VyOS is an open source network operating system with support for a wide range of network cards. It is based on Debian and can be your perfect choice for your next x86 router. However is VyOS the perfect RouterOS replacement? For network training labs it is the best fit as it can do almost anything that you would need for learning networking. Be it BGP, IPv6, recursive routing, route redistribution or zone based firewall VyOS does it all.
My first non consumer router was the Mikrotik RB3011-UiAS-RM and initially five years back when I had just started with networking RouterOS was quiet popular among many small and at times shady ISPs in and around Kolkata, Most of them used Mikrotik ROS v5.2 x86 cracked ISO to run radius (user manager). However, as I started exploring more and more features like openvpn, l2tp/ipsec, bgp, recursive routing, ipv6 I was plagued with too many bugs and certain things don’t even work till date. For example, Recursive routing for ipv6 is proposed to be working in ROS v7 on their forums which is now rolled out in v7 beta.
Vyos has been an all rounder and pretty much does everything that I need. It can do the following:
2. recursive routing for ipv6.
3. has a cisco compatible anyconnect implementation for vpn.
4. boots on UEFI systems.
5. has mDNS.
6. use /31 for point-to-point interfaces.
There are just a few things that I found VyOS could do but RouterOS couldn’t. Mikrotik has a simpler GUI, however if you are using a mikrotik then you are probably no the average Joe. CLI of VyOS is pretty simple and neat. As it is based on Debian you can install pretty much anything on it. Like I use it as a peering router for my lab network to connect to various Virtual IXPs. Some of the offer zerotier and with VyOS you can simply add a zerotier interface. I will soon bring a new post on how to install zerotier on VyOS.
No network operating system is perfect but you can definitely choose one that is flexible, opensource and less buggy. Right from you home lab to any top level ISP VyOS can be the perfect choice and probably the best RouterOS replacement. Unlike Router OS it is free, opensource and you can build your own image. However, if you wish to support the project which you should the click here.