Installing A Firewall – Basics (Raspberry Pi)

Firewall Status

If you are opening your Raspberry Pi to the internet then security should be a concern/part of your project design.  So today I’m going to look at configuring a software firewall called UFW.

Installing UFW

Installing a firewall on the Raspberry Pi (Raspbian) is accomplished easily via the terminal and the following line:

Installing UFW on Raspbian
Installing UFW on Raspbian

sudo apt install ufw

The above installs the firewall. Before enabling it though, it is recommend to think about what ports you need to have open to access your Raspberry Pi. I’ve bolded your at this point as what ports you need depends on what you are doing on your Pi.

Turning On The Firewall

After installing UFW it needs turning on using the line:

Enabling UFW (turning on the firewall)
Enabling UFW (turning on the firewall)

sudo ufw enable

However, before enabling the firewall I would recommend allowing some ports (just in case).

Allowing A Port

Ports are very important, different services uses different ports and it is worth knowing what some of them are. Popular ports include:

  • Port 80 – HTTP (for serving web pages)
  • Port 443 – HTTPS (for serving secure web pages)
  • Port 22 – SSH (needed if you SSH to your Pi)

More information on ports can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_(computer_networking)

UFW allowing a port
UFW allowing a port

Allowing a port is done via:

sudo ufw allow Port_Number

For example sudo ufw allow 443 allows connections to port 443 (HTTPS).

Denying A Port

Just as it is important to allow ports, it is also important to deny ports. Denying a port stops connections to the port, so make sure you don’t deny access to a port you need access to (i.e. if you SSH to your Pi do not deny port 22).

UFW denying a port
UFW denying a port

Denying a port is very similar to allowing a port:

sudo ufw deny Port_Number

For example sudo ufw deny 443 would deny 443 (HTTPS).

Viewing Status Of Firewall

Firewall Status
Firewall Status

To view the status of your firewall (e.g. what is allowed, denyed or limited) enter:

sudo ufw status

UFW will then list all the ports it is allowing/denying/limiting. Note that the (v6) is the IPv6 port. An internet connection generally uses IPv4 but at some point IPv6 should become the standard. I write “at some point” because the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 is a long process. For more information see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPv6

Limiting

UFW limiting a port
UFW limiting a port

Limiting is a great function if you want to allow a port but also want a little security on the port. Limiting allows the port but if multiple connections (6 or more) are attempted in a time frame (30 seconds) then UFW denies the connections. Note: Limiting currently only works on IPv4.

sudo ufw limit ssh/tcp

The above will limit access to ssh.

Log File

To enable logging (recommended) enter:

UFW turning on logging
UFW turning on logging

sudo ufw logging on

UFW stores the log under /var/log/ufw.log , if your working on a project and having issues connecting then I recommend viewing the logs to see if your project is using an unexpected port (in which case you may need to allow the port).

 

 

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