How to Install ‘IPFire’ Free Firewall Linux Distribution

IPFire is one of the high-level flexible firewall with great features such as other firewall’s. IPFire will work as a firewall, VPN gateway, Proxy server, DHCP server, Time server, Caching name server, Wake-On-LAN, DDNS, Open VPN, Monitoring etc..

IPFire Firewall Installation Guide
IPFire Firewall Installation Guide

IPFire is released under GPL license and totally designed to use free. The developers keep the key things as security while the IPFire was build. Since IPFire will connect directly to the internet, due to this, there will be chances for hackers and threats to attack it. To avoid those threats and attacks Pakfire package manager helps administrators to keep the the packages database up-to-date in IPFire.

Basically IPfire was build using a super kernel with various threat, attacks, detect and compromise features and have a rich Graphical interface to use. IPfire have the feature to use samba and vsftpd file services. IPFire supports VDSL, ADSL, SDSL, Ethernet, 4G/3G type of dialups.

We can use IPFire in any kind of Virtual Environments such as KVM, VMware, XEN, Qemu, Microsoft Hyper-v, Oracle virtual box, Proxmox etc. and can be run in ARM Processor build machine’s such as Raspberry pi.

During IPFire installation, the network is configured into various different segments. These segmented security scheme indicates that there is a suitable place for each system in the network and can be enabled separately as per our requirements. Each segment act as a group of machines who share a common security level, which is described in four different colors of zones i.e. Green, Red, Blue, Orange.

  1. Green – This represents we are in a safe area. Client in Green area will be without any restrictions and connected Internal/locally.
  2. Red – This indicates that we are in a danger or the connection to the outside world, nothing will be allowed from firewall unless configured specially by the admins
  3. Blue – This represents the “wireless” network, which is used for local area network.
  4. Orange – This referred to as we are in “DMZ” demilitarized zone. Any servers which are accessible publicly are aparted from the rest of the network to minimize security breaches.

IPFire recently released it’s 2.15 Core update 86 version, which comes with the new graphical user interface that was completely re-designed and comes with massive new functionality.

IPFire Hardware Requirements

  1. Minimum i586 CPU (Intel Pentium 333 MHz).
  2. Minimum 256 MB of RAM, Recommended 512 MB.
  3. Minimum 1 GB of Hard disk Space, Recommended 2 GB, More size will be good.
  4. Minimum 2 Network cards with 1 GB transfer speed.
My Environment Setup
Host name		:	ipfire.tecmintlocal.com
IP address		:	192.168.1.1
Hard disk size		:	4 GB
Ethernet Cards	        :	2 No's

This article covers installation of IPFire with the things that you will need to configure during installation. The installation and configuration procedure will note take more than 10 to 15 minutes depending on the speed of your computer.

Step 1: IPFire Installation

1. Before heading up for the IPFire installation, make sure that your hardware is compatible with IPFire. Next, go the official IPFire Download page and grab the IPFire ISO image as per your requirements. This article covers the installation of IPFire using most popular method CD/DVD.

Alternatively, you can also use USB installation of IPFire, but you need to make your USB media as bootable image using Unetbootin tool.

2. After downloading ISO image, next burn the image to media like CD/DVD or USB and boot the media and choose Install IPFire 2.15 to start the installation.

Choose Install IPFire
Choose Install IPFire

3. Next, choose the Language as respective to your region.

Select IPFire Language
Select Language

4. At this step, you can see that, if you not wish to continue the setup you can Cancel setup and reboot the machine.

IPFire Welcome Screen
IPFire Welcome Screen

5. Accept for the license by pressing Space bar to choose, and press OK to continue.

Select IPFire License
Select IPFire License

6. In this step a warning will be raised as the data in the selected disk will be destroyed if we continue the installation. Choose Yes to get install IPFire and choose OK.

Prepare Disk for IPFire Installation
Prepare Disk for IPFire Installation

7. Next, choose the file system as EXT4 and continue to the future steps.

Select Filesystem Type
Select Filesystem Type

8. Once, you selected filesystem type, the installation begins and disk will be formatted and system files will be get installed.

