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A firewall is a system designed to prevent unauthorized access to or from a private network (which could be just one machine). Firewalls can be implemented in both hardware and software, or a combination of both. Firewalls are frequently used to prevent unauthorized Internet users from accessing private networks connected to the Internet, especially intranets. All messages entering or leaving the intranet pass through the firewall, which examines each message and allows, proxys, or denies the traffic based on specified security criteria.

There is a nice list of firewalls here, and a nice comparison of some firewalls here.

There are many posts on the forums about different firewall apps and scripts so here they all are condensed into one page - please add your comments about each firewall, especially ease of use and a security check at Shields Up

Non-exhaustive list of firewalls for Arch


The Linux kernel itself has very powerful and secure firewall called iptables. The other firewalls are usually just frontends to it. To use iptables in arch, you need to download its user-land utilities first:

# pacman -S iptables

Then define some rules and run Template:Codeline. This script will call iptables-save and save your rules into Template:Filename.

Now you can start iptables, this will call Template:Codeline and load your rules:

# /etc/rc.d/iptables start

You can add it into DAEMONS array in Template:Filename, preferably before 'network', so it will be loaded every time you boot:

DAEMONS=(... iptables network ...)

In fact, iptables is more than just a firewall. You can use it to share your internet connection for your private network. If you have your internal network already working but you can't access internet, just add this rule to your gateway-pc iptables:

# iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE

Comment by Dheart For some reason the above postrouting line didn't work for me so I used

# iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j SNAT --to 

where is the ip address of my eth0 (the LAN card that has internet connection)

More info:

iptables front-ends

Arno's Firewall

Arno's IPTABLES Firewall Script is a secure firewall for both single and multi-homed machines.

The script:

  • EASY to configure and highly customizable
  • daemon script included
  • a filter script that makes your firewall log more readable


  • NAT and SNAT
  • port forwarding
  • ADSL ethernet modems with both static and dynamically assigned IPs
  • MAC address filtering
  • stealth port scan detection
  • DMZ and DMZ-2-LAN forwarding
  • protection against SYN/ICMP flooding
  • extensive user definable logging with rate limiting to prevent log flooding
  • all IP protocols and VPNs such as IPSec
  • plugin support to add extra features.


ferm (which stands for "For Easy Rule Making") is a tool to maintain complex firewalls, without having the trouble to rewrite the complex rules over and over again. ferm allows the entire firewall rule set to be stored in a separate file, and to be loaded with one command. The firewall configuration resembles structured programming-like language, which can contain levels and lists.


FireHOL is a language to express firewalling rules, not just a script that produces some kind of a firewall. It makes building even sophisticated firewalls easy - the way you want it.

Template:Codeline is available in the Template:Codeline repository.


gShield is a really simple iptables configuration system. (Nothing to do with gnome) Easy to configure, blocks everything not needed (almost) by default. Controlled by only one configuration file. It gave me all stealth on

Template:Codeline is available in AUR.


  • Easy to configure
  • Only one configuration file
  • Will give you a iptables configuration, which is the best firewall


  • No GUI


The Shoreline Firewall, more commonly known as "Shorewall", is high-level tool for configuring Netfilter. You describe your firewall/gateway requirements using entries in a set of configuration files. Shorewall reads those configuration files and with the help of the iptables utility, Shorewall configures Netfilter to match your requirements. Shorewall can be used on a dedicated firewall system, a multi-function gateway/router/server or on a standalone GNU/Linux system. Shorewall does not use Netfilter's ipchains compatibility mode and can thus take advantage of Netfilter's connection state tracking capabilities.

Template:Codeline is available in the Template:Codeline repository.


uruk loads an rc file, which defines network service access policy, and invokes iptables to set up firewall rules implementing this policy.

uruk is not available in any Arch Linux repository.


ufw (uncomplicated firewall) is a simple frontend for iptables and is available in the Template:Codeline repository. For a simple firewall with ssh access, perform the following:

sudo ufw allow ssh/tcp
sudo ufw logging on
sudo ufw enable

This saves the rules for iptables. Edit your rc.conf to enable ufw at boot.

ufw also has the capability of package provided or custom created application rules via the /etc/ufw/applications.d/ directory. For applications like Samba which utilizes multiple UDP and TCP ports an application rule file makes enabling all ports easy:

sudo vi /etc/ufw/applications.d/samba
title=Windows file and printer server for Unix
description=Tools to access a server's filespace and printers via SMB

Note the "|" is used to separate the UDP ports and the TCP ports. Commas are used to separate the port numbers themselves.

For applications that utilize different ports depending on configuration, like Apache, rule files can contain multiple rule sets.

sudo vi /etc/ufw/applications.d/apache
title=Web Server
description=A high performance Unix-based HTTP server

[Apache Secure]
title=Web Server (HTTPS)
description=A high performance Unix-based HTTP server

[Apache Full]
title=Web Server (HTTP,HTTPS)
description=A high performance Unix-based HTTP server

To list the available application settings use:

sudo ufw app list
Available applications:
 Apache Full
 Apache Secure

To enable just Apache's HTTPS service:

sudo ufw allow Apache Secure

To enable access to Samba only within your LAN:

sudo ufw allow from to any app Samba

Further Documentation and Source Citation: Ubuntu Firewall Help

iptables GUIs


Firestarter is a good GUI for iptables, it has the ability to use both white and black lists for regulating traffic, it is very simple and easy to use, with good documentation available on their website.

Firestarter has gnome dependencies and is available in AUR.


Firetable is an iptables-based firewall with "human readable" syntax.

Template:Codeline is available in AUR.


Guarddog is a really easy to use GUI for configuring iptables. After setting up a basic desktop configuration it passes all Shields Up tests perfectly.

Guarddog requires kdelibs3 and is available in the Template:Codeline repository.

To have the firewall settings applied at bootup you must run /etc/rc.firewall from inside /etc/rc.local or something similar.


Gufw is an easy to use Ubuntu / Linux firewall, powered by ufw.

Gufw is an easy, intuitive, way to manage your Linux firewall. It supports common tasks such as allowing or blocking pre-configured, common p2p, or individual ports port(s), and many others! Gufw is powered by ufw , runs on Ubuntu, and anywhere else Python, GTK, and Ufw are available.


KMyFirewall is KDE3 GUI for iptables.

Firewall editing capabilities are simple enough to use to be suitable for beginners, but also allow for sophisticated tweaking of the firewall settings.

KMyFirewall requires kdelibs3 and is available in AUR.

Firewall Builder

Firewall Builder is "a GUI firewall configuration and management tool that supports iptables (netfilter), ipfilter, pf, ipfw, Cisco PIX (FWSM, ASA) and Cisco routers extended access lists. [...] The program runs on Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Windows and Mac OS X and can manage both local and remote firewalls." Source:

Template:Codeline is available in the Template:Codeline repository.