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Monday, February 27, 2012

GUI based user friendly Firewall for Linux

There are several firewalls available for Linux distributions. Firestarter (from and IPCop ( are two popular one. says- “Firestarter is an Open Source visual firewall program. The software aims to combine ease of use with powerful features, therefore serving both Linux desktop users and system administrators.”

Some Firestarter features

User friendly, easy to use, graphical interface

Real-time firewall event monitor shows intrusion attempts as they happen

Enables Internet connection sharing, optionally with DHCP service for the clients

Allows you to define both inbound and outbound access policy

Open or stealth ports, shaping your firewalling with just a few mouse clicks

Enable port forwarding for your local network in just seconds

Option to whitelist or blacklist traffic

Real time firewall events view

View active network connections, including any traffic routed through the firewall

Advanced Linux kernel tuning features provide protection from flooding, broadcasting and spoofing

Support for tuning ICMP parameters to stop Denial of Service (DoS) attacks

Support for tuning ToS parameters to improve services for connected client computers

Ability to hook up user defined scripts or rulesets before or after firewall activation

Comprehensive tutorial on Firestarter is available at Here are some important steps related to installation and configurations of Firestarter on Ubuntu:

1. Search

$ sudo apt-cache search firestarter

firestarter - GTK program for managing and observing your firewall

2. Install

$ sudo apt-get install firestarter

3. Run

$ sudo firestarter

6. The default Firestarter policy is as follows:

New inbound connections from the Internet to the firewall or client hosts are blocked.

The firewall host is freely allowed to establish new connections.

All client hosts are allowed to establish new connections to the Internet, but not to the firewall host.

Traffic from the Internet in response to connection requests from the firewall or client hosts is allowed back in through the firewall.

7. The outbound traffic policy groups

Outbound policy controls outgoing traffic to the Internet from the firewall and any LAN clients. The default outbound policy is permissive. This means you and any clients connected to the local network are able to browse the net, read email, etc. unrestricted.

8. Restrictive mode

nothing is allowed out unless you explicitly create a rule for it in one of the groups.


Firestarter reports error on startup:

Failed to open the system log
No event information will be available

Taken from

Possible reason is that syslogd is upgraded to rsyslog by upgraded version of Ubuntu.

Solution is go to the directory /etc/rsyslog.d/ and put a new file in that location that would be included in the configuration so as not to fall foul of an ubuntu upgrade at a later date. Just use command

$ sudo gedit /etc/rsyslog.d/99-fixlog.conf

and write the lines:

mail,news.none -/var/log/messages

restart rsyslog or reboot the computer.

Unfortunately, this also didn't work.


Anybody knowing the solution can share with us!

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