IPFire – An Open Source, And Free Firewall Distribution

IPFire – An Open Source, And Free Firewall Distribution

IPFire is an open-source Linux distribution with many useful features such as web based GUI, web proxy, intrusion detection, VPN, virus scanner, and many. Visit the official website for more details. It has many add-ons which can be installed with a single click and makes the system administrators life much easier.

Installing IPFire

Minimum System Requirements:

  • IPFire needs at-least a Intel Pentium 333MHz processor or better CPU;
  • It needs 256MB RAM, but 512MB is recommended;
  • 100MB disk space, but 2GB or more could be better.
  • At least two network adapters is mandatory. One for ISP (Inbound) and another one for your local area network.

Well, first head over to the IPFire download page, and get the latest version of IPFire. Burn image in a CD or USB thumb drive, and boot the system.

The following screen should appear. Press ENTER to continue.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_001

Select your preferred Language, and click OK.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_002

Accept the License Agreement, and click OK.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_004

Select Yes, and click OK to partition the hard drive.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_005

Choose your filesystem type, and click OK.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_006

Now, the installer will begin to install the base system.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_007

After installation is over, press OK to reboot your system.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_008

We’re not finished yet. At first time you log in to IPFire system, you’ll be asked some extra questions.

Select the keyboard layout. Here, I selected US keyboard layout.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_010

Select your time zone.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_011

Enter the host name for the firewall. Here, I go with the defaults.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_013

Enter the domain name.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_014

Enter the root user password for command-line access. Passwords will not be shown(even the ***** characters too).

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_015

Enter the “admin” user password for web based administration. Here also, passwords will not be shown(even the ***** characters too).

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_016

Here, we reached the important section. pay little more attention. You have to carefully select the Network configuration. Here let me explain you about the network zones of IPFire.

The default network configuration type is Green + Red, which means 2 networks. Typically, your Green network is for your LAN and your Red network is for WAN(Internet).

A maximum of 4 networks is possible – namely Green, Blue, Orange, and Red.

  • Red
– WAN – External network, connected to the Internet
  • Green
– LAN – Internal/Private network, connected locally
  • Orange
– DMZ – Unprotected/Server network, de-militarized Zone
  • Blue
– WLAN – Wireless Network, separate network for wireless clients

You can choose the network type depending upon your environment.

Choose the Network configuration type, and click OK.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_017

Select the network configuration for IPFire. In my case, I go with default network configuration i.e Green and Red. Green Network is connected to my local network, and the Red network is connected with WAN i.e to the router. Click Ok to continue.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_018

Select Drivers and card assignments option, and click Ok.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_019

Choose the interface you want to change ex.Green.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_020

Then, select the a nic for the Green network.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_021

Likewise, choose the interface for Red zone.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_022

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_023

After assigning interfaces for both zones click Done to save the changes.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_024

Now, you will be again redirected back to your Network Configuration Wizard.

Click on Address settings to set the IP Address for the network interfaces.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_025

Select Green interface, and click OK.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_026

Enter the IP Address for Green interface.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_028

Then, set IP Address to RED interface. Set your WAN IP address.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_029

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_030

After setting up IP addresses click Done to return back your network configuration wizard.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_031

Click on the DNS and Gateway settings tab and set your DNS and Gateway details.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_032

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_033

After completing all the above steps, click Done to finish the network configuration.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_034

If you want to set this system as DHCP server for your LAN, check on Enabled button and enter the IP range to serve to your LAN systems. Here, I am not using this server as DHCP. So I leave it as unchecked.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_035

Finally, click OK to complete the setup wizard.

IPFire [Running] - Oracle VM VirtualBox_036

The system will automatically restart now. That’s it. Now the installation part is over.

The network configuration part might be little bit difficult for newbies. But, if you understand the concept, it’s very easy. Read the instructions carefully, and set the values.

Configure IPFire

After your system is rebooted, access the IPFire administration console by navigating to https://ip-address-of-server:444/ from your client system browser.

Enter username as admin, and password that you created during the installation process.

New Tab - Mozilla Firefox_038

This is how the IPFire main dashboard looks.

ipfire.localdomain - Main page - Mozilla Firefox_040

From here, you can configure many services like Intrusion detection, VPN, Web proxy, firewall and so on. Let us see some.

Status Menu

This section will show you the graph details of System, Memory, Network, hardware, and many.Also you can view the reports in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.

ipfire.localdomain - Status information - Mozilla Firefox_001

Network Menu

This is the important, and interesting section. In this section, we can configure a lot of options such as:

  • Web proxy
  • URL Filter
  • Update accelerator
  • DHCP Server
  • Connection scheduler
  • DNS Forwarding
  • MAC address assiging
  • And more.

Web proxy:

Using this option, we can make this server to act as a Internet proxy server for our LAN. You can set both transparent and non-transparent proxy.

ipfire.localdomain - Advanced web proxy configuration - Mozilla Firefox_002

You don’t have to mess up with commands. You can setup squid proxy server with few mouse clicks instantly.

URL Filter:

This section is much useful to optimize the Internet connection. In this section, we can block unwanted ads, porn websites, social networking sites, hacking, drugs, audio-video websites and so on.

ipfire.localdomain - URL filter configuration - Mozilla Firefox_003

If you want to block particular domains or websites, just add them one by one in the custom black list section. The domains or websites added in this list will be blocked automatically. Or you can add all the websites in a separate text file and import it to IPFire firewall.

