How to quickly become firewall expert with UFW !

Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW) is a helper tool which allows you to quickly setup iptables firewall in any Ubuntu server. It is installed by default and it allows you to secure your server at no time!

Basic UFW

Basic UFW: Check Status
You can check UFW by running this command. The verbose argument prints additional information such as UFW profiles, logging settings.

The ‘numbered’ argument prints the list of rules with line number. I’ll explain later on the use of this feature.

sudo ufw status
sudo ufw status verbose
sudo ufw status  numbered

Basic UFW: Enable and Disable Firewall
You can easily enable and disable firewall by specifying ‘disable’ and ‘enable’ argument.

Warning : Please do not enable UFW if you’re connecting using SSH connection to your Ubuntu box, you might be disconnected.

sudo ufw disable
sudo ufw enable

Basic UFW: Setting up default rule and Enabling SSH
A lot of you might be connecting to Ubuntu box using SSH connections, so the first step is to setup a default rule and enabling SSH connection.

Deny incoming connection

sudo ufw default deny incoming

Allow incoming SSH connection

sudo ufw allow ssh

Alternatively you can write:

sudo ufw allow 22/tcp

Finally, enable firewall

sudo ufw enable

You can check the firewall rules by running

sudo ufw status

Basic UFW: Enabling other service: HTTP, HTTPS

Enabling web server port and https is as easy as running

sudo ufw allow http
sudo ufw allow https

Basic UFW: Deleting rule
You can delete UFW rule by running

sudo ufw delete allow https

or by specifying its port and protocol

sudo ufw delete allow 443/tcp

Additionally you could also delete rule using its number by running “ufw status numbered” first

sudo ufw status numbered
ufw status numbered
Status: active

     To                         Action      From
     --                         ------      ----
[ 1] 22                         ALLOW IN    Anywhere
[ 2] 22/tcp                     ALLOW IN    Anywhere
[ 3] 443                        ALLOW IN    Anywhere
[ 4] 22 (v6)                    ALLOW IN    Anywhere (v6)
[ 5] 22/tcp (v6)                ALLOW IN    Anywhere (v6)
[ 6] 443 (v6)                   ALLOW IN    Anywhere (v6)

Then pick a firewall rule based on its number to delete, I picked number 3 and 6, because I want to delete https rule

sudo ufw delete 3
sudo ufw delete 6

UFW will print a confirmation prompt and you can continue deleting the firewall rules

/home/mypapit# ufw delete 6
 allow 443
Proceed with operation (y|n)? y   
Rule deleted (v6)

/home/mypapit# ufw delete 3
 allow 443
Proceed with operation (y|n)? y
Rule deleted

Intermediate UFW

Intermediate UFW: Deny access from ip address or ip block
You can prevent certain ip address or ip blocks / subnets from reaching your server by running:

sudo ufw deny from

Deny an ip address subnet

sudo ufw deny from

Deny an ip address subnet, example #2

sudo ufw deny from

Intermediate UFW: Allow services to be connected from certain ip address or subnet
In this case, I will only allow certain ip address to connect to my SSH port.

First we delete the old – “allow all” SSH rule

sudo ufw disable
sudo ufw delete allow ssh

Then we add ip address to be allowed to connect to SSH port

sudo ufw allow from to any port ssh

Alternatively, you could also specify port number and protocol

sudo ufw allow from to any port 22 proto tcp

Only allow SSH connections from certain subnets

sudo ufw allow from to any port 22 proto tcp

Note: Adding firewall rules to only allow SSH connection from certain subnets would increase the server security, further reducing brute-force attack.

Further Reading: Ubuntu Server Administrator Reference