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What’s a best Linux firewall distro?

While servers need some-more impasse and active maintenance, some aspects of a designation routine are, in fact, streamlined i.e. a server distro is designed to take over an whole tough hoop that eradicates a need to conclude partitions. The firewall distros in this roundup go to good lengths to assistance we cover a designation as per your network configuration. All of them occupy browser-based interfaces that can be used to guard and cgange a several components of a firewall. 

Having a graphical interface is essential – a technologically sound bottom isn’t adequate by itself. A involved or illogically organised government interface will have a approach temperament on a distro’s usability and forestall users from removing a many out of it.

We’ll mangle this slip down into mini-reviews of a deployment experience, starting with…


IPFire is created from blemish and has a candid designation process. The installer will detect a series of NICs (Network Interface Controllers) trustworthy to a mechanism and ask we to allot them to one of a 4 colour-coded zones. Each of these zones caters to a organisation of machines that share a common confidence level. Later on you’ll be asked to allot an IP residence to a NIC that’s connected to your inner network. An IP residence will be doled out around DHCP.

Once you’ve commissioned a distro, glow adult a browser-based admin interface that is accessible on a IP residence we reserved to a NIC connected to a inner network. Head to a Firewall territory in a admin interface to conclude a manners for a firewall. While a interface is elementary to use, it requires some imagination for effective deployment. You should also review a support thoroughly. 

Score: 3/5


This distro was split from pfSense and follows a same candid designation procedure. After installation, a distro boots to a command-line dashboard that also includes a residence of a browser-based admin console. The admin interface is a one vital manifest disproportion between a distro and a progenitor. The interface takes we by a brief setup sorceress call we for information about your network.

Once it’s rebooted with a right settings, conduct to a Rules territory underneath Firewall. The manners clarification interface is presented logically and includes a switch to arrangement applicable assistance information to explain a several settings. Similarly, configuring a other components of a firewall distro is also a comparatively discerning process. Since a distro has a immeasurable series of settings, we can enter keywords in a hunt box during a tip of a interface to locate a applicable setting.

Score: 4/5


The FreeBSD-based distros, pfSense and OPNsense, use a same sincerely programmed installers, yet a strange pfSense chronicle offers some-more modernized options, including a ability to implement a tradition kernel. Again, usually like OPNsense, pfSense boots to a console-based interface that gives we a choice to configure a network interfaces on a commissioned machine.

Once they are all set adult and configured, a browser-based console will take we by a setup wizard. The web interface for pfSense has recently been updated giving it a most smoother and some-more streamlined feel. 

The distro requires we to put some time into training it, generally if you’re going to use a appendage packages, though a support is value a weight in bullion (if printed out).

Score: 3/5

Sophos UTM

To get started with Sophos UTM we have to download a ISO, register on a project’s website, get a user looseness and upload it to a server for serve configuration. During installation, Sophos asks we to name a NIC connected to a inner network and allot it an IP address, that we can use to entrance a distro’s browser-based admin interface. You’ll also be asked to determine to designation of some exclusive components that are required in sequence to use a distro.

Once installed, we can move adult a browser-based government interface and run by a brief setup during that we can upload a licence. Sophos afterwards thatch down all trade and enables we to ‘poke’ holes for a form of trade we wish to allow.

Score: 5/5

Untangle NG Firewall

The Debian-based distro Untangle NG is really easy to set adult and is a usually distro in this roundup that restarts automatically after designation into a web-based setup wizard. Untangle NG asks we to set a cue for a admin user, afterwards to select and configure a dual network cards. One of these connects to a internet and a other to your inner network.

Once setup is complete, Untangle prompts we to emanate a giveaway comment in sequence to configure a server. You’ll afterwards have to implement applications, such as a firewall, to capacitate specific functions. Almost all a applications are preconfigured and run automatically after install. You can also customise any focus by clicking a Settings symbol underneath it. Untangle’s dashboard also enables we to analyse a trade flitting by a server, and any focus will uncover statistics for a possess trade as well.

Score: 4/5

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