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Cross Platform Linux Firewall – OpenBSD PF

OpenBSD PF is a BSD licensed stateful packet filter where PF stands for packet filter. This is software’s central part for firewalling. This part can be compared with ipfilter, ipfw, and netfilter. This tool has been developed on the Open BSD and it can be easily ported to several other OS like netbsd, Mac Os, freebsd, dragonfly bsd, and many more. This PF was actually created by Daniel Hartmeier and it got released in 2001 December. Originally, this packet filter was designed to act as replacement for the IPFilter that was from Darren Reed and derived much rule syntax.

Open BSD then removed IP filter CVS tree on 2001 May because of concerns of developers with its licensing. Filtering syntax of this cross platform Linux Firewall is much similar to the IPFilter though it only had some modifications done to it. QoS and NAT that is quality of service and network address translation are integrated into the PF wherein QoS will import ALTQ queuing tool as well as link the tool with configuration of PF. Some of the features like CARP and pfsync for redundancy and failover, ftp-proxy, authpf for the session authentication are also included with this Linux Firewall. Users can configure logging of PF as per the rule within pf.confg. Moreover, logs have been provided from the PF by pseudo-network interface that are known as pflog. These are the only way of lifting information from the kernel-level mode for the user-level programs. You can monitor the logs by making use of standard utilities like tcpdump that in the OpenBSD are extended mainly for this purpose or will be saved to the disk in modified pcap/tcpdump binary format making use of pflogd daemon.

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