orange” theme), improved network setup, improved connectivity (more USB modems, and “BeWan” PCI ADSL support), time syncronisation, and improved VPNing abilities.

September 2005

3.0 Alpha released (code named Grizzly). Grizzly was a brand new approach to Smoothie development. For the first time, the building of Smoothwalls was not a black art requiring intimate knowledge of how Smoothwall was put together. Initally a private version controlled tree was used – later on we switched to Sourceforge. As well as build changes, Smoothwall was now running on the 2.6 kernel series, which provided greater driver support and gave us all the speed improvements in this new kernel series.

December 2006

3.0 Alpha released (code name Panda). After a pause, the road to 3.0 was again in sight.

May 2007

3.0 Beta releases (code named Koala and Degu). Koala was noteworthy because it was the first version of Smoothie ever to support archictectures other then standard 32bit PCs: in this case, we added support for 64bit Intel and AMD chips. It was also the first version to include a developement edition, which meant that smoothie could be used to work on smoothie and contribute back to the project. This release added support for a 4th interface (called BLUE) for use by people with wireless access points, as well as many other fixes. This version also had the usual UI work, a working MSN/ICQ/AIM logging proxy, POP3 Anti-Virus, bandwidth management and many other features.

July 2007

3.0 Release Candidate (code name Sammy). More bug fixes and minor improvements, and documentation was taking shape.

August 2007

Stable version of 3.0 released (code named Polar)

January 2009 through June 2011

SP1, 2 and 3 of Express 3.0 are released. These were bugfix roll up releases.

June 2013

After another lengthy sleep, RC1 of Express 3.1 is released. It is the first release to be produced almost entirely by the community outside of Smoothwall Ltd, and encorporates many improvements worked on by Neal Murphy, with help from others. It includes a vastly improved build system, updated tool chains and compiler versions, as well as some small feature improvements.

What id 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 Limited?

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 Limiteds 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).


Company Registration
Smoothwall Ltd. is registered in England at Companies House,
Registration Number: 4298247

Registered Address
1 Savannah Way
Leeds Valley Park
LS10 1AB
VAT Registration Number: GB 785 1177 08

Waiver of Liability
We may change the information contained in these web pages at any time without notice and will not be held liable for errors or omissions in the information provided.


Information Collection and Use
Smoothwall is the sole owner of the information collected on this site. We will not sell, share, or rent this information to others in ways different from what is disclosed in this statement. Smoothwall collects information from our users at several different points on our website.

In order to fully use this website, a user may first be asked to complete a registration form. During registration a user is required to give their contact information (such as name and email address). This information is used to contact the user about the services on our site for which they have expressed interest. It is optional for the user to provide certain additional information (such as employment details, age) but is encouraged to so that we can provide a more personalized experience on our site.

A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s hard drive containing information about the user. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally identifiable information while on our site. Once the user closes their browser, the cookie simply terminates. For instance, by setting a cookie on our site, the user would not have to log in a password more than once, thereby saving time while on our site. If a user rejects the cookie, they may still use our site. The only drawback to this is that the user will be limited in some areas of our site. For example, the user will not be able to participate in any of our Contests that take place. Cookies can also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our site.

Log Files
We use IP addresses to analyze trends, administer the site, track user’s movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Smoothwall does not share any personal information with third party companies or organizations without your knowledge. We will share aggregated demographic information with our partners and advertisers. This is not linked to any personal information that can identify any individual person.

We may use an outside company to process and deliver orders, and a credit card processing company to bill users for goods and services. These companies will be supplied with the minimum information necessary to perform the required service. They do not retain, share, store or use personally identifiable information for any secondary purposes.

We may partner with other third party organizations to provide specific services. When the user signs up for these services, we will share names, or other contact information that is necessary for the third party to provide these services.

These parties are not allowed to use personally identifiable information except for the purpose of providing these services.

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we Smoothwall are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects personally identifiable information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Smoothwall cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information provided by any such linked sites.

If a user wishes to subscribe to our newsletter, we ask for contact information such as name and email address.

Surveys & Contests
From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose this information. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and shipping address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use and satisfaction of this site.

