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Developer(s)Thomas Woerner, Red Hat, Inc.
Initial releaseJanuary 3, 2011; 10 years ago (2011-01-03)[1]
Stable release
0.9.0 / September 2, 2020; 7 months ago (2020-09-02)
Written inPython
Operating systemLinux
LicenseGNU General Public License 2

firewalld is a firewall management tool for Linux operating systems. It provides firewall features by acting as a front-end for the Linux kernel's netfilter framework via the nftables userspace utility (before v0.6.0 iptables backend),[2] acting as an alternative to the nft command line program. The name firewalld adheres to the Unix convention of naming system daemons by appending the letter "d".[3]

firewalld is written in Python. It was intended to be ported to C++, but the porting project was abandoned in January 2015.[4]


firewalld supports both IPv4 and IPv6 networks and can administer separate firewall zones with varying degrees of trust as defined in zone profiles. Administrators can configure Network Manager to automatically switch zone profiles based on known Wi-Fi (wireless) and Ethernet (wired) networks, but firewalld cannot do this on its own.[5]

Services and applications can use the D-Bus interface to query and configure the firewall.[6] firewalld supports timed rules, meaning the number of connections (or "hits") to a service can be limited globally. There is no support for hit-counting and subsequent connection rejection per source IP; a common technique deployed to limit the impact of brute-force hacking and distributed denial-of-service attacks.[7]

firewalld's command syntax is similar to but more verbose than other iptables front-ends like Ubuntu's Uncomplicated Firewall (ufw).[7] The command-line interface allows managing firewall rulesets for protocol, ports, source and destination; or predefined services by name.

Services are defined as XML files containing port- and protocol-mappings, and optionally extra information like specifying subnets and listing required Kernel helper modules.[8] The syntax resembles that of systemd's service files. A simple service file for a web server listening on TCP port 443 might look like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  <short>Web Server</short>
  <description>Public web host over HTTPS.</description>
  <port port="443" protocol="tcp" />


Firewalld currently does not support outbound rules to the same capacity of inbound rules. Limitations include things such as ipsets, service names, and default outbound block by default rules required by standards such as NIST 800-171 and 800-53. Default block all needs to be done at the "raw" IPTables level via the --direct flag, and with the order of operations Firewalld uses to prioritize rules, it may be easier to enter all rules for outbound via --direct or use iptables (netfilter-persist).

Graphical front-ends (GUIs)[edit]

firewall-config is a graphical front-end that is optionally included with firewalld, with support for most of its features.

firewall-applet is a small status indicator utility that is optionally included with firewalld. It can provide firewall event log notifications as well as a quick way to open firewall-config. firewall-applet was ported from the GTK+ to the Qt framework in the summer of 2015 following the GNOME Desktop’s deprecation of system tray icons.[9]


firewalld ships by default on the following Linux distributions:[6]

firewalld is enabled by default in all of these distributions. firewalld is also available as one of many firewall options in the package repository of many other popular distributions such as Debian[11] or Ubuntu.


  1. ^ "firewalld releases". repository. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Release firewalld-0.6.0 · firewalld/firewalld". Firewalld github. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  3. ^ Kerrisk, Michael (2010). The Linux Programming Interface. San Francisco, California: No Starch. p. 768. ISBN 9781593272203.
  4. ^ "firewalld development page". firewalld project website. Archived from the original on 3 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  5. ^ "FirewallD". Fedora community wiki. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b "firewalld project home page". firewalld project website. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  7. ^ a b Aleksandersen, Daniel. "Comparing and contrasting Uncomplicated Firewall and FirewallD". Slight Future. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  8. ^ "firewalld service configuration files". Thomas Woerner's space on Fedora People. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  9. ^ Woerner, Thomas. "On the way to Qt". firewalld blog. Archived from the original on 16 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ "Package: firewalld". Debian package repository. Retrieved 9 February 2016.