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Manages Firewalls such as iptables


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Version information

  • 3.5.1 (latest)
released Sep 20th 2022
This version is compatible with:
  • Puppet Enterprise 2023.1.x, 2023.0.x, 2021.7.x, 2021.6.x, 2021.5.x, 2021.4.x, 2021.3.x, 2021.2.x, 2021.1.x, 2021.0.x, 2019.8.x, 2019.7.x, 2019.5.x, 2019.4.x, 2019.3.x, 2019.2.x, 2019.1.x, 2019.0.x
  • Puppet >= 6.0.0 < 8.0.0
  • , , , , , , , ,

Start using this module

  • r10k or Code Manager
  • Bolt
  • Manual installation
  • Direct download

Add this module to your Puppetfile:

mod 'karimchaouch-firewall', '3.5.1'
Learn more about managing modules with a Puppetfile

Add this module to your Bolt project:

bolt module add karimchaouch-firewall
Learn more about using this module with an existing project

Manually install this module globally with Puppet module tool:

puppet module install karimchaouch-firewall --version 3.5.1

Direct download is not typically how you would use a Puppet module to manage your infrastructure, but you may want to download the module in order to inspect the code.



karimchaouch/firewall — version 3.5.1 Sep 20th 2022


PR Testing

Table of Contents

  1. Overview - What is the firewall module?
  2. Module description - What does the module do?
  3. Setup - The basics of getting started with firewall
  4. Usage - Configuration and customization options
  5. Reference - An under-the-hood peek at what the module is doing
  6. Limitations - OS compatibility, etc.
  7. Firewall_multi - Arrays for certain parameters
  8. Development - Guide for contributing to the module


The firewall module lets you manage firewall rules with Puppet.

Module description

PuppetLabs' firewall module introduces the firewall resource, which is used to manage and configure firewall rules from within the Puppet DSL. This module offers support for iptables and ip6tables. The module also introduces the firewallchain resource, which allows you to manage chains or firewall lists and ebtables for bridging support. At the moment, only iptables and ip6tables chains are supported.

The firewall module acts on your running firewall, making immediate changes as the catalog executes. Defining default pre and post rules allows you to provide global defaults for your hosts before and after any custom rules. Defining pre and post rules is also necessary to help you avoid locking yourself out of your own boxes when Puppet runs.


What firewall affects

  • Every node running a firewall
  • Firewall settings in your system
  • Connection settings for managed nodes
  • Unmanaged resources (get purged)

Setup requirements

Firewall uses Ruby-based providers, so you must enable pluginsync.

Beginning with firewall

In the following two sections, you create new classes and then create firewall rules related to those classes. These steps are optional but provide a framework for firewall rules, which is helpful if you’re just starting to create them.

If you already have rules in place, then you don’t need to do these two sections. However, be aware of the ordering of your firewall rules. The module will dynamically apply rules in the order they appear in the catalog, meaning a deny rule could be applied before the allow rules. This might mean the module hasn’t established some of the important connections, such as the connection to the Puppet server.

The following steps are designed to ensure that you keep your SSH and other connections, primarily your connection to your Puppet server. If you create the pre and post classes described in the first section, then you also need to create the rules described in the second section.

Create the my_fw::pre and my_fw::post Classes

This approach employs a whitelist setup, so you can define what rules you want and everything else is ignored rather than removed.

The code in this section does the following:

  • The 'require' parameter in firewall {} ensures my_fw::pre is run before any other rules.
  • In the my_fw::post class declaration, the 'before' parameter ensures my_fw::post is run after any other rules.

The rules in the pre and post classes are fairly general. These two classes ensure that you retain connectivity and that you drop unmatched packets appropriately. The rules you define in your manifests are likely to be specific to the applications you run.

  1. Add the pre class to my_fw/manifests/pre.pp, and any default rules to your pre.pp file first — in the order you want them to run.
class my_fw::pre {
  Firewall {
    require => undef,

  # Default firewall rules
  firewall { '000 accept all icmp':
    proto  => 'icmp',
    action => 'accept',
  -> firewall { '001 accept all to lo interface':
    proto   => 'all',
    iniface => 'lo',
    action  => 'accept',
  -> firewall { '002 reject local traffic not on loopback interface':
    iniface     => '! lo',
    proto       => 'all',
    destination => '',
    action      => 'reject',
  -> firewall { '003 accept related established rules':
    proto  => 'all',
    state  => ['RELATED', 'ESTABLISHED'],
    action => 'accept',

The rules in pre allow basic networking (such as ICMP and TCP) and ensure that existing connections are not closed.