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Smoothwall will automatically send the friend a one-time email inviting them to visit the site. Smoothwall stores this information for the sole purpose of sending this one-time email. The friend may contact Smoothwall via our contact page to request the removal of this information from their database.

Our employees are regularly reminded about the importance we place on privacy, as well as any time new policies are added and what they can do to ensure our customers’ information is protected. We conform to terms of and are registered under the United Kingdom Data Protection Act. Finally, the servers that we store personally identifiable information on are kept in a secure environment. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can contact us using our online form.

Special Offers
We send all new customers a welcoming email to verify password and username. Established customers will occasionally receive information on products, services, special deals, and a newsletter. Out of respect for the privacy of our users we present the option to not receive these types of communications. Please see our choice and opt-out below.

Site and Service Updates
We may also send users announcements about site and service updates. Customers are not generally able to un-subscribe from these service announcements, which contain important information about our services. We communicate with the user to provide requested services and in regards to issues relating to their account via email or phone.

Correction/Updating Personal Information
If a user’s personally identifiable information changes, or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavor to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can be done by using our contact form.

Our users are given the opportunity to ‘opt-out’ of having their information used for purposes not directly related to our site at the point where we ask for the information.

Users of our site are always notified when their information is being collected by any outside parties. We do this so our users can make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with services that require an outside party, or not.

Notification of Changes
If we decide to change our privacy policy, we will post those changes on our website so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

UK Data Protection Act
Smoothwall Ltd. is registered with the United Kingdom Data Protection Registrar.

Not everyone who’s contributed to Smoothwall is still working with us today, but we’d like to thank them for all their hard work, generosity and passion.

Richard Morrell – Project Co-Founder
Toni Kuokkanen – Original Logo Design
William Anderson (neuro) – Sys-admin and UI design
Phil Barnett
Jack Beglinger
Dan Cuthbert (dan_c)
Bob Dunlop
Jon Fautley (filbert)
Nigel Fenton
Mathew Frank
Tom Gilbert (giblet)
Dan Goscomb (dang)
Pete Guyan
Eric S. Johansson
Alan Hourihane
Luc Larochelle
John Payne
Guy Reynolds
Kieran Reynolds (macgyver)
Chris Ross (boris)
Paul Tansom (whaletales)
Bill Ward
Rebecca Ward
Simon Wood (swoody)
Nick Woodruffe
Adam Wilkinson
Marc Wormgoor
Steve Hughes (hellcore)
Paul Richards (ridney)

If your name’s here, and you didn’t think you’d left, it’s because we haven’t heard from you in quite a while!

If you’ve been missed off the list, we apologise! Drop us a line and we can update your status.

Smoothwall Limited was founded in October 2001 to produce commercially supported products based on the Smoothwall concept.

Many business and commercial users were impressed by the Smoothwall GPL firewall but needed the reassurance of commercial support and timely updates/releases before they could consider replacing existing products from the major security vendors. Smoothwall Ltd provides commercially supported alternatives that are functionally equivalent to major vendor offerings without the associated expense. Products include firewalls, web content filters, email security, VPN, and bandwidth management applications with substantial discounts available for schools and other educational institutions. Please visit the Smoothwall Ltd website for more details.

Smoothwall Ltd provides support for its commercial products via our technical team and a global network of resellers.

Smoothwall Ltd has never forgotten its roots and is firmly committed to supporting the Open Source movement. The company accepts its corporate social responsibilities and tries to operate with honesty and transparency in everything it does. 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.

Our Team

The Smoothwall Open Source Project Team consists of key Smoothwall Ltd employees and a number of other volunteers who generously devote their spare time and effort to the project. We would like to thank those dedicated contributors and politely request that they not be inundated with support requests or imposed upon otherwise.

The Smoothwall Express project team wishes to pay homage and respect to all those that came before us. Kudos and respect.

Testing and Support
Before any release makes its way in the direction of our users it undergoes a series of acceptance tests to ensure that it meets a variety of criteria and is robust enough to distribute. The Smoothwall Express project team wishes to thank those people in the community who assist us with this process, along with the Smoothwall Ltd testing department for their continued support and patience.

The Smoothwall Express project team would also like to dearly thank those selfless members of the community that provide end user support to our many many users, both through the forums and the Smoothwall IRC channels. Your support is very much appreciated.