As a router I use an EdgeRouter Lite managed with EdgeOS. EdgeOS is very flexible, but does require work to configure, which this post is about.

My setup is with a LAN (eth1), a WAN (eth0) and a DMZ (eth2) such that

  • LAN can access DMZ and WAN.
  • DMZ can access WAN, but not LAN.
  • WAN has limited access to DMZ.

My setup is compiled from a number of sources. Specific sources are found in the relevant part, the general are:

My full configuration file is found here.

How to configure

The changes can be entered by changing to configuration mode with configure and then typing them individually. When finished with the changes remember to commit and save. For the initial setups I think this is a good way, as it is easy to catch errors.

In configuration mode word completion is activated and with a double TAB/double ?, the commands are explained. Unfortunately, word completion is not working in the default shell.

For the longer configurations like firewall policies, I prefer to make a configuration file and load this with the command load /path/to/config.file. To have a valid starting point, I first save the current configuration in ~/ (alternatively copying /config/config.boot).

In order to see how how the current configuration can be entered, use show configuration commands. To delete a single setting like the setup for the eth0 port, use delete interfaces ethernet eth0.

If things mess up completely, the default configuration is located at /opt/vyatta/etc/config.boot.default.

How not to configure

At first, instead of loading a new config file, I simply replaced /config/config.boot. This was not a good idea! Afterwards I could not access the router through the ethernet ports – even after a factory reset. Connection could be established through the console port, but the router did not make it and eventually I had to get a new one.

Connection through the console port

To gain access through the console port a special RJ45-to-DB9 (and possibly an adaptor cable) is needed. On my Mac I used the program CoolTerm to establish the connection.

For future reference, it may be possible to recover a broken EdgeOS using this EdgeOS rescue kit.

I had two problems:

  • I could not figure out how to make the file transfer with the TFTP (Trivial FTP) protocol from my computer to the router.
  • My lack of luck in restoring the default configuration lead others to suggest that the router’s flash drive was broken.

System setup

On a fresh system I change the host name to DJ-edge and add the user admin:

set system host-name DJ-edge
set system login user admin authentication plaintext-password <password>

When these commands are executed, logout from the ubnt account and login as the new user admin.

Next I delete the default user ubnt, enable login over SSH with RSA keys and disable login with password (remember to transfer the public key to the router first or load the key over scp).

delete system login user ubnt
loadkey admin /path/to/
set service ssh disable-password-authentication

Remember to test login with the RSA key before disabling login with password!

I ran into an odd problem after adding admin: The home dir (/home/admin) belonged to the mysterious user “1000” and /home/admin/.ssh was not world readable, thus the RSA key cannot be read. I solved this by changing to root and running

sudo chown -R admin .

in /home.

The possible timezones can be found in /usr/share/zoneinfo/ and set using

set system time-zone Europe/Copenhagen

Bash is the default shell and to make navigation easier I add a couple of lines to ~/.bashrc:

alias ll='ls -l'
alias la='ll -a'
alias ..='cd ..'


The last line is a replacement for unset HISTFILE.

System upgrade

At some point new versions of EdgeOS become available at Ubiquiti’s webpage: Log in to the web GUI, go to ‘System’ (currently in the bottom left corner) and use the link under ‘Upgrade System Image’.

Ubiquiti has a fine guide on how to upgrade using the command line:

  • Transfer the downloaded upgrade.tar to the router with e.g. scp.
  • Log in to the router and run
add system image upgrade.tar
  • To see if the upgrade has been loaded properly run
show system image 
  • You are told to reboot to use the new image.

Router settings

The routing settings are the interfaces for the ports, the local DHCP and DNS servers and the firewall.


For eth0 (LAN):

edit interfaces ethernet eth0
set description "LAN"
set address
set duplex auto
set speed auto

For eth1 (WAN):

edit interfaces ethernet eth1
set description "WAN"
set address dhcp
set duplex auto
set speed auto

For eth2 (DMZ):

edit interfaces ethernet eth2
set description "DMZ"
set address
set duplex auto
set speed auto


For the LAN and DMZ networks the router works as the DHCP and DNS server.

