FireStarter – A High-Level Graphical Interface Iptables Firewall For Linux Systems

If you are looking for a nice powerful and easy to use Linux Firewall then you should try Firestarter. It comes with a very nice graphical user interface and you can set it up really fast.

What is Firestarter?

Firestarter is an Open Source easy to use firewall application that aims to merge ease of use with impressive features, hence serving both desktop users and system administrators.

The Firestarter firewall can be used in laptops, desktops and servers to block certain harmful attacks. With Firestarter you can easily define both inbound and outbound policy. There are many other features present in this firewall and they are:

Firestarter Features

  1. Open Source application, available free of charge
  2. Friendly graphical interface for easy to use
  3. A setup wizard that walks you through setting up firewall on your system first time
  4. Suitable for use on servers, desktops and gateways
  5. An event monitor module that shows real-time intrusion attempts as they happen
  6. Support for internet connection sharing with DHCP service for the clients
  7. Excellent Linux kernel tuning features add protection from flooding, broadcasting and spoofing

This article guides you how to install effective and simple graphical interface FireStarer Firewal for iptables in your Linux systems. There is also a another high-level command-line based iptable firewall called Shorewall.

How To Install FireStarter Firewall in Linux

In most of the today’s leading Linux distributions, Firestarter is packaged using a pre-compiled package assure that the application will integrate correctly with your distribution of choice.

On RHEL/CentOS/Fedora

Firestarter packages available in RPM package format for your RPM based Linux distributions like Red Hat, CentOS and Fedora. Therefore, download the latest stable RPM package specific to your distribution using below link.

  1. http://www.fs-security.com/download.php

Once, you’ve downloaded the package, open a terminal and change to the directory where you downloaded the RPM and type the following command to install the package.

# rpm -Uvh firestarter*rpm
On Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint

By default, Firestarter packages are maintained under Debian and can be easily downloaded and installed using the apt-get tool as shown below.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install  firestarter
Compiling and Installing from Source

First, download the tar.gz version using the wget command. Unpack the tarball using tar command and move into the newly created directory and then configure, compile and install it as shown below.

# wget http://kaz.dl.sourceforge.net/project/firestarter/firestarter/1.0.3/firestarter-1.0.3.tar.gz
# tar -xvf firestarter-1.0.3.tar.gz
# cd firestarter-1.0.3
# ./configure --sysconfdir=/etc
# make
# make install

How To Configure And Use FireStarter

After the installation is finished open a new terminal and type the following command to launch the FireStarter firewall.

# firestarter

The FireStarter firewall wizard will help you to set up the firewall.

Firestarter Wizard

Firestarter Wizard

Select your Internet connected network device from the detected devices list and click on the Forward button.

Network Device Setup

Network Device Setup

Next, start the firewall by selecting “Start firewall now” and press the Save button to continue.

Start Firestarter Firewall

Start Firestarter Firewall

Firestarter Status

Firestarter Status

As you can see from the above screenshot the FireStarter firewall has three pages:

  1. Status
  2. Events
  3. Policy

The status page is the first page you see when you start the FireStarter firewall. It gives you information about the firewall status, network status, events and active connections.

What are the stats the firewall can be in? The FireStarter firewall can be:

  1. Active status which means that it is enabled and working
  2. Disabled status which means that the firewall has been stopped and all connections are accepted
  3. Locked status which means that nothing is allowed through the firewall

Following are the shortcuts that can be used to change the status of the FireStarter firewall.

  1. CTRL+S, start the firewall
  2. CTRL+P, stop the firewall

The policy page is the one that is important to us because we can add, edit and remove our own rules. It is divided into two parts:

  1. Inbound traffic policy
  2. Outbound traffic policy

In order to block incoming connections to your machine you need to play with the inbound policy. If you plan to run a service in your machine, for example SSH then you need to allow incoming connections from a specified host. You can also allow connections to a specific service from anyone.

If you want to allow connections from a host then go to the Policy page and select Inbound Traffic Policy from the drop down menu.

Inbound Traffic Policy

Inbound Traffic Policy

Right Click under Allow Connections From Host and specify the IP, hostname or network.

Allow Connections From Host

Allow Connections From Host

Do you like to allow a service for anyone in your machine? FireStarter makes it very easy. Right Click under Allow Service Port For and specify your service like showed in the following screenshots.

Allow Service Port For

Allow Service Port For

Allow SSH Service

Allow SSH Service

Connection Status

Connection Status

How to remove a rule? It is very simple. Just right click on the rule and select Remove Rule.

Reference Links

Firestarter Homepage

That’s it for now, I hope you liked the article, and I would also like to know which firewall you use and why? in the comment section.

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Ravi Saive

I am Ravi Saive, creator of TecMint. A Computer Geek and Linux Guru who loves to share tricks and tips on Internet. Most Of My Servers runs on Open Source Platform called Linux. Follow Me: Twitter, Facebook and Google+

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6 Responses

  1. Quinn says:

    Firestarter is no longer being maintained, will not support IPv6 and Ubuntu has decided it is obsolete and removed from the official repositories. Any distro’s based off Ubuntu will no longer provide it.

    It still works great and the way to install it now is to download the .deb file from the Ubuntu Raring (13.04) repository manually and install it using dpkg.

    It can be downloaded from here http://www.ubuntuupdates.org/package/core/raring/universe/base/firestarter

  2. Rog says:

    Firestarter hasn’t been updated for almost 9 years.

  3. dar says:

    Using Kubuntu 13.10, unfortunately Firestarter is not in the repositories.

  4. Bob Robertson says:

    I notice no IPv6. That’s too bad. Maybe next version?

  5. gosgog says:

    I’ve been using it for 6+ years. its easy, bug free & great, I also use Clam for anti virus. Both, when I’m using various Ubuntu O/S & currently using Point linux.

  6. Daniel Noberto says:

    Does it make nat too?

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