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Watchguard System Manager on Linux: bye bye Windows

If you are a WCSP and work with Linux for network administration, perhaps this little how-to is for you.


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Watchguard System Manager on Linux

Did you notice anything particular about the above screenshot? It is a remote session on a Customer's Watchguard Management Server, but running from a Linux shell instead of a Windows OS. I switched back to Linux some time ago, and I'm trying to get rid of Windows for my day by day activities. Administering a Watchguard device was one of those activities I was still relying on Windows for.

I have started again playing with Wine for a couple of Windows based tools I needed to run, and thought: why not trying WSM on it too?

Well at first I had a couple of issues with launching WSM, and since Nov. 19th I was able to run the Policy Manager freely from my Linux box (either Fedora and CentOS distros). Today I digged a bit deeper into it and made run everything: both WSM 11.7 and WSM 11.8 suites now runs completely on my computers (did not try the Setup Wizard because I mostly don't use it).

There's a trick about running WSM which otherwise will throw an exception related to the SNMP driver. All you have to do is get a wsnmp32.dll file from an existing XP or Windows 7 box, and copy it into the wine's system32 directory. Once you done that you need to define a DLL Override in Wine and stating that mentioned dll has to be a "Native (Windows)" library.

Done that, you should be able to run all the Watchguard management tools on your linux box, which added to the support of OpenVPN for SSL VPN connections turns your linux box into a fully working management station for your hosts.

If you are a network administrator running on Linux for all the most easy to guess reasons, having your most precious firewall management tool handy without the need of virtual machines or multiple devices can be a great game changer.

I hope you may find useful this :-)

Disclaimer

Albeit working smoothly and being really stable on my installations, if you plan to work with WSM on Linux you should be very familiar with troubleshooting and using this OS. Linux is not supported by Watchguard as an OS running WSM, as you can read on the release notes of the mentioned software.