How to Install UFW on Linux Mint 21/20

The Uncomplicated Firewall, or simply UFW, is a widely embraced network security tool that provides an intuitive interface for managing Linux IPTables firewall rules. It offers a user-friendly platform to manipulate the usually complex IPTables commands, making the process of administering a firewall seamless for both beginners and experienced users alike.

What Sets UFW Apart

  • Ease of Use: Unlike IPTables, which often involves working with intricate command lines, UFW’s structure is far more straightforward and accessible. With its intuitive syntax, managing your firewall’s rules becomes less of a hassle.
  • Flexibility: UFW is adaptable to various network scenarios. From simple host-based firewall tasks to complex network configurations, it’s able to cater to different security needs.
  • Comprehensive Documentation: UFW provides a broad range of documentation and community support. It ensures that users have access to a wealth of information to aid their experience.
  • Rule Prioritization: With UFW, there is an orderly prioritization of firewall rules. It allows for logical and structured control over the firewall’s behavior.
  • Default Deny Policy: A highly secure default deny policy is inherent in UFW. This principle significantly enhances security by blocking all connections, save for those explicitly allowed.
  • App-Specific Rules: UFW allows users to create rules targeted at specific applications. This feature provides granular control over the network interactions of individual apps.

Why Linux Mint Users Need UFW

Now, you may wonder, “Why should a Linux Mint user consider installing UFW?” Linux Mint is already a robust system in terms of security, but the addition of UFW strengthens this further.

  • Supplement Security Measures: While Linux Mint does have its own security protocols, having an additional layer of security in the form of UFW further strengthens the system against potential network threats.
  • Simplified Control: UFW allows Linux Mint users to control incoming and outgoing traffic without delving deep into the complexities of IPTables.
  • Preconfigured Rules: UFW comes with a set of preconfigured rules which can make the task of setting up a firewall on a Linux Mint system less time-consuming and more efficient.
  • Guided Control: UFW provides a guided way to set specific rules for individual applications, making the security process more granular and controlled.

Therefore, it is clear that integrating UFW into your Linux Mint system not only solidifies your security setup but also simplifies your interactions with the firewall rules. It brings you a mix of versatility, ease, and security.

As we delve further, the guide will demonstrate how to install UFW on Linux Mint 21 or Linux Mint 20 distribution releases.

Section 1: Confirming the Presence of UFW on Linux Mint

Step 1: Update Your Linux Mint System

Before initiating the process of installing the Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW), it’s essential to ensure that your Linux Mint operating system and its packages are up-to-date. This initial step provides a solid foundation for a smooth installation process by avoiding any possible conflicts with outdated packages.

Execute the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

The sudo apt update command refreshes your system’s local package index to get information about the latest versions of packages and their dependencies. Subsequently, sudo apt upgrade installs the latest versions of all packages currently installed on your system from the sources enumerated in your system’s sources list.

If your Linux Kernel has been updated during this process, it may be necessary to reboot your system to complete the installation and start using the new kernel.

Step 2: Install UFW on Linux Mint

Once your system is up-to-date, you can proceed with the installation of UFW. Unlike certain other Ubuntu-based distributions, UFW does not come pre-installed on Linux Mint. This calls for a manual installation, which is carried out using the following command:

sudo apt install ufw

The sudo apt install ufw command triggers the installation of the UFW package. This process may require your permission to use additional disk space.

Step 3: Enable UFW

Following a successful installation, the next step involves enabling the UFW service. It’s crucial to enable UFW so it can run at boot time, thus ensuring your system remains secure even after a restart.

Run the command below to enable and start the UFW service:

sudo systemctl enable ufw --now

The systemctl enable command ensures that the service (UFW, in this case) starts at boot time. The --now flag starts the service immediately.

Step 4: Verify UFW Status

Lastly, to ascertain that UFW is running flawlessly, you need to verify its status. This step ensures that the installation and activation of UFW have been successful and that the service is running without any issues.

Run the following command to check the status of the UFW service:

systemctl status ufw

The systemctl status command provides real-time information about the state of the specified service, UFW in this case.

