I’m still enjoying the fresh new Ubunutu 9.04, and one of the nice new features is a firewall – which Canonical calls “Uncomplicated Firewall”. I’m usually not hooked on firewalls, but just for the fun of it I enabled the firewall on my laptop and it seems to work quite well. The firewall doesn’t seem to have any noticeable impact on system performance and as the laptop from time to time visits open wifi’s, it’s probably a good idea to have protection from other users on open networks.
Installing the firewall
The firewall should be available by default, but there isn’t a GUI application installed for the firewall. Open your favorite package manager and install the “gufw” package.
sudo apt-get install gufw
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Once installed the firewall can easily be turned on and of – and controlled from the System -> Administration -> Firewall configuration menu item. I set the current configuration to “Deny incoming traffic” and enabled the firewall (beneat the shield). This is probably all most desktop users needs to do. On my laptop, I am running a SSH server. I do this as a way to fetch files I may have forgotten on the machine when leaving the laptop at the office – or use it as a jumpstation to other machines. Adding a rule in the firewall, which allows incoming SSH traffic was a simple matter of choosing the “preconfigured” tab, and there adding a rule allowing SSH traffic.
The firewall can be configured with much more advanced options, but if you really need that, you probably (or hopefully) know what to do, but for regular users having an easy to use firewall and an uncomplicated interface to manage it, is just great and one of the cool new features of Ubuntu 9.04.