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I'm wondering if it's possible to get UFW to list the configured firewall rules even when it's not enabled. I only have ssh access to the server at this time, and I don't want to enable UFW if there's not a rule configured allowing ssh. However, since UFW is currently not enabled, I just get an "inactive" message when I run "ufw status".

Is there a special flag I can use or even some config file I can look at to see what rules are configured even when the firewall is disabled?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

There is currently not a way to show the rules you have entered before enabling the firewall via the CLI command. You can inspect the rules files directly however. /lib/ufw/user*.rules contain the rules controlled via the 'ufw' CLI command. Eg:

 $ sudo grep '^### tuple' /lib/ufw/user*.rules

This will show output like the following (for the rule added with 'sudo ufw allow OpenSSH):

 /lib/ufw/user.rules:### tuple ### allow tcp 22 0.0.0.0/0 any 0.0.0.0/0 OpenSSH - in

The 'tuple' is the shorthand used internally by ufw to keep track of rules, and can be interpreted as one of these:

 ### tuple ### <action> <proto> <dst port> <dst> <src port> <src> <direction>
 ### tuple ### <action> <proto> <dst port> <dst> <src port> <src> <dst app name> <src app name> <direction>

It might be useful to be able to add another status command to support this. Please consider filing a bug.

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putting the files in /lib is pretty strange in my opinion –  pqnet Jul 26 at 13:48

General rules are in /etc/ufw. User defined rules are in /lib/ufw/user*.

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From the command line, there doesn't seem to be a way. However, if you're SSH'ing from an Ubuntu box (to an Ubuntu box), you might want to try this, slightly convoluted method :

Basically, install gufw on the remote box, then connect with X forwarding and run the GUI.

On the remote device, after connecting with -X as an option :

sudo apt-get install gufw
sudo gufw

That will show you the ruleset without having to activate it.

Be warned that if the remote device is a true "headless" server, then installing GUFW might pull down an unpleasant number of dependencies. But unless someone here know a trick to make UFW show you the output you need without activating it first, then this might be your only option.

I did try sudo ufw show raw, but that shows the iptables output, which I can't make head nor tail of.

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Thanks for the tidbit about "ufw show raw" - I must have missed that in the man pages. When I run it, I don't see anything that jumps out at me as being rules, which means I may not have any configured, but I don't want to chance it just yet. And yes, installing gufw would require a very large number of dependencies to be installed so I think I'll shy away from that approach. –  Bryan Mar 17 '11 at 16:14

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