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The small ISP (Internet Service Provider) serving hundreds to thousands of subscribers in a locality can gain a share of the vast Internet pie by offering:

  • a suite of services on par with the big ISPs
  • low prices
  • the personal touch

To serve these needs, the TeNeT Group of IIT-Madras and Nilgiri Networks have developed Minnow. Based on Linux the fastest growing Internet server platform world-wide, Minnow includes the complete suite of services that an ISP needs. It runs on inexpensive PC hardware, but provides very high uptime through simple redundancy techniques. It is easy to administer and operate. All of which contribute to low operational expenses.


Minnow provides a complete cost effective integrated ISP solution with high stability, security and simplified operation.

Subscriber Services

  • Address provided by ISP or addresses in subscriber domain
  • POP and SMTP protocols for access and delivery
Internet Access
  • Browsing and downloading files, via Squid Proxy
  • Full Internet access with global IP addresses
  • For online group communications
Bulletin Boards
  • Post/view messages for an interest group
  • Host subscriber's web-page
Disk Storage
  • For downloads and uploads
  • Archiving of subscriber files
  • Web-based GUI subscribers to manage their accounting, to obtain information about service
E-mail virus scanner
  • Integrated antivirus system protects you against virus infected E-mails.
  • Facility to clean infected mails and deliver
Spam filter
  • Extensive filtering of unsolicited E-mails

Data Center Services

  • Name server for the ISP's domain and for subscribers domain name
  • Authentication of subscribers and accounting
  • Used by RAS, DIAS, corDECT and other access servers
  • Network Address Translation enables use of local IP addresses
  • Transparent proxy
  • Block pornographic and other obscene sites for selective or all users
  • Fast, simple and reliable database storage for billing and other services
  • GUIs and scripts for administering Minnow


  • State of the art packet filtering firewall to allow only legitimate traffic
  • Finding and reporting of modified binaries
  • Log watch for reporting unauthorized events and malfunctioning events detection
  • Firewall, routing table, cron job monitoring


  • Intrution Deduction System to identify threats, detect scans, probes and attacks
Host hardning
  • Restrict use of administrator utilities
  • Enforce file permissions
  • Effective user and group management
  • Password protected access


  • Periodic/On-demand detailed reports on E-mail usage of subscribers
  • detailed URL/IP wise report
CPU & Disk usage
  • To monitor the CPU load and Disk usage
Minnow log reports
  • Minnow service status reports


  • Minnow runs on 2 independent PCs

  • provides warm-standby for all services

  • when the active server fails, the secondary server takes over automatically
  • in many cases, the switch-over is not noticed by the subscriber
  • important files(e-mail, web-pages, etc.) are duplicated on both servers
  • immediate notification of failures by beep alarm or E-mail

Local Languages

  • all services support ISCII and other 8-bit encoding

  • 16-bit Unicode support in some services


Minnow uses the following standard or de facto standard components. Note that the versions supplied may be more recent than those listed.

  • Linux

--- RedHat 7.2

  • E-mail

--- Sendmail 8.11.6, QPOP 4.0.4

  • Web

--- Apache 3.12, Perl 5.6.1, PHP 4.0

  • IRC Server

--- irc 2.10

  • Proxy

--- Squid 2.4.stable1

  • Radius

--- IC-RADIUS 0.18

  • DNS

--- BIND 9.1.3 (Berkely Internet Naming Daemon)

  • Database
---- MySQL version 11.xx


Nilgiri Networks provides training programs for operators periodically in Madras. Online support is provided by e-mail. Customization for specific requirements could be undertaken on a case-by-case basis.

Web Client

For ease of use, Minnow is packed with a user-friendly web based module using which you can carry out most operations. There are basically two modules, one for the administrator and the other for the subscriber.

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