Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've just installed Ubuntu 12.04 and am completely stuck on how to administer the system. Initially I just want to open a port on the firewall, but there doesn't seem to be any obvious way to do that.

I've found a "System Settings" panel, but there is almost nothing on it, and the network panel is pretty empty too. I've clicked on various things, but there is almost nothing anywhere. I can't even find an "Applications" menu.

Am I missing something here?

share|improve this question
Welcome linucks. This link might be a good starting point:… – stephenmyall Nov 15 '12 at 15:37
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Initially I just want to open a port on the firewall, but there doesn't seem to be any obvious way to do that.

Ubuntu ships with no open network ports, but ports are opened by applications so if you have installed or enabled network services (network file sharing, web servers, ssh, remote desktop, etc), then you may have open ports.

Open a terminal session (control alt f2) and after you paste this it will show you open ports:

sudo netstat -ntlup

From the UFW wiki page.

The easiest way to close ports is to use ufw. This will show if ufw is active:

sudo ufw status

(by default it is active).

To allow incoming tcp and udp packet on port 53

sudo ufw allow 53

To deny tcp and udp packets on port 53

sudo ufw deny 53

System Settings

Ubuntu Tweak is a tool someone created that adds lots of settings. More info here. You can install it with these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tualatrix/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-tweak

enter image description here

But ... I would advice to ask more about specific settings. Mosttimes it is easier just to open a text file and edit that. After you are a command line junkie like some of us you will be a lot quicker setting up a system than with any GUI.


Rightclick your network connection at the top right. It will have a properties option with all settings for networking.

share|improve this answer
Many thanks for the very helpful answer.I'm actually fine working on the command-line, but I'm just puzzled as to why Ubuntu have done this? I didn't need to meddle on the command-line to do this stuff in previous versions so its seems strange that it's become more difficult to do it now. – linucks Nov 15 '12 at 15:55
Not a problem @linucks :) The more specific the question the better suited for AU. And do not forget to upvote or accept an answer to your question (ofc. the best one you get should be the accepted one ;) ) – Rinzwind Nov 15 '12 at 15:57

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.