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Ubuntu is one of the most user-friendly Linux distributions on the market. It is also one of the most widely used open source operating systems (OS). Given that Linux is often considered the most secure operating system available, it is a bit puzzling why the operating system does not by default enable the firewall, and include a GUI tool to make using the firewall something that even new users can take care of.

Fortunately, there is a straightforward GUI application that you can install to make enabling and working with your uncomplicated firewall very simple. The only caveat is that installing the GUI requires you to run a single command.

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I will walk you through the process of installing the UFW GUI and how to use it.

Don’t worry, anyone can handle this easy task.

How to install UFW GUI

What you will need: To make this process successful, you’ll need a running copy of Ubuntu — or any Ubuntu-based distribution — and a user with sudo privileges.

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That’s it. Let’s get to work.

To install the UFW GUI, open the Terminal application on your desktop, which can be done from the desktop menu.

Next, we will install the GUI using the command:

sudo apt-get install gufw -y

The above command will pick up any necessary GUI dependencies and install everything without any problems.

Using the graphical user interface

The first thing you need to do is enable UFW. In the single window of the GUI, you will find an on/off slider marked with status. Since the UFW settings are grayed out by default, you will need to click the On/Off slider until it is on.

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Once you do this, the firewall becomes active and protects your desktop.

gufw window running on basic operating system 7.

As you can see, the GUI clearly indicates that the firewall is disabled.

Screenshot by Jack Whalen/ZDNET

Let’s say you want to allow Samba traffic to your desktop, so you can share folders and files with other machines on your network. To do this, click the Rules tab and then click + near the bottom left corner of the window.

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In the resulting pop-up window, leave everything as is except for the application entry. Click the Application drop-down menu and select SAMBA. Click Add, and then click Close.

The gufw firewall rule adds a window.

Create an inbound rule to allow Samba traffic to your desktop.

Screenshot by Jack Whalen/ZDNET

You should now see that every port associated with Samba has been added as a firewall base. Once you allow Samba to penetrate your firewall, those who need access to your shared directories will still be able to do so, while the rest of the ports on your machine will be closed.

Added Gufw with necessary Samba rules.

Every port required for Samba has been opened.

Screenshot by Jack Whalen/ZDNET

Even though Linux is considered the most secure operating system on the market, some of the more user-friendly distributions could still use a helping hand to make it more compact.

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