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The 15+ Linux Firewall Software For Protecting Your Linux System

To be a successful Linux system administrator, ensuring the security of the Linux systems or network infrastructure plays an important role. For establishing sound security management, you have to use certain rules in the Linux firewall. This Linux firewall rules control and manage incoming and outgoing network traffic and only allows legitimate connection between internal and external networks.

So the Linux firewall acts as a network security program that ultimately controls connections and dictates whether it’s valid or not (unwanted intrusions). Though Linux distros shipped with default firewall protection through iptables but yet it’s good to have some extra choices for the system administrator.

Linux Firewall Software

In this roundup article, I will share a generic list of the best open-source Linux firewall software and Linux distros used for only firewall protection. This list might help select the best one as per requirements.

1. Iptables

Iptables or Netfilter is the most popular and blazing fast open source CLI based Linux firewall. Many system administrators prefer to use it for their server protection as it plays the first line of defense of a Linux server protection.

iptables Linux firewall

Both IPv4 and IPv6 are protected using iptables and ip6tables accordingly. You can add, view, modify, or remove the rules in the packet filter ruleset.

Download Iptables

2. IPCop Firewall

If you want firewall security for a home or small office perimeter, then the IPCop firewall is best for you. IPCop is an open source Linux firewall distro which runs on an old PC with fewer resources and acts as a secure VPN for your network connection.

ipcop firewall

IPCop is a stable, user-friendly, secure, and highly configurable firewall protection system for the Linux server. You can manage and set rules of this Linux firewall through an intuitive, well designed, and easy to use web interface.

Download IPCop

3. Shorewall – Iptables Made Easy

Shorewall or Shoreline is yet another popular and free open-source Linux firewall. This firewall protection program is based on the iptables/ipchains Netfilter system built into the Linux kernel. It also supports IPV6.

Shorewall - Iptables Made Easy

If you face difficulty using the Iptables firewall or setting rules, you should try the Shorewall firewall. It supports a wide range of gateway, router, and firewall applications.

Download Shorewall

4. pfSense

pfSense is a free yet powerful open-source Linux firewall used for FreeBSD servers. It offers lots of features that you normally find on commercial firewall products. pfSense is based on the Stateful Packet filtering concept.

pfsense firewall

Once installed, one browser-based console will let you take through the firewall setup and gives you the options to configure the network interface. It can be used as a perimeter firewall protection for the router, DNS server, and DHCP. Moreover, you can use it as a VPN endpoint and wireless access point.

Download pfSense Community Edition

5. Untangle NG Firewall

Unlike any other Linux firewall, Untangle NG Firewall is a powerful Debian-based distro that provides a single unified platform where you can manage and control everything to protect the organization’s network system. This firewall system is built to keep you free from configuring network security options that ultimately save you time and money.

It has a browser-based intuitive and responsive user interface that lets you create network set-rules easily and quickly. It’s simply powerful with comprehensive security at a gateway, next-generation filtering, deep insight analysis, better connectivity, performance, etc.

Download NG Firewall

6. UFW – Uncomplicated Firewall

UFW stands for an uncomplicated firewall that is used to manage and control the Netfilter iptables firewall. It’s a command-line firewall program for the Ubuntu server and the Debian system.

UFW – Uncomplicated Firewall

The main aim of this firewall security software is to lessen the complexity of the iptables firewall using Gufw. The GUI – gufw is very user-friendly, truly uncomplicated, easy to use, and easily integrated with applications.

Download UFW  Download Gufw

7. IPFire

IPFire is one of the best open source Linux firewall software available in the market. IPFire has to offer a wide range of customizations and flexibility, and it can be configured to use as a firewall, a proxy server, or a VPN gateway.


This firewall security software is suitable for Small Office, Home Office (SOHO) environments. The attacks are detected and prevented using built-in IDS – Intrusion Detection System, and the security system is developed as a Stateful Packet Inspection(SPI) firewall.

Download IPFire Linux Firewall

8. Smoothwall Express

Ensuring network security is always cumbersome to a new system administrator. As a newbie, you might want a Linux firewall that is easy to use and offers a simple but compact user interface. In this case, Smoothwall Express will be best suitable for you.

Smoothwall Express

It’s a free open source firewall solution that includes a rock-solid security function for the Linux server system. Smoothwall express supports internal and external network firewall filtering, LAN, DMZ, insight traffic stats, web proxy for acceleration, etc.

Download Smoothwall Express

9. VyOS

VyOS is a completely free and open source network OS based on Debian GNU/Linux. You can install it on any physical hardware or a virtual machine using your own server or cloud platform. VyOS joins multiple applications, including ISC DHCPD, Quagga, StrongS/WAN, and OpenVPN, under one management interface.