  1. Add the post class to my_fw/manifests/post.pp and include any default rules — apply these last.
class my_fw::post {
  firewall { '999 drop all':
    proto  => 'all',
    action => 'drop',
    before => undef,

Alternatively, the firewallchain type can be used to set the default policy:

firewallchain { 'INPUT:filter:IPv4':
  ensure => present,
  policy => drop,
  before => undef,

Create firewall rules

The rules you create here are helpful if you don’t have any existing rules; they help you order your firewall configurations so you don’t lock yourself out of your box.

Rules are persisted automatically between reboots, although there are known issues with ip6tables on older Debian/Ubuntu distributions. There are also known issues with ebtables.

  1. Use the following code to set up the default parameters for all of the firewall rules that you will establish later. These defaults will ensure that the pre and post classes are run in the correct order and avoid locking you out of your box during the first Puppet run.
Firewall {
  before  => Class['my_fw::post'],
  require => Class['my_fw::pre'],
  1. Declare the my_fw::pre and my_fw::post classes to satisfy dependencies. You can declare these classes using an external node classifier or the following code:
class { ['my_fw::pre', 'my_fw::post']: }
  1. Include the firewall class to ensure the correct packages are installed:
class { 'firewall': }
  1. If you want to remove unmanaged firewall rules, add the following code to set up a metatype to purge unmanaged firewall resources in your site.pp or another top-scope file. This will clear any existing rules and make sure that only rules defined in Puppet exist on the machine.
resources { 'firewall':
  purge => true,

To purge unmanaged firewall chains, add:

resources { 'firewallchain':
  purge => true,

Internal chains can not be deleted. In order to avoid all the confusing Warning/Notice messages when using purge => true, like these ones:

Notice: Compiled catalog for in environment production in 0.05 seconds
Warning: Firewallchain[INPUT:mangle:IPv4](provider=iptables_chain): Attempting to destroy internal chain INPUT:mangle:IPv4
Notice: /Stage[main]/Main/Firewallchain[INPUT:mangle:IPv4]/ensure: removed
Warning: Firewallchain[FORWARD:mangle:IPv4](provider=iptables_chain): Attempting to destroy internal chain FORWARD:mangle:IPv4
Notice: /Stage[main]/Main/Firewallchain[FORWARD:mangle:IPv4]/ensure: removed
Warning: Firewallchain[OUTPUT:mangle:IPv4](provider=iptables_chain): Attempting to destroy internal chain OUTPUT:mangle:IPv4
Notice: /Stage[main]/Main/Firewallchain[OUTPUT:mangle:IPv4]/ensure: removed
Warning: Firewallchain[POSTROUTING:mangle:IPv4](provider=iptables_chain): Attempting to destroy internal chain POSTROUTING:mangle:IPv4
Notice: /Stage[main]/Main/Firewallchain[POSTROUTING:mangle:IPv4]/ensure: removed

Please create firewallchains for every internal chain. Here is an example:

firewallchain { 'POSTROUTING:mangle:IPv6':
  ensure  => present,

resources { 'firewallchain':
  purge => true,

Note: If there are unmanaged rules in unmanaged chains, it will take a second Puppet run for the firewall chain to be purged.

Note: If you need more fine-grained control about which unmananged rules get removed, investigate the purge and ignore_foreign parameters available in firewallchain.


Use these steps if you already have a version of the firewall module installed.

From version 0.2.0 and more recent

Upgrade the module with the puppet module tool as normal:

puppet module upgrade puppetlabs/firewall


There are two kinds of firewall rules you can use with firewall: default rules and application-specific rules. Default rules apply to general firewall settings, whereas application-specific rules manage firewall settings for a specific application, node, etc.

All rules employ a numbering system in the resource's title that is used for ordering. When titling your rules, make sure you prefix the rule with a number, for example, '000 accept all icmp requests'. 000 runs first, 999 runs last.

