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Due of its modular design, IPFire has very flexible hardware requirements.



IPFire requires a i586 CPU (from the Intel Pentium upwards) or better. It is recommended that a 333MHz processor or faster be used. Since version 2.9 it is also possible to use ARMv5-Based embedded Systems.


256 Mib is the minimum amount of memory supported, however 512 Mib is recommended to allow extended usage of Ramdisks to minimize disk I/O.

Versions before IPFire 2.1 will run with these recommendations but more memory is recommended to reduce extended disk swapping (Disk swapping, or “paging”, dramatically reduces performance).

Linux's excellent memory management can utilise more than 4 Gib of memory, however IPFire runs on a 32 bit Linux kernel by default (see the following note).

If you have 4 GiB of memory or more there is an optional "PAE" kernel that should be installed via the Pakfire manager. Once installed a reboot is required before all memory will be visible to IPFire.

Mass storage

Mass storages devices typically have a lot of capacity. They could serve as media for backups or mass data storage with low access times. In IPFire different types of mass storage can be used;


Although a basic system requires only about 100 Mib, it is recommended that available disk space should not go below 1 GiB (recommended 2 GiB) so that there is plenty of space for logfiles.

Drives of 1 TiB or larger can be use if you want to use IPFire as a fileserver. IPFire supports IDE, SATA and SCSI but some users set it up in a RAID 1 and 5 environment.

It is recommended to use a CDROM drive for installation, although it is also possible to install from a USB-stick (See the installation manual). After installation a CDROM drive is not required and can be removed.

Unless stated otherwise, all Drives supported by Linux should be supported by the current version of IPFire.


IPFire must have at least 2 Network cards available (see Network topology).

  • About 99% of all available 100Mbit-cards will work.
  • 1 Gbit cards are very well supported since IPFire 2.3.
  • Old 10 MBit cards are not be supported because of their speed
  • A large selection of WiFi cards are supported but see the HCL before purchasing

Network-cards with a Realtek chipset (recognized by the RTL on the chipset) will work flawless in all available speeds and are best supported.

PCI and PCIe cards are supported and work automatically as soon as they are inserted into the computer.

However, older ISA cards are no longer supported.

Also see Performance leaks with passive network interface cards.


DVB TV-cards

Digital Video Broadcast. These cards are multimedia-addons for the reception of tv-channels. Some PCI and USB cards for DVB-S,T and C are supported.

Compact System Examples

Translations of this page?:
en/hardware/start.txt · Last modified: 2014/11/11 10:52 by dnl