VyOS Linux Firewall

Unlike pfSense, VyOS supports advanced routings like dynamic routing protocols and a command-line interface. It can also be deployed as a virtual firewall and a VPN endpoint protection.

Download VyOS

10. Vuurmuur

Vuurmuur is another easy to use but yet powerful Linux firewall built on top of iptables. This network security manager lets you control and manage iptable rules for your Linux server without any prior iptable knowledge. It supports traffic shaping and lets you access administrative privileges like looking at the logs, connection, and system bandwidth usage in real-time.

Vuurmuur Linux Firewall

Download Vuurmuur

11. Guarddog

guarrddogGuarddog is a network protocol system that helps secure a network by preventing any vulnerability or preventing access or attack. It has a well designed graphical user interface to get a smooth experience in using it. They have the right to modify and maintain the firewall. Overall, Guarddog is an easy-going Linux firewall software for usage, and the upcoming upgrades may make it more understandable.


12. SuSEfirewall2

SuSEfirewall2 is a scripted network protocol that prevents unwanted network access. It rejects or blocks the attack of any unwanted network packet that can be harmful to a private network. SuSEfirewall2 is IP version 6 supported and requires a setup that is based on zones. Users can easily configure this Linux firewall software by paying less effort. Primarily there are rules in the firewall already set up for protecting networks.


13. APF

APF stands for Advanced Policy Firewall that serves as a protective software to its network. APF works in 3 methods. Primarily it supports the network protection by following default rules applied for preventing unwanted traffic from attacking the network. The second method is to provide familiar packets the access to a certain network and restricting unfamiliars. The third method is to know about the attack of various traffic patterns with different patterns and prevent them in the future. 


14. Firewall Builder

Firewall Builder is a firewall software that consists of a Graphical User Interface. Firewall offers its users to customize and apply rules according to their accurate needs, and this can be done without coding, rather than just by describing the objective. It is a very easy-going firewall software for configuration following the exact need of a user. IPv6 and IPv4 can both be run as a mixed rule in the software. 


15. Drawbridge

Drawbridge is an all-time updated firewall software that provides the latest protection method to its users. It provides accurate protection to certain networks with the advantage of antivirus, VPN, etc. Drawbridge developer team always tries to gather the latest news about cyber attacks and work as needs. A monitoring team is also present to analyze every report and work on it to get the best service.


16. FireHOL

FireHOL is a strong Linux firewall software with a simple and easily understandable interface. It provides a variety of functions. FireHOL offers verification to traffic that is unknown to it, and if it finds it vulnerable, drops the traffic in the blacklist, and if it finds out trustable, drops the traffic in the whitelist. This Linux firewall software sorts out the traffic according to the source, file type, and date-time.


17. Plesk


plesk firewallPlesk is a firewall software that protects a private network by following some rules implemented in the firewall software. Users can customize the settings of default rules or change the rules according to their needs. This Linux firewall software checks traffic accessing the network and decides if it can have a pass or not. Continuous monitoring by the developers of Plesk ensures the security of their customers.


18. Sophos XG

Sophos XG provides next-generation service as firewall software. It is used by mid-sized companies and enterprises and has an understandable interface, and its setup is easy. This Linux firewall software is so smart that it can identify any threat trying to access the internet instantly and blocks the vulnerability at the instant. According to eSecurity Planet, Sophos XG has blocked about 93.5% of threats since it started its journey.


Honorable Mention

So now you can understand how important it is to keep safe your network connectivity. I hope this list of Linux firewall software will help you to get the best one. This Linux firewall will definitely protect your network infrastructure from being hacked.

Is this article helpful? Which Linux firewall do you use or like? Let us know your suggestion, experience, or queries in the comment below.

Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan is a passionate enthusiast for technology. He admires all things tech and loves to help others understand the fundamentals of Linux, servers, networking, and computer security in an understandable way without overwhelming beginners. His articles are carefully crafted with this goal in mind - making complex topics more accessible.


  1. Which one has interactive mode? It is when Allow / Deny prompt pops up when an unknown connection is detected. Few windows IS have it. None on Linux?

  2. What about nftables? the iptables replacement …. i use it actually, i have to say it certainly is easier to use than iptables.

  3. “Firewall Builder” is no longer supported, and most likely will not run on any current Linux installations.

    That said. fwbuilder was probably the best, easiest to setup/use firewall I have seen. Too bad the developer stopped supporting it. Would be great if someone could upgrade the software to current Linux distros. It is – or at least was – a git project

  4. This sentence is incorrect: “pfSense is a free yet powerful open-source Linux firewall used for FreeBSD servers.”


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