Example output:

Section 2: Exploring Fundamental UFW Command Examples

In the previous section, we successfully installed UFW and ensured its active status on your Linux Mint system. In this segment, let’s gain a practical understanding of some basic UFW commands. These commands serve as essential building blocks for managing your UFW firewall.

Step 1: Enabling UFW

After UFW installation, it’s essential to enable it for the firewall to start functioning. You can accomplish this with the following command:

sudo ufw enable

Upon running this command, UFW is activated, and your Linux Mint system starts using UFW’s default rules.

Step 2: Disabling UFW

If you need to halt UFW’s operation for any reason, use the following command:

sudo ufw disable

Executing this command suspends UFW’s functioning, leaving your system without UFW’s firewall protection until it’s enabled again.

Step 3: Checking UFW’s Status

To ascertain whether UFW is active or inactive, you can use this command:

sudo ufw status verbose

This command presents detailed information about UFW’s current status, the default policies, and any rules that are in place.

Section 3: Deepening Your Expertise with Advanced UFW Command Examples

Having covered the essential UFW commands, it’s time to delve deeper. This section will take you through a plethora of advanced UFW commands, giving you greater control over your firewall configurations.

Setting Default Policies

We already discussed setting default policies, but understanding its importance is crucial. Default policies guide how UFW should handle incoming and outgoing traffic that doesn’t match any other rule.

sudo ufw default deny incoming
sudo ufw default allow outgoing

The first command blocks all incoming connections, while the second permits all outgoing connections. This configuration ensures a high level of security by allowing your system to communicate with the outside world while blocking potentially harmful incoming connections.

The first command sets UFW to block all incoming traffic, whereas the second sets it to allow all outgoing traffic. This combination establishes a robust security configuration.

Fine-tuning Specific Connections

Let’s look at how to allow or deny connections based on different parameters, such as port number, protocol, or IP address.

Allowing SSH Connections

sudo ufw allow ssh

This allows incoming SSH connections, which is equivalent to allowing traffic on port 22.

Allowing Traffic on Specific Port with Specific Protocol

sudo ufw allow 8080/tcp

This allows incoming TCP traffic on port 8080, which is often used for web services.

Allowing Traffic from a Specific IP Address

sudo ufw allow from

This allows all traffic from the IP address

Deleting UFW Rules

Being adept at managing your firewall rules is essential. To delete rules, you can reference them by numbers. First, list the rules:

sudo ufw status numbered

This command lists the rules with numbers beside each. To delete a rule, use the number next to it:

sudo ufw delete 2

This deletes the rule number 2 from the list.

Logging UFW Activity

Monitoring UFW’s activities can provide insights into traffic patterns and potential security threats.

sudo ufw logging on

This enables logging. The logs can typically be found in /var/log/ufw.log.

Resetting UFW Configurations

In some cases, you might want to reset UFW to its default state. This can be achieved using:

sudo ufw reset

This command disables UFW, deletes all rules, and reverts to default policies.

Configuring UFW to Deny Outgoing Traffic to a Specific Domain

This is useful for blocking traffic to particular websites or services:

sudo ufw deny out to

This denies all outgoing traffic to

Limiting Connection Attempts

Limiting connection attempts is an effective measure against brute-force attacks.

sudo ufw limit ssh

This limits SSH connection attempts from a single IP address to six or fewer every 30 seconds.

Summary of UFW on Linux Mint

In the realm of Linux Mint, we’ve navigated through the entire process of installing and configuring the Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW). This invaluable tool secures your system by managing inbound and outbound network traffic. We’ve not only understood its installation but also covered its basic and advanced command usage. We’ve learned to enable and disable UFW, checked its status, set default policies, and fine-tuned specific connections. We’ve also delved into how to delete, log, reset, and limit UFW rules, equipping you with comprehensive knowledge to strengthen your Linux Mint system’s security.

Additional Resources

Here are some top-tier resources for further exploration:

  • UFW Documentation: The official Ubuntu community documentation for UFW, which offers in-depth knowledge and troubleshooting tips. Despite being an Ubuntu resource, it’s applicable to Linux Mint due to its Ubuntu base.