Jeff Goldman has done an interview with Manual Kasper, the creator of m0n0wall. Here it is: Manuel Kasper developed the embedded firewall software package m0n0wall back in 2002, he says, while experimenting with embedded x86-based computers.
Having just succeeded at stripping down FreeBSD enough to make it run on a Soekris net4501 board… and deploying it for use as a home firewall/NAT router, I wanted to go one step further, I wanted a nice, web-based interface to configure it, just like the commercial firewall boxes.
Kasper says he chose the name m0n0wall simply because “Mono” was his nickname in school.
I’m not sure why I replaced the o’s for zeros—perhaps because all domain names with normal o’s were already taken—and when I look at it now, it seems a bit silly/’31337’—but it has become a trademark anyway,
he says. And what started as a home project to make it easier to configure FreeBSD on the Soekris net4501 has grown rapidly.
At some point, I decided that it had become good enough that other people might want to have a look at it, so I posted a note about the first version on a mailing list,” Kasper says. “The interest in the project turned out to be big, so I created a dedicated web page and started releasing new versions with new features every few weeks.
Looking at the solution as a whole, Kasper says the best way to explain m0n0wall’s strengths is to look at the stability and reliability of FreeBSD.
m0n0wall, owing to the fact that it’s based on FreeBSD, inherits those qualities
Read the whole interview on isp-planet.com
Note: Manuel Kasper’s embedded FreeBSD-based firewall software package is especially attractive to WISPs and small ISPs.