Note: The ordering range 9000-9999 is reserved for unmanaged rules. Do not specify any firewall rules in this range.

Default rules

You can place default rules in either my_fw::pre or my_fw::post, depending on when you would like them to run. Rules placed in the pre class will run first, and rules in the post class, last.

In iptables, the title of the rule is stored using the comment feature of the underlying firewall subsystem. Values must match '/^\d+[[:graph:][:space:]]+$/'.

Examples of default rules

Basic accept ICMP request example:

firewall { '000 accept all icmp requests':
  proto  => 'icmp',
  action => 'accept',

Drop all:

firewall { '999 drop all other requests':
  action => 'drop',

Example of an IPv6 rule

IPv6 rules can be specified using the ip6tables provider:

firewall { '006 Allow inbound SSH (v6)':
  dport    => 22,
  proto    => 'tcp',
  action   => 'accept',
  provider => 'ip6tables',

Application-specific rules

Puppet doesn't care where you define rules, and this means that you can place your firewall resources as close to the applications and services that you manage as you wish. If you use the roles and profiles pattern then it makes sense to create your firewall rules in the profiles, so they remain close to the services managed by the profile.

This is an example of firewall rules in a profile:

class profile::apache {
  include apache
  apache::vhost { 'mysite':
    ensure => present,

  firewall { '100 allow http and https access':
    dport  => [80, 443],
    proto  => 'tcp',
    action => 'accept',

Rule inversion

Firewall rules may be inverted by prefixing the value of a parameter by "! ". If the value is an array, then every item in the array must be prefixed as iptables does not understand inverting a single value.

Parameters that understand inversion are: connmark, ctstate, destination, dport, dst_range, dst_type, iniface, outiface, port, proto, source, sport, src_range and src_type.


firewall { '001 disallow esp protocol':
  action => 'accept',
  proto  => '! esp',

firewall { '002 drop NEW external website packets with FIN/RST/ACK set and SYN unset':
  chain     => 'INPUT',
  state     => 'NEW',
  action    => 'drop',
  proto     => 'tcp',
  sport     => ['! http', '! 443'],
  source    => '!',
  tcp_flags => '! FIN,SYN,RST,ACK SYN',

Additional uses for the firewall module

You can apply firewall rules to specific nodes. Usually, you should put the firewall rule in another class and apply that class to a node. Apply a rule to a node as follows:

node '' {
  firewall { '111 open port 111':
    dport => 111,

You can also do more complex things with the firewall resource. This example sets up static NAT for the source network

firewall { '100 snat for network foo2':
  chain    => 'POSTROUTING',
  jump     => 'MASQUERADE',
  proto    => 'all',
  outiface => 'eth0',
  source   => '',
  table    => 'nat',

You can also change the TCP MSS value for VPN client traffic:

firewall { '110 TCPMSS for VPN clients':
  chain     => 'FORWARD',
  table     => 'mangle',
  source    => '',
  proto     => 'tcp',
  tcp_flags => 'SYN,RST SYN',
  mss       => '1361:1541',
  set_mss   => '1360',
  jump      => 'TCPMSS',

The following will mirror all traffic sent to the server to a secondary host on the LAN with the TEE target:

firewall { '503 Mirror traffic to IDS':
  proto   => 'all',
  jump    => 'TEE',
  gateway => '',
  chain   => 'PREROUTING',
  table   => 'mangle',

The following example creates a new chain and forwards any port 5000 access to it.

firewall { '100 forward to MY_CHAIN':
  chain   => 'INPUT',
  jump    => 'MY_CHAIN',

# The namevar here is in the format chain_name:table:protocol
firewallchain { 'MY_CHAIN:filter:IPv4':
  ensure  => present,

firewall { '100 my rule':
  chain   => 'MY_CHAIN',
  action  => 'accept',
  proto   => 'tcp',
  dport   => 5000,

Setup NFLOG for a rule.

firewall {'666 for NFLOG':
  proto           => 'all',
  jump            => 'NFLOG',
  nflog_group     => 3,
  nflog_prefix    => 'nflog-test',
  nflog_range     => 256,
  nflog_threshold => 1,

Duplicate rule behaviour

It is possible for an unmanaged rule to exist on the target system that has the same comment as the rule specified in the manifest. This configuration is not supported by the firewall module.

