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Having gotten Mandrake 9.2 running pretty well with gnome, I am starting to get into Linux in a big way. However I am concerned that my computer is not as protected as it could be.

I am connecting to the net with always on adsl using eth0, When I installed Mandrake I tried to set-up my firewall, but got quite confused and just left it at the default (allow all connections). Having previously used Norton Internet Sec. on my dual boot sys, I am having great difficulty in trying to figure this out with Linux.

I have checked quite a few sites, and yet it still all baffles me a bit.

Can anybody help with either how I set the firewall up or if there is a good gui style (aka Norton type) system that I could use?

I would be very grateful for any help offered.

(I've gone a whole week without going near XP and that is something I thought would never happen)


you should read this first :

after that read this :

as for the GUI for iptables :

try this

Robert B
I did a lot of reading before deciding on a firewall, and the most important idea that the security gurus kept on pushing was that it's very important to separate your firewall from the stuff you want to protect.

If you want to get really secure, I suggest taking an old machine and setting it up as a firewall for all of your computers. I recently did just that using smoothwall (, and it is awesome to say the least (and it's free). It's a linux-based firewall system that you can control almost entirely through a web gui interface. Lots of support and helpful ppl on the forums, too.

I've been using iptables as the firewall,...and not a old computer , I'm using a XP2000,256DDR Nforce2,GeForce2MX as the firewall, got 3 ethernet cards, 1for the net , 1 for mail,web,ffp [future ] servers , 1 for DMZ.

Robert B

Cheers for that help... I will try and wade my way through that wink.gif
It looks very informative, so me thinks I need a little time to get to grips with this. Again thanks, and I will keep you posted of my progress.

Bye the way, just to say of all the Forums I've checked out this is by far the most helpfull so far... or it could be that my questions are a little dumb sometimes....

Either way, I am soooo pleased I joined the Linux community and look forward to ridding my system of M$ very soon!!

QUOTE (lussumo @ Mar 17 2004, 05:07 PM)
the most important idea that the security gurus kept on pushing was that it's very important to separate your firewall from the stuff you want to protect.

That is good advise ... but actually, I recommend that you do both ... setup a seperate firewall at the boundary (so you can share your internet connection) AND put a software firewall (like Zone Alarm, Norton Personel Firewall, etc. for windows ... a simple iptables script like the ones built in for Linux) on each PC inside the firewall.

Smoothwall uses iptables ... it is good, but I just use iptables without the gui interface like robert83.

Another good gui firewall is IPCOP.

Another one (that is included with Mandrake 9.2) is Shorewall.

Personally, I think it is easier to learn how to use iptables directly than to learn how to use the GUI firewalls (at least for complicated networks ... for home networks, the out of the box setup is usually fine)....

Also, an older pc is fine for a small network (like a home network with 2-6 PCs), but on larger networks, a better machine will be required.
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