Within a home network a router is something you need. Being it a built-in one in your modem, or an extra component. It will take the traffic from within your home network and at least route traffic towards the internet. Besides this, it will also do a lot more, such as port forwarding, NAT and intra VLAN routing, if you use it.
This page is a write-up of the router I built for myself and I will talk about both the hardware and software I use in detail.


Key requirement of the hardware was it should fit in a 1U rack, should have enough power for intra VLAN routing, and be cheap, expensive and silent. I was looking and different chassis and setups, but finally a colleague mentioned the PC Engines APU board to me. I chose the top of the line product, as it has four GBit/s ethernet NICs. Furthermore, it can hold an mSATA SSD and optionall an external SSD, which I did not populate at this time.

Hardware of my router: A 30 Watt power supply and the APU.4c4.


As software I use debian buster. I just put the .iso on a USB disk and installed it to the mSATA SSD. Apart from that, the router will hold some services, such as firewall, dhcp and a local dns server. Each of these will be described in the next sections.

Internet Access

Internet dial-in is realised using PPPoE. For this to work, you need to put your modem into MPoA mode. I connected my modem directly to an interface (enp1s0). The packages you need are the following:

apt-get install ppp pppoeconf

Afterwards running pppoeconf will guide you through the process. It begins by scanning all interfaces for pppoe capable interfaces. This might take a moment so get a coffee in the meantime:

Afterwards you can leave everything on default, but you have to enter username and password.

IPv6 + Prefix Delegation

This section is in some parts specific to the German Internet Provider “Deutsche Telekom”. I can not guarantee that this will work for you out of the box. The concepts however should still work for anyone.

Unlike IPv4, IPv6 will assign a prefix not a single IP address to you. This prefix might change over time.

DHCP Server

DHCP using isc-dhcp-server

DNS Server

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