Experts insights

How to configure a firewall with UFW on a GandiCloud VPS with Ubuntu (or Debian)

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UFW (for “Uncomplicated FireWall”) is a command line, simplified configuration tool from Netfilter. Using it is easier than the iptables tool and was designed with this in mind.

You can find the complete documentation on Ubuntu’s official wiki page.

Before getting started implementing Firewall rules with UFW, it’s imperative that you take the necessary steps in order to ensure access to your VPS’s console and to first have verified that it works, since if you should have a problem with UFW, you may find yourself unable to access your own server via SSH and no way to fix it.

So, first of all, follow the procedure for getting access to your console that you can find on this page in Gandi’s documentation.

Once you are sure that your console will allow you to access your system as the root user, you can then run the following command:

sudo apt install ufw

(N.B.: this is already installed on the latest versions of Ubuntu)

If it’s not already the case, activate IPv6 management by changing the “IPV6” value to “yes,” in the configuration file “/etc/default/ufw”:

sudo vi /etc/default/ufw

Then, make this modification:


Define a default policy, which in our case means denying everything incoming and allowing everything outgoing:

sudo ufw default deny incoming
sudo ufw default allow outgoing

And allowing SSH connections:

sudo ufw allow ssh

If you had already configured your SSH service so that it’s responsive on a port besides port 22, for example, port 1022, use the following command:

sudo ufw allow 1022

Authorize http (port 80) and https (port 443) access if your web service is hosted on your server, either with:

sudo ufw allow http
sudo ufw allow https

or with:

sudo ufw allow 80
sudo ufw allow 443

It’s possible to allow ranges of ports and protocols as well:

sudo ufw allow 6000:6007/tcp
sudo ufw allow 6000:6007/udp

You can allow access for a specific IP address, for example, you can allow the IP source to access whichever destination port:

sudo ufw allow from

Or allow a specific port:

sudo ufw allow from to any port 22

On the same subnet:

sudo ufw allow from

And for a specific port, for example, port 3306 for mysql:

sudo ufw allow from to any port 3306

It’s possible to define a rule for a specific interface, for example eth0:

sudo ufw allow in on eth0 to any port 3306

And you can deny access with “deny,” for example, to deny access to a service, you would use:

sudo ufw deny http

Or to deny access to requests from a specific source IP:

sudo ufw deny from

Now, to display the rules implemented in order to remove one, use:

sudo ufw status numbered

This will return the rules in place associated with a number, for example:

configurer un pare-feu avec UFW sur un GandiCloud VPS sous Ubuntu (ou Debian)

Deleting a rule can then be done by indicating the number of the rule being deleted, for example:

sudo ufw delete 3

This will delete rule number 3.

To delete another rule in the same way, consider displaying the list again in order to make sure the numbering of rules is up to date.

The alternative to using rule numbers is to specify the actual rule to delete.

For example, if you want to delete the rule “allow http,” you can use the following:

sudo ufw delete allow http

If you also specify the rule by indicating the port used rather than the name of the service.

For example, for http, use the port 80:

sudo ufw delete allow 80

At any moment, you can check the state of UFW with this command:

sudo ufw status verbose

When everything seems right, you can active UFW with:

sudo ufw enable

If for some reason or other you want to deactive UFW, run:

sudo ufw disable

This will deactivate the rules that you have created with UFW.

To reactivate UFW and the rules you created for it, launch ‘sudo ufw enable.’

Finally, if you have already configured UFW rules but should you decide to start again, you can use the reset command:

sudo ufw reset

This will deactivate UFW and delete all the previously defined rules.

Using “reset” will allow you to start over as though you’d just installed it.

To go further, see also:

UncomplicatedFirewall on the official Ubuntu wiki