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1. Introduction

This original Firewall-HOWTO was written by David Rudder, I'd like to thank him for allowing me to update his work.

Firewalls have gained great fame recently as the ultimate in Internet Security. Like most things that gain fame, with that fame has come misunderstanding. This HOWTO will go over the basics of what a firewall is, how to set one up, what proxy servers are, how to set up proxy servers, and the applications of this technology outside of the security realm.

1.1 Feedback

Any feedback is very welcome. PLEASE REPORT ANY INACCURACIES IN THIS PAPER!!! I am human, and prone to making mistakes. If you find any, fixing them is of my highest interest. I will try to answer all e-mail, but I am busy, so don't get insulted if I don't.

My email address is

1.2 Disclaimer

I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGES INCURRED DUE TO ACTIONS TAKEN BASED ON THIS DOCUMENT. This document is meant as an introduction to how firewalls and proxy servers work. I am not, nor do I pretend to be, a security expert. I am just some guy who has read to much and likes computers more than most people. Please, I am writing this to help get people acquainted with this subject, and I am not ready to stake my life on the accuracy of what is in here.

1.3 Copyright

Unless otherwise stated, Linux HOWTO documents are copyrighted by their respective authors. Linux HOWTO documents may be reproduced and distributed in whole or in part, in any medium physical or electronic, as long as this copyright notice is retained on all copies. Commercial redistribution is allowed and encouraged; however, the author would like to be notified of any such distributions.

All translations, derivative works, or aggregate works incorporating any Linux HOWTO documents must be covered under this copyright notice. That is, you may not produce a derivative work from a HOWTO and impose additional restrictions on its distribution. Exceptions to these rules may be granted under certain conditions; please contact the Linux HOWTO coordinator.

In short, we wish to promote dissemination of this information through as many channels as possible. However, we do wish to retain copyright on the HOWTO documents, and would like to be notified of any plans to redistribute the HOWTOs.

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Grennan at <>.

1.4 My Reasons for Writing This

Even though there were a lot of discussions on comp.os.linux.* over the past year about firewalling, I found it difficult to find the information I needed to setup a firewall. The original version of this HOWTO was helpful but still lacking. I hope this beefed up version of David Rudder's Firewall HOWTO will give everyone the information they need to create a functioning firewall in hours, not weeks.

I also feel I should return something to the Linux community.

1.5 TODO

1.6 Further Readings

Trusted Information System's (TIS) web site has a great collection of documentation on firewalls and related meterial.

Also, I am working on a security project called I am calling Secure Linux. On the Secure Linux web site I am gathering all the information, documemtation and programs you need to create a trusted Linux system. Email me if you would like information.

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