In my previous post regarding iptables, I’ve mention about an iptables management tool called Vuurmuur (http://www.vuurmuur.org/). Most people have probably heard about FireStarter, KMyFirewall and ShoreWall. Basically Vuurmuur serves the same purpose, which is providing easy way to manipulate iptables rules for users to manage their firewall without having to worry about all those complex iptables commands. Those tools give us the ability to play around with iptables either by using graphical interface or adjusting configuration files.
The thing I like about vuurmuur is that it uses Ncurses GUI interface, meaning that you can manage it via a terminal console or SSH. The drawback of using tools such as FireStarter, KmyFirewall is you need to have a graphical desktop, thus making it hard to manage them remotely especially via slow internet connection or if you are using Windows machine to do the administration process. While some other tools provide web-based management interface such as Smoothwall (via Webmin) or a dedicated firewall box like IpCop and Astaro Internet Security, allowing those web interface to the internet wouldn’t be a recommended practice. Furthermore, the web interface provided by Astaro Internet Security is too slow for a remote user.
So if you need a very light (and yet POWERFUL) solution suitable for frequent remote administration, its either you use the pure command line iptables command, or using config file based tool such as ShoreWall, or lastly if you really need non web-based GUI then Vuurmuur would be an ideal answer. You can simply SSH from anywhere (provided that you allow SSH remotely) or by using Windows SSH interface called Putty.
Apart form that, I am also pleased with it’s ability to do other things such as providing realtime log viewer, traffic shaping, traffic volume monitoring and lots more. Combine those things with Iptraf, then you will get hooked if front of your ‘blue screen’ for the whole day, even worse than watching blue film. 😉