There are other sections such Update accelerator, DHCP server, Connection scheduler etc. Go through to the other sections, and make the changes as per your wish.


In this section, you can configure services such as VPN, Intrusion Detection, Dynamic DNS, and so on.

ipfire.localdomain - OpenVPN - Mozilla Firefox_004


The firewall section allows to allow/deny the inbound and outbound connection in your network. In this section, you can add the firewall rules whatever you want to implement.

ipfire.localdomain - iptables - Mozilla Firefox_005


IPFire has a package manager called pakfire which can be used to add extra add-ons. Pakfire allows you to update the IPFire to the most recent version, and also to add any available plugins.

ipfire.localdomain - Pakfire Configuration - Mozilla Firefox_006


Well, we reached the last section. In this section, all logs such as proxy logs, firewall logs, IDS logs and URL filter logs will be available. Using these logs, we can track users and keep an eye on them what they are doing on Internet.

ipfire.localdomain - System Logs - Mozilla Firefox_009


IPFire is one of the powerful, robust, and free firewall distribution ever I have tested. We can deploy it in just only few hours. The installation and configuration is simple and straight forward. If you still have difficulties, you can get support from IPFire. The IPFire team is also providing commercial support and hardware appliances too.

If anybody using this firewall right now, please let us know about it’s performance in the comment section.

Thanks, and Good Luck.

  • http://pavol-prochazka.cz Pavol Procházka

    Look like IPCop – is it fork of it or it comes from IPCop?

  • SK

    Yes, It is fork of IPCop.

  • Badreddine Moon

    Thank you so much, But I have a question, Can I use it as a modem and a router in the same time,Can I plug the ISP cable (RJ11) directly into The IPFire pc (I have an old pc that have two lan network cards and one wlan network card) and configure The PPPoE and than setup a dhcp to provide IP to the clients (lan & wlan), If I can, how can I convert the RJ11 cable to plug it into the RJ45 port.

  • Benny Red Hat

    i have question about installing ipfire, i’m running ubuntu 14.04. my question is do ipfire overwrite my ubuntu OS while installing ipfire on single machine, please help me

  • SK

    Yes, It will destroy all your datas. However, you can install ipfire alongside Ubuntu (Dual boot).

  • Benny Red Hat

    i’m still confuse, i’m running dual OS on my laptop, but how do i can
    install it alongside my ubuntu..please provide me detail instructions

  • SK

    Benny, IPFIre is an OS. It will delete all your hdd datas. Try dual boot(Ubuntu+IPFire) or use a dedicated system. You can’t install it on Ubuntu.

  • Benny Red Hat

    thanks SK for explanation, now it’s sound clear. it must be i’ve to repartitioning my drive right? is it good if i’ve to install triple os? Windows – Ubuntu- then ipfire?does it impact to my machine performance?if so, i would cancel my plan to install it,

  • http://pavol-prochazka.cz Pavol Procházka

    I do not know the reason you want to install IPFire together with other distros. Do not not any impact on perfomance but be carefull with installation and partition HDD. But…. if you want only test – why do not use virtualization? VirtualBox, qemu, vmware ….?
    It it safe and good way to test.

  • SK

    Benny, I don’t know why do you want to use triple OS? It will definitely impact the system performance. As pavol suggested in the below comment, if you want to test IPFire, use any virtualization tools like KVM, Virtualbox or Vmware. I strongly suggest you to use a dedicated system for IPFire in production environment.

  • Dileep

    Dear when we install it on vmvare prbolem to assign network setting because it is detect only one lan card not other how Do i asign to proced next

  • Benny Red Hat

    thanks SK for recomended, perhaps i’ll try via VM first.
    thanks for helping

  • Benny Red Hat

    Thanks pavol prochazka for advise.

  • xXx

    ipfire is extremely stable, and one of the kind in some situations.
    I’m using ipfire with a crapberry pi and is working pretty well.
    One ethernet ( built in ) and two wireless usb sticks ( with external powered usb hub).
    The purpose is a wireless signal extender for my large house ( with all the firewall and caching goods ).
    All other attempts to re-purpose the crapberry ( raspian, tazberry ) have fallen into silent death.
    ipfire works rock solid without freezes and forced reboots.

  • asau

    Is it possible to add service like webserver (apache) and samba file sharing?

  • xXx

    yes, ipfire have a package manager ( pakfire ) with the services you need.

  • waheedullah

    IPFire is the best free firewall a like it ………….thanks IPFire

  • waheedullah

    I have a question please help me.
    There are 2 network cards in my pc but during the installation of “”” Network configuration type”””” it get error that ipfire 2 NIC but 0 available please help my guys…….

  • fight_the_future

    SK (or anyone else). Can you comment on IPFire vs pfSense? I am on pfSense for the last few years but would like to know of any major limitations of moving to IPFire.

  • SK

    Hi there, Unfortunately we don’t have any articles regarding the comparison between IPFire and PfSense. But, the following links will definitely show you the detailed comparison between them.




    Hope it helps you. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Znet

    im instal in a virtual box andthen i forgot pass root, how i reset pass root in a virtual box. thx

  • muthuraja

    Thank u mr sk, really this screen short is helpful
    May u kindly give the advice for wireless support so that i can configure my office environment


    thanks for this post,please how i can allow all ports ?

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