How to add a GUI to your Ubuntu firewall (and why you should)

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Ubuntu is one of the most user-friendly Linux distributions on the market. It is also one of the most widely used open source operating systems (OS). And since Linux is often considered the most secure operating system available, it’s a bit surprising why the OS doesn’t default to enabling the firewall, and includes a GUI tool that uses the firewall that even novice users can take care of.

Fortunately, there is a straightforward GUI application that you can install to enable and make working with Uncomplicated Firewall a very simple endeavor. The only caveat is that the installation of the GUI requires you to run a single command.

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I will walk you through the installation of the UFW GUI and how to use it.

Don’t worry, anyone can handle this simple task.

How to install UFW GUI

What you will need: To make this process work, you’ll need a running instance of Ubuntu — or any Ubuntu-based distribution — and a user with sudo privileges.

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That’s it. Let’s get to work.

To install the UFW GUI, open the Terminal app on your desktop, which can be done from the desktop menu.

Next, we’ll install the GUI with the command:

sudo apt-get install gufw -y

The above command will pick up the required dependencies for the GUI and install everything without any problems.

Using the GUI

All you want to do is enable UFW. In the GUI’s only window, you’ll find an On/Off slider labeled Status. Since UFW is disabled by default, you need to click the On/Off slider until it is in the On position.

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Once you’ve done this, the firewall is activated and protects your desktop.

Gufw Windows running on Elementary OS 7.

As you can see, the GUI clearly indicates that the firewall is disabled.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZdNet

Let’s say you want to allow Samba traffic to your desktop, so you can share folders and files with other devices on your network. To do this, click the Rules tab and then click the + in the lower left corner of the window.

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In the resulting popup, leave everything as it is except for the application entry. Click the Application dropdown and select SAMBA. Click on Add and then click on Close.

gufw firewall rule add window.

Creating an incoming rule to allow Samba traffic to your desktop.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZdNet

You should now see that every port associated with Samba has been added as a firewall rule. Once you allow Samba through the firewall, those who need to access your shared directories will still be able to do so, while the rest of the ports on your machine will be locked down.

Add gufw to required samba rules.

Every port required by Samba is opened.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZdNet

Although Linux is considered one of the most secure operating systems on the market, some more user-friendly distributions could use a helping hand to make them more secure.

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