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Debian (Linux) on Router hardware

Dear list,

I am not entirely sure I am asking the right community for some help, but
let's try.

A lot of people (including myself) have a need for *cheap* simple diskless
hassle-free networking appliances that might be used as webservers, VPN
routers or whatever services that might be offered on a network using a box that
has no more than limited CPU power (some ARM or MIPS CPU), some RAM and some
Flash file system.

There is a lot of those boxes available designed as "embedded linux
controllers" and the like, but they often get more expensive than a full-fledged PC
which is not the purpose. (At least not for my project.)

Therefore I wonder if anyone ever did any work to use Linux on a device such
as the popular DSL routers you can get anywhere for about 100 USD. In my
view they should have all the hardware you need and they support flashing a new
operating software into them. My guess would be they are some sort of ARM or
MIPS architecture so this should be doable.

Any thoughts or pointers to any projects? I just don't know where to start.

Kind regards,

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