Global DHCP options:

edit service dhcp-server
set disabled false
set dynamic-dns-update enable true

The LAN subnet leases the addresses

edit service dhcp-server shared-network-name LAN_DHCP
set authoritative disable
edit subnet
set default-router
set dns-server
set lease 86400
set start stop

The DMZ subnet leases the addresses

edit service dhcp-server shared-network-name LAN_DHCP
set authoritative disable
edit subnet
set default-router
set dns-server
set lease 86400
set start stop

For LAN and DMZ the router is defined as the primary DNS server. To support this, DNS forwarding should be enabled:

edit service dns forwarding
set cache-size 200
set listen-on eth0
set listen-on eth2

This choice is also reflected by the firewall rules, as both LAN and DMZ should have a minimum of access to the router (local).


By default the web GUI is available from all ports. To restrict access to only the LAN port set the listen address to match the one on eth0:

set service gui https-port 443
set service gui listen-address

Network Address Translation

To allow local machines to access the internet a NAT masquerade is needed to translate IP addresses between the LAN/DMZ and WAN:

edit service nat rule 5000
set description "WAN masquerade"
set log disable
set outbound-interface eth1
set protocol all
set type masquerade

Firewall rules

There are two ways of specifying firewalls: ACL and zones. I like the flexibility of zones and use these. When using zones, every connection defaults to a drop/reject and hence a firewall rule must be specified for each combination of interfaces where a connection is desired. It may be a good idea to specify a firewall even if a connection is never used, as it allows logging. The zones are LAN, DMZ, WAN and LOCAL (the router itself).

The very first policy to make is one that allows connections from LAN to LOCAL; without such a rule, further configuration is prohibited.

For some reason, when adding a LAN to LOCAL rule, SSH access takes forever. A solution to the problem is to disable DNS lookup for OpenSSH: In the file /etc/ssh/sshd_config change the line UseDNS yes to UseDNS no and restart the SSH server with sudo /etc/init.d/ssh restart for the changes to take effect.

When the device boots /etc/ssh/sshd_config is overwritten with /opt/vyatta/etc/ssh/sshd_config, so edit the last file for the change to be permanent.

As suggested elsewhere I use the following naming conventions for the firewall rules:

Rule 1 - State Established, Related 
Rule 2 - State Invalid 
Rule 100 - ICMP
Rule 200 - Web
Rule 300 - FTP
Rule 400 - NTP
Rule 500 - SMTP
Rule 600 - DNS
Rule 700 - DHCP
Rule 800 - SSH
Rule 900 - IMAPS
default-action drop

There is one exception for me: On the ‘allow all’ rules I include the new state in rule 1.

Port forwarding

To setup access from WAN to DMZ both the public IP address and a port should be specified.

The router applies NAT rules before firewall rules, so a NAT rule must be specified that translates public:port to local:port (here public:314 to

edit service nat rule 200 
set description 'Web access to DMZ'
set destination port 314
set inbound-interface eth+
set inside-address address
set inside-address port 443
set log enable
set protocol tcp
set type destination	

The inbound-interface eth+ means that the translation applies to all ports. My router complains that the + option is not available, but the setup works as expected.

The firewall rule WAN-to-DMZ allows access if the port mathces the one from local:port.

In order to access the DMZ using public:port from a unit on the LAN a NAT Hairpin masquerade rule is needed. Without such a rule the host on the DMZ can only be accessed from the LAN through its local IP.

edit service nat rule 5011 
set description 'Masquerade hairpin eth0'
set destination address
set log disable
set outbound-interface eth0
set protocol tcp
set source address
set type masquerade

I also have a rule allowing SSH access to the DMZ and as an attempt to reduce the number of incoming connections, I follow the advice from this blog to limit the number of new SSH connections to DMZ.

The current version of EdgeOS does have a port-forward option to reduce the hazzle – but I do not like its black box magic.

Static IPs

Some units on my network (like my TV) benefits from having a static IP. This can assigned by matching the unit’s MAC address:

set service dhcp-server shared-network-name LAN_DHCP subnet static-mapping TV ip-address
set service dhcp-server shared-network-name LAN_DHCP subnet static-mapping TV mac-address xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx

Extra software

EdgeOS is based on Debian and thus a wealth of packages are available. Add repositories:

edit system package repository wheezy 
set components 'main contrib non-free'
set distribution wheezy 
set url

edit system package repository wheezy-security 
set components main
set distribution wheezy/updates
set url

Update the repositories:

sudo apt-get update

Now programs can be installed as on a usual Debian distribution, e.g., Git:

sudo apt-get install git