Today I’m trying out fwbuilder again, a graphical user interface for creating and managing firewall rulesets. I love the idea, but unfortunately I’m having a tough time with it.

First off, when combined with Awesome, the software starts with a tips suggestion (good), and then a notice that a newer version is available (bad). Problem is that the tip is placed over the notice, and so the user cannot click the “OK” button on the notice. This happened to me the first time I installed it several months ago. Thankfully I had forgotten about that and this time tried opening up the software on a screen which had a terminal emulator open.

Anyway, I got it to work this time. Although I was able to access the software, I had a tough time getting anything to work. This software could really use some user-friendliness improvements, but it appears to be conceptually well thought out.

I like that the system uses XML to store the data, but so far that’s all I found that I like about fwbuilder other that the ideas it encompasses.

I usually write my iptables rulesets by hand, or in the case of pfSense, use a webGUI. I’m planning to write a web-based firewall maker one of these days, and this was just a little research.