Linux Firewall Part 5: The GUI Interface


System Pages

Now that you have IPcop installed, you need to configure it.  IPcop provies you with a web interface in which you can configure nearly all of the settings of your new firewall.  To connect, just open up any web browser, and connect to the IP address you set up when you installed the software.  The web interface requires an secure web connection (SSL), so type this into your browser: (or whatever IP address you assigned to your firewall.

You will then be asked to login.  By default the username is “admin” and use the password you set up when you installed your firewall.  You are now presented with a Home screen and can configure nearly every aspect of your new firewall.

This is the same welcome screen you’re presented with when you first log on to the web browser interface.  It tells you the Firewall’s IP information as well as uptime statistics

Home and SSH Access Screens

Just like other open-source projects, IPcop periodically connects to the internet and gathers information about updates.  This screen shows you any available updates to the software and provides a link to download.  You can also upload an update file which will automatically update the system to a newer version.  There is also information about your used storage space.

Updates and Passwords screens

This simple screen lets you change the ‘admin’ and ‘dial’ password.  If you want to update ‘root’ then you’ll need to change it from the Linux command prompt (either physically at the console or terminaling in).

SSH Access
This screen toggles SSH Access and other features.  I would leave this off unless you frequently need low-level access to your firewall.  If you don’t know the Linux command prompt backwards and forward then you should definately leave this alone.  Even though IPcop uses port 222 instead of the standard “22”, this will be the first thing hackers will try to use.

If you absolutely do need SSH access, turn it on for the time you need it, and then turn it back off.

GUI Settings
This refers to the web interface only.  If you are using a modern browser then you can leave these settings alone.  If you are using a browser without certain features, then you might want to disable Javascript.

GUI Settings and Backup screens

This screen allows you to backup your configuration in case of disaster recovery.  If you have a backup then all you have to do is boot up IPcop from a CD and do a restore.  I would recommend poutting this on removable storage because the most likely reason you need to reinstall IPcop is because of a hard drive failure.  If you are running RAID 1 then you could get away with backing up to the hard drive.  Once reinstalled go to this screen and IPcop will find any existing backup sets on your hard drive.

Shutdown and Credits screens

This screen allows you to remotely reboot or shutdown your Linux firewall.  Although my firewall is pretty stable, there are times when the network throughput is slow, and the only way to remedy this is to reboot.  If you find that your hardware behaves similarly, then you can also schedule daily or weekly reboots at a particular time.

There are a lot of people involved with open-source software solutions, and they want some recognition.  Look at this screen if you like.