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Firestarter is an Open Source visual firewall program. The software aims to combine ease of use with powerful features, therefore serving both Linux desktop users and system administrators.

Use the firewall creation wizard to create a basic firewall, then streamline it further using the powerful dynamic rules modifiers. Open and close ports with a few clicks, or stealth your services giving access only to a select few. Watch the real-time hit monitor as attackers probe your machine for open ports, in vain.

Firestarter makes full advantage of GNOME but also works in most environments.

Firestarter aims to provide a safe and user-friendly firewall policy¹ by default. While it protects both the firewall host itself as well as any client hosts connected to a local network from intrusion attempts, it does not impose restrictions on the services that the protected hosts themselves can access.

The main components of the Firestarter interface are:

The firewall wizard guiding the user through configuring the application the first time you run Firestarter
The status page provides a quick overview of the state of the firewall as well as allowing the user to start and shut it down
The events page contains the intrusion attempt history of the firewall
The policy page is where access policy is reviewed. The policy alone determines what is allowed through the firewall
The preferences controls many aspects of the interface, as well as giving the user the option to enable some additional filtering functions of the firewall

¹A firewall policy is a set of rules that together unambiguously for every connection determine whether it is allowed to pass through the firewall or not.

 Firestarter 1.0.3

Free to download


GNU General Public License

Tomas Junnonen and Paul Drain


System Requirements
Linux kernel 2.4 or 2.6
Linux IP Firewalling Tables (iptables) >= 1.2.3

Support Sites:
User Manual, Firestarter Guide, How to install IPTables Firewall Configuration GUI (Firestarter)

Selected Reviews:
Linux Planet,,, Ars Technica

Features include:

  • User friendly, easy to use, graphical interface
  • A wizard walks you through setting up your firewall on your first time
  • Suitable for use on desktops, servers and gateways
  • Real-time firewall event monitor shows intrusion attempts as they happen
  • Enables Internet connection sharing, optionally with DHCP service for the clients
  • Allows you to define both inbound and outbound access policy
  • Open or stealth ports, shaping your firewalling with just a few mouse clicks
  • Enable port forwarding for your local network in just seconds
  • Option to whitelist or blacklist traffic
  • Real time firewall events view
  • View active network connections, including any traffic routed through the firewall
  • Advanced Linux kernel tuning features provide protection from flooding, broadcasting and spoofing
  • Support for tuning ICMP parameters to stop Denial of Service (DoS) attacks
  • Support for tuning ToS parameters to improve services for connected client computers
  • Ability to hook up user defined scripts or rulesets before or after firewall activation
  • Supports Linux Kernels 2.4 and 2.6
  • Translations available for many languages

Firestarter also features in our 'Linux Equivalents to Windows Software' section.

Unlike their Window counterparts, the vast majority of the Linux applications listed in the section are available to download without charge (a few of the Linux equivalents are commercial, or released under a proprietory license).

You can filter the different types of software included in the 'Linux Equivalents to Windows Software' article by using the category selector below.


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Last Updated Thursday, March 31 2011 @ 02:15 PM EST

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