Uncomplicated Firewall

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Revision as of 23:59, 9 August 2013 by AdamT (talk | contribs) (Adding other applications: Changed .../applications.d/custom to ufw-custom to be more in keeping with the existing format of the files. Great article!)
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From the project home page:

Ufw stands for Uncomplicated Firewall, and is program for managing a netfilter firewall. It provides a command line interface and aims to be uncomplicated and easy to use.


ufw can be installed from the official repositories.

Start ufw as systemd service to have it running and enable it to make it available after boot.

Basic configuration

A very simplistic configuration which will deny all by default, allow any protocol from inside a LAN, and allow incoming Deluge and SSH traffic from anywhere:

# ufw default deny
# ufw allow from
# ufw allow Deluge
# ufw allow SSH

The next line is only needed once the first time you install the package. From there on out, enable ufw through systemctl:

# ufw enable

Finally, query the rules being applied via the status command:

# ufw status
Status: active
To                         Action      From
--                         ------      ----
Anywhere                   ALLOW
Deluge                     ALLOW       Anywhere
SSH                        ALLOW       Anywhere

The status report shows the rules added by the user. For most cases this will be what is needed, but it is good to be aware that builtin-rules do exist. These include filters to allow UPNP, AVAHI and DHCP replies. In order to see all rules setup

# ufw show raw 

may be used, as well as further reports listed in the manpage. Since these reports also summarize traffic, they may be somewhat difficult to read. Another way to check for accepted traffic:

# iptables -S |grep ACCEPT

While this works just fine for reporting, keep in mind not to enable the iptables service as long as you use ufw for managing it.

Note: If special network variables are set on the system in /etc/sysctl.conf, it may be necessary to update /etc/ufw/sysctl.conf accordingly since this configuration overrides the default settings.

Adding other applications

The PKG comes with some defaults based on the default ports of many common daemons and programs. Inspect the options by looking in the /etc/ufw/applications.d directory or by listing them in the program itself:

# ufw app list

If users are running any of the applications on a non-standard port, it is recommended to simply make /etc/ufw/applications.d/ufw-custom containing the needed data using the defaults as a guide.

Warning: If users modify any of the PKG provided rule sets, these will be overwritten the first time the ufw package is updated. This is why custom app definitions need to reside in a non-PKG file as recommended above!

Example, deluge with custom tcp ports that range from 20202-20205:

 description=Deluge BitTorrent client

Should you require to define both tcp and udp ports for the same application, simply separate them with a pipe as shown: this app opens tcp ports 10000-10002 and udp port 10003


One can also use a comma to define ports if a range is not desired. This example opens tcp ports 10000-10002 (inclusive) and udp ports 10003 and 10009


Deleting applications

Drawing on the Deluge/Deluge-my example above, the following will remove the standard Deluge rules and replace them with the Deluge-my rules from the above example:

# ufw delete allow Deluge
# ufw allow Deluge-my

Query the result via the status command:

# ufw status
Status: active
To                         Action      From
--                         ------      ----
Anywhere                   ALLOW
SSH                        ALLOW       Anywhere
Deluge-my                  ALLOW       Anywhere

Rate limiting with ufw

ufw has the ability to deny connections from an IP address that has attempted to initiate 6 or more connections in the last 30 seconds. Users should consider using this option for services such as sshd.

Using the above basic configuration, to enable rate limiting we would simply replace the allow parameter with the limit parameter. The new rule will then replace the previous.

# ufw limit SSH
Rule updated
# ufw status
Status: active
To                         Action      From
--                         ------      ----
Anywhere                   ALLOW
SSH                        LIMIT       Anywhere
Deluge-my                  ALLOW       Anywhere

GUI frontends


gufwAUR 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.


Warning: Since the release of ufw 0.31-1, kcm-ufw no longer works.

kcm-ufwAUR is KDE4 control module for ufw. The following features are supported:

  • Enable/disable firewall
  • Configure firewall default settings
  • Add, edit, and remove rules
  • Re-order rules via drag\'n\'drop
  • Import/export of rules
  • Setting of some IP tables modules

The module will appear under "Network and Connectivity" category.

See also