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Linux Firewalls Made Easy With Fwbuilder

written by: jlwallen•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 12/26/2008

Even though the Linux operating system is one of the more secure operating systems, it makes sense to fine tune your security to meet your specific needs. But for most people iptables is too complex. Fortunately fwbuilder makes creating firewalls simple.

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    What Is Fwbuilder?

    The fwbuilder tool is a graphical firewall builder that supports iptables, ipfilter, pf, ipfw, Cisco PIX (FWSM, ASA) and Cisco routers extended access lists. Fwbuilder takes an object oriented approach and uses pieces of firewalls as objects put together to form a cohesive whole. Building firewalls with fwbuilder is simple.

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    Installing And Starting Fwbuilder

    Fortunately fwbuilder can be installed through your package management system. Whether you run Fedora, Ubuntu, Mandriva, SuSE, etc you should be able to fire up your Add/Remove Application utility.Then do a search for fwbuilder and install.

    Once fwbuilder is installed you should be able to find it in the Administration sub-menu under System (in GNOME). Once you start it up you will be greeted by the fwbuilder main window.

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    Fwbulder Main Window

    This is an empty firewall
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    Create A New Firewall

    The first thing is to go to the "new" menu (next to the User/Standard drop down) and select "New Firewall" from the long list of entries. A new window will appear in which you will have four objects to take care of: Name of firewall, type of firewall, OS the firewall is running on, and if you want to use a pre-configured template of firewall rules. For simplicity's sake especially if this is your first attempt at building a firewall, go ahead and select the pre-configured template. You can edit the included rules later. I will name my firewall Test, for the purpose of this article. Select iptables as the type, Linux 2.4/2.6 as the operating system and I will select the pre-configured template to use. When you check the box for the pre-configured template, a new section will open up asking for the location of the template file. Stick with the default. Click Next to continue on.

    The next window you see will be a multi-paned window. In the left pane you can select the type of firewall you want to build. If you click through the firewalls listed you will see that each one is either a different hardware configuration or for a different service. The first two templates are pretty basic firewalls that will service most single network interface machines.

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    Choose Your Firewall Type

    Read the description of each firewall
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    Finishing Up

    Once you have selected your firewall click the Finish button. Your firewall will be ready and you can customize it if necessary. After you are happy with your firewall go to the Rules menu and select Compile. After the firewall has compiled, go back to the Rules menu and select Install. When fwbuilder has installed the firewall, your machine will now be protected.

Keep your Linux box secure with these tools

Linux is well known for its security. It's one of the many reasons why IT managers insist on using Linux to keep data safe. But do you know the tools to keep your Linux boxes security as high as possible? This Bright Linux Commands series will introduce you to the tools you need to keep Linux secure
  1. Know your Linux security tools
  2. Linux Command Line: ssh
  3. Linux Command Line: gpg
  4. Let IPtables Help Secure Your Linux Box
  5. Linux Firewalls Made Easy With Fwbuilder