RouterOS performance?

Nathan Ward nanog at
Sun Aug 17 23:45:59 CDT 2008

On 18/08/2008, at 12:16 PM, Joel Jaeggli wrote:

> haven't used routeros in a while but at the time it was inoffensive,  
> it's not derived from a general purpose system so it's not something  
> you bolt additional bits on if you need them.

RouterOS is Linux based.
You're correct though, you can't bolt extra stuff on to it, though I'm  
pretty sure they do their own 'packages', so maybe 3rd parties can  
bolt stuff on that way? I dunno.

> I actually use freebsd as a router on soekris, but I do need a  
> general purpose os on the system as well.

I do this as well, works fantastically.

I've got some build scripts that build NET4x01 images. Kernel and root  
filesystem in a single file, boot off a FAT32 formatted compact flash  
card with GRUB installed on it. Config in a single file (a filesystem  
image that gets mounted at boot time). IPv6 support.

Packages go in a separate filesystem image per package, and get  
mounted at boot time, and added in to PATH etc. Package upgrades are a  
single file.
Packages include Quagga, for example.
XORP works as well, but it's super slow on 133Mhz Soekris hardware.

Takes about 20MB on a CF card. Upgrade is much like any other embedded  
device - upload a single file, tweak your boot loader, reboot.
Everything is nice and read only, so you don't have to worry about  
people fiddling with stuff they shouldn't and having it break on  
upgrade. Every bit of config is in the config image.

Not really wanting to give it away publicly as I don't want to have to  
deal with supporting it, but if anyone wants it as a basis for your  
own thing drop me an email (nward at please).

ps. before someone accuses me of trying to sell stuff, I mean free as  
in beer.


Nathan Ward

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