How to Install “IPFire” Free Firewall Linux Distribution

If you're looking for a reliable and robust firewall solution for your network, IPFire might be the answer. IPFire is a free and open-source Linux distribution that provides enterprise-level security features, including a stateful inspection firewall, intrusion detection and prevention, virtual private networking (VPN), and more. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to install IPFire on your network.

Before we get started, let's make sure that your system meets the minimum requirements for IPFire −

  • A 64-bit processor

  • At least 512 MB of RAM

  • At least 4 GB of storage

  • If your system meets these requirements, you're ready to proceed.

Step 1: Download IPFire ISO Image

The first step is to download the latest IPFire ISO image from the official website. You can download it from this link:

Once the download is complete, verify the SHA256 checksum of the ISO image to make sure it hasn't been tampered with during the download process. You can use the following command on Linux to verify the SHA256 checksum −

sha256sum ipfire-2.25.x86_64-full-core156.iso

Make sure the output matches the SHA256 checksum provided on the IPFire website.

Step 2: Burn IPFire ISO Image to a DVD or USB Drive

The next step is to burn the IPFire ISO image to a DVD or USB drive. You can use any software that can burn ISO images to a DVD or USB drive, such as Rufus, Etcher, or UNetbootin.

Insert a blank DVD or USB drive into your computer and open the software. Select the IPFire ISO image and the target device (DVD or USB drive) and start the burning process.

Step 3: Boot from IPFire DVD or USB Drive

Once the burning process is complete, restart your computer and boot from the IPFire DVD or USB drive. You may need to change the boot order in the BIOS to prioritize the DVD or USB drive.

When the IPFire boot menu appears, select "Install IPFire" and press Enter.

Step 4: Install IPFire

The IPFire installation process is straightforward and consists of several steps −

  • Language Selection − Select your preferred language for the installation process.

  • Keyboard Layout − Select your keyboard layout.

  • Disk Partitioning − Select the hard drive where you want to install IPFire. You can choose to use the entire disk or create custom partitions.

  • Network Configuration − Configure the network settings for IPFire. This includes setting the IP address, subnet mask, gateway, and DNS servers.

  • Password − Set a password for the root user account.

  • Timezone − Select your timezone.

  • Installation − Wait for the installation process to complete.

Step 5: Configure IPFire

Once the installation process is complete, you can access the IPFire web interface to configure it further. Open a web browser and enter the IP address of your IPFire firewall in the address bar. The default IP address is

You will be prompted to enter the username and password. The default username is "admin" and the password is the one you set during the installation process.

The IPFire web interface is intuitive and easy to use. You can configure various settings, such as firewall rules, VPN, proxy, intrusion prevention, and more. We recommend that you go through each section of the web interface and configure it according to your requirements.

Step 6: Update IPFire

It's important to keep your IPFire firewall up to date with the latest security patches and bug fixes. To update IPFire, log in to the web interface and navigate to the "System" menu. Click on "Updates" and then click on "Check for updates" to see if there are any available updates.

If there are updates available, click on "Download and Install" to install them. The update process may take some time, depending on the size of the update.

Step 7: Test IPFire

After you have configured and updated IPFire, it's a good idea to test it to make sure it's working correctly. You can perform various tests, such as −

  • Ping Test − Ping your IPFire firewall from another computer on the network to make sure it's reachable.

  • Port Scan − Use a port scanning tool, such as nmap, to scan your IPFire firewall and make sure that only the required ports are open.

  • Firewall Test − Try to access a blocked website or service to make sure the firewall is working correctly.

In addition to the basic installation and configuration steps outlined above, there are several advanced features of IPFire that you may want to explore −

  • VPN − IPFire includes support for various VPN protocols, including OpenVPN and IPSec. By setting up a VPN, you can securely connect to your network from remote locations or provide remote access to your network resources.

  • Intrusion Prevention − IPFire includes the Snort intrusion prevention system (IPS), which can detect and prevent various types of attacks, such as port scanning, malware, and DDoS attacks.

  • Proxy Server − IPFire includes a proxy server that can be used to cache web content and improve network performance. You can also configure the proxy server to filter web content and block access to specific websites or categories.

  • Dynamic DNS − IPFire supports dynamic DNS services, which can be used to automatically update the IP address of your network when it changes. This is useful if you have a dynamic IP address from your ISP and need to access your network remotely.

  • Multi-WAN − IPFire supports multiple WAN connections, which can be used to improve network reliability and performance. You can configure IPFire to use multiple internet connections and automatically switch between them if one connection fails.

Another important aspect of IPFire is its ease of use. The web interface of IPFire is intuitive and easy to navigate, making it accessible even to users with limited technical knowledge. The web interface provides a graphical representation of the network topology, which makes it easy to understand the network layout and configure the firewall rules accordingly.

In addition, IPFire includes a variety of configuration wizards that guide you through the setup process for various features, such as VPN, firewall rules, and proxy server. These wizards simplify the setup process and reduce the chances of configuration errors.

Moreover, IPFire includes a range of reporting and logging features. You can view detailed reports on network activity, firewall events, and system performance. The logging feature allows you to log network activity and generate reports for compliance and auditing purposes.

Finally, IPFire includes a range of plugins and add-ons that extend its functionality. For example, you can install plugins to add support for additional VPN protocols, or add-ons to enhance the web content filter. These plugins and add-ons are developed by the IPFire community and are available for free.


Installing and configuring IPFire is a straightforward process that can provide your network with enterprise-level security features. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can install and configure IPFire on your network and enjoy the benefits of a robust firewall solution.

Remember to keep your IPFire firewall up to date with the latest security patches and perform regular tests to make sure it's working correctly. If you encounter any issues or have any questions, the IPFire community is always available to provide support and assistance.

Updated on: 28-Apr-2023


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