In the event of a duplicate rule, the module will by default display a warning message notifying the user that it has found a duplicate but will continue to update the resource.

This behaviour is configurable via the onduplicaterulebehaviour parameter. Users can choose from the following behaviours:

  • ignore - The duplicate rule is ignored and any updates to the resource will continue unaffected.
  • warn - The duplicate rule is logged as a warning and any updates to the resource will continue unaffected.
  • error - The duplicate rule is logged as an error and any updates to the resource will be skipped.

With either the ignore or warn (default) behaviour, Puppet may create another duplicate rule. To prevent this behavior and report the resource as failing during the Puppet run, specify the error behaviour.

Additional information

Access the inline documentation:

puppet describe firewall


puppet doc -r type
(and search for firewall)


For information on the classes and types, see the For information on the facts, see below.


Fact: ip6tables_version

A Facter fact that can be used to determine what the default version of ip6tables is for your operating system/distribution.

Fact: iptables_version

A Facter fact that can be used to determine what the default version of iptables is for your operating system/distribution.

Fact: iptables_persistent_version

Retrieves the version of iptables-persistent from your OS. This is a Debian/Ubuntu specific fact.


For an extensive list of supported operating systems, see metadata.json


The socket parameter is not supported on SLES. In this release it will cause the catalog to fail with iptables failures, rather than correctly warn you that the features are unusable.

Oracle Enterprise Linux

The socket and owner parameters are unsupported on Oracle Enterprise Linux when the "Unbreakable" kernel is used. These may function correctly when using the stock RedHat kernel instead. Declaring either of these parameters on an unsupported system will result in iptable rules failing to apply.

Passing firewall parameter values as arrays with firewall_multi module

You might sometimes need to pass arrays, such as arrays of source or destination addresses, to some parameters in contexts where iptables itself does not allow arrays.

A community module, alexharvey-firewall_multi, provides a defined type wrapper to spawn firewall resources for arrays of certain inputs.

For example:

firewall_multi { '100 allow http and https access':
  source => [
  dport  => [80, 443],
  proto  => 'tcp',
  action => 'accept',

For more information see the documentation at alexharvey-firewall_multi.

Known issues

MCollective causes PE to reverse firewall rule order

Firewall rules appear in reverse order if you use MCollective to run Puppet in Puppet Enterprise 2016.1, 2015.3, 2015.2, or 3.8.x.

If you use MCollective to kick off Puppet runs (mco puppet runonce -I while also using the puppetlabs/firewall module, your firewall rules might be listed in reverse order.

In many firewall configurations, the last rule drops all packets. If the rule order is reversed, this rule is listed first and network connectivity fails.

To prevent this issue, do not use MCollective to kick off Puppet runs. Use any of the following instead:

  • Run puppet agent -t on the command line.
  • Use a cron job.
  • Click Run Puppet in the console.

condition parameter

The condition parameter requires xtables-addons to be installed locally. For ubuntu distributions xtables-addons-common package can be installed by running command: apt-get install xtables-addons-common or running a manifest:

package { 'xtables-addons-common':
  ensure => 'latest',

For other distributions (RedHat, Debian, Centos etc) manual installation of the xtables-addons package is required.

Reporting Issues

Please report any bugs in the Puppetlabs JIRA issue tracker:


Acceptance tests for this module leverage puppet_litmus. To run the acceptance tests follow the instructions here. You can also find a tutorial and walkthrough of using Litmus and the PDK on YouTube.

If you run into an issue with this module, or if you would like to request a feature, please file a ticket. Every Monday the Puppet IA Content Team has office hours in the Puppet Community Slack, alternating between an EMEA friendly time (1300 UTC) and an Americas friendly time (0900 Pacific, 1700 UTC).

If you have problems getting this module up and running, please contact Support.

If you submit a change to this module, be sure to regenerate the reference documentation as follows:

puppet strings generate --format markdown --out


Make sure you have:

  • rake
  • bundler

Install the necessary gems:

bundle install

And run the tests from the root of the source code:

bundle exec rake parallel_spec

See also .travis.yml for information on running the acceptance and other tests.