IPFire Installation
IPFire Installation

9. Once installation completes, press OK to reboot to finalize the installation and continue with the further installation to configure ISDN, networks cards and system passwords.

IPFire Installation Completed
IPFire Installation Completed

10. After system reboot, it will prompt you IPFire boot menu option, select the default option by pressing enter key.

Boot IPFire
Boot IPFire

11. Next, select the type of Keyboard mapping Language from the drop-down list as shown below.

Choose Keyboard Language
Choose Keyboard Language

12. Next, choose the timezone from the list, Here I’ve choose “India” as my timezone region.

Choose IPFire Timezone
Choose IPFire Timezone

13. Choose a host name for our IPFirewall machine. By default it will be ipfire. I’m not going to make any changes in this steps.

Set Hostname
Set Hostname

14. Give a valid domain name, if you have a local DNS server or we can define it later. Here, I am using “tecmintlocal” as my local DNS server domain name.

Set Domain Name
Set Domain Name

15. Enter a password for root user, This will be used for Command-line access. I have used redhat123$ as my password.

Set IPFire root Password
Set IPFire root Password

16. Now here we need to provide a Password for admin user for IPFire GUI web interface. The password must be different from the command line access credentials for security reason’s.

Set IPFire Web Password
Set IPFire Web Password
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16 thoughts on “How to Install ‘IPFire’ Free Firewall Linux Distribution”

  1. I need some help immediately please, I am trying to setup ipfire in my virtual environment and got to the stage where set-password is required but my keyboard won’t input anything in the field. Is there any special key to use for typing in there?

    Reply
  2. Nice writeup.

    I’ve been using ipfire as my production firewall appliance for about 5 years. It is very simple yet very powerful.

    I moved to ipfire from ipcop years ago because of the active development and modern kernel. Ipcop was secure and functional but was just kind of stagnating on innovation and moving forward to operate on today’s hardware.

    I’m surprised I don’t see more about ipfire in any the tech sites I visit.

    Thanks for promoting this great tool!

    Reply
  3. I can’t access the web interface after installation.
    I ping the green interface from my notebook and then ping my notebook from the virtualbox with the ipfire and it’s all right.

    My network range is 10.0.0.0 ~ 10.0.0.255
    IPFire range is 10.0.1.0 ~ 10.0.1.10

    I’ve tried access at: https://10.0.1.1:444 it loads for minutes, then it stops.

    Reply
  4. My Red IP is 133.82.0.4/24 and Green IP is 133.82.0.1/20.
    IPFIRE is running on NAT.
    In above condition 133.82.0.xxx/20 IP address is not working in Green LAN.
    I want to disable the NAT and enable the routing.
    What are the procedure for disable the NAT and enable the routing between green to red.

    Reply
  5. Hi Babin,

    i am unable to get the web interface i have chosen GREEN+RED

    my current network design is

    Internet (ISP)–> Modem–> Ipfire
    Red= wan=192.168.1.5 via dhcp from internet modem/router
    Green=lan=192.168.100.8 static lan

    please help to get the web interface

    Reply
      • Yes I’v entered “https://192.168.100.8:444/” in the client browser. The IP is pinging from client machine and Service Scan on this IP reveiled “3 services running; 53:domain; 81:host2-ns; 444:snpp”.

        Reply
        • Could you please give me the Network range of your Desktop? 192.168.1.0.x or 192.168.1.x? Or else? What is your Desktop IP range and have you tried by routing to 192.168.100.0 ?

          My desktop ip 192.168.0.254, network range is 192.168.0.0 but my ipfire range was 192.168.1.0 i have routed to 192.168.1.0 using:

          $ sudo route add default gw 192.168.0.254 eth0
          $ sudo route add -net 192.168.1.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 gw 192.168.0.254 eth0
          
          This will allow us to access web UI in 192.168.1.1.
          Reply

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