2 Aug 2013
uruk — wrapper for Linux iptables, for managing firewall rules
uruk loads an rc file (see uruk-rc(5)) which defines
network service access policy, and invokes iptables(8) to set up firewall
rules implementing this policy. By default the file /etc/uruk/rc is used; one can
overrule this by specifying another file in the URUK_CONFIG environment
variable. Under some circumstances, it's useful to use another command for
iptables; this can be achieved by setting the URUK_IPTABLES (and/or
URUK_IP6TABLES) environment variables. See uruk-rc(5) for
QUICK SETUP GUIDE
Uruk will not "just work" out of the box. It needs manual configuration.
For those of you who don't like reading lots of documentation:
# cp /usr/share/doc/uruk/examples/rc \
# vi /etc/uruk/rc
# urukctl start
Once the uruk script is installed, you want to go use it, of course. We'll
give a detailed description of what to do here.
First, create an rc file. See uruk-rc(5) for info on how to
do this. Once this file is created and installed (this script looks in
/etc/uruk/rc by default), you're ready to run uruk. You might want to test your
rc file by running uruk in debug mode, see uruk-rc(5).
There are at least 3 ways to load your rc file. We'll first describe a low
level one: using vanilla iptables.
After editing rc, load your rules like this. First flush your current rules:
# iptables -F
# ip6tables -F
Then enable your rc rules
. Inspect the rules by doing:
# iptables -L
# ip6tables -L
If you want to make these changes survive a reboot, use the init script as
shipped with this package. If you'd rather write your own init script, the
iptables-restore(8) and iptables-save(8) commands from the iptables
package might be helpful.
Using the Uruk init script
Assumed is the Uruk init script is installed as explained in the README file.
Optionally, install /etc/default/uruk (or /etc/sysconfig/uruk) and
tweak it. An example file is in /usr/share/doc/uruk/examples/default (You might like to enable
support for uruk-save.) Now activate uruk by doing:
# urukctl start
Now your pre-uruk iptables rules (if any) are saved as the "inactive" ruleset.
While executing urukctl start, your box is open during a short while.
If you don't like this, read below about uruk-save.
When rebooting, everything will be fine: /etc/init.d/uruk stores
state in /var/lib/uruk/iptables, using
iptables-save(8), which comes with Linux iptables.
Using Debian ifupdown
In case you have just one network interface which should get protected, you
could use interfaces(5) from the Debian ifupdown package instead of the
init script. Suppose you'd like to protect ppp0, and would like not to
interfere with traffic on eth0: your other network interface.
First write an rc file. Be sure it features
# mkdir -p /var/lib/uruk/iptables
# iptables -F
# iptables-save -c > /var/lib/uruk/iptables/down
# iptables-save -c > /var/lib/uruk/iptables/up
pre-up iptables-restore < /var/lib/uruk/iptables/up
post-down iptables-restore < /var/lib/uruk/iptables/down
to your interfaces stanza, in your /etc/network/interfaces .
Similar tricks might be possible on GNU/Linux systems from other distributions.
The author is interested.
LOADING A NEW rc FILE
Need to change your rules?
Using the Uruk init script
# vi /etc/uruk/rc
# urukctl force-reload
While executing urukctl force-reload, your box is open during a short
while. If you don't like this, read below about uruk-save.
THE GORY DETAILS: uruk INTERNALS
The uruk script works like (and looks like) the list of statements below. Of
course, take a look at /sbin/uruk for the final word on the workings.
rc is sourced as a shell script
Traffic on $interfaces_unprotect (just lo per default)
$iptables -A INPUT -i $iface -j ACCEPT
$rc_a is sourced as a shell script, or, in case $rc_a is a directory, all
files matching $rc_a/*.rc are sourced as shell scripts
ESTABLISHED and RELATED packets are ACCEPT-ed:
$iptables -A INPUT -m conntrack --ctstate ESTABLISHED,RELATED \
$rc_b is sourced
$interfaces gets protected against spoofing: we don't allow anyone to
spoof non-routeable addresses. We block outgoing packets that don't have
our address as source: they are either spoofed or something is
misconfigured (NAT disabled, for instance). We want to be nice and don't
send out garbage.
$iptables -A INPUT -i $iface --source $no_route_ip \
We drop all incoming packets which don't have us as destination:
$iptables -A OUTPUT -o $iface --source ! "$ip" \
And we always allow outgoing connections:
$iptables -A OUTPUT -m conntrack --ctstate NEW -o $iface \
$rc_c is sourced
Allow traffic to offered services, from trusted sources:
$iptables -A INPUT -m conntrack --ctstate NEW \
-i $iface --protocol $proto --source "$source" \
--destination "$ip" --destination-port "$port" \
$rc_d is sourced
Don't answer broadcast and multicast packets:
$iptables -A INPUT -i $iface --destination "$bcast" \
$rc_f is sourced
Explicitly allow a subset of the ICMP types. (We disallow all other
$iptables -A INPUT --protocol icmp --icmp-type $type \
$rc_g is sourced
Log packets (which make it till here)
$iptables -A INPUT -j LOG --log-level debug \
--log-prefix 'iptables: '
$rc_h is sourced
Reject all other packets
$iptables -A INPUT -j REJECT
$rc_i is sourced
USING uruk-save AS THE INITSCRIPT BACKEND
By default, uruk-save is not used by the uruk init script. You might want to
use it, though. The uruk-save script is faster and when using uruk-save,
your box won't be open while loading new rules. But beware: uruk-save is not
as robust as using uruk itself.
The script urukctl (and thus the uruk init script) will use uruk-save only if
asked to do so in /etc/default/uruk (or /etc/sysconfig/uruk). If
this file features
uruk-save is used whenever appropriate.
See uruk-save(8) for more details.
By default, uruk drops packets which have unknown RFC 1918 private network
addresses in their source or destination.
It rejects packets with source nor destination for one of our IPs.
Packets belonging to locally initiated sessions are allowed: we match state;
the local host can act as a client for any remote service.
By default, uruk drops all ICMP packets (except those for interfaces in
$interfaces_unprotect) with type other than
destination-unreachable (this is a catch-all for a lot of types)
parameter-problem (catch-all for ip-header-bad and required-option-missing)
By default, the FORWARD chain is left untouched, so has policy ACCEPT. (This
won't do much harm, since packet forwarding is disabled by default in the Linux
kernel. However, if you don't mind being paranoid, you might want to add a
iptables --policy FORWARD REJECT
to your $rc_a uruk hook. See uruk-rc(5).)
By default, uruk logs all UDP and TCP packets which are blocked by the user
defined policies. Loglevel is debug, logprefix is "iptables:". See
also the notes on loglevel in uruk-rc(5).
Blocked TCP packets are answered with a tcp-reset.
In order to keep the uruk script small and simple, the script does very little
error handling. It does not check the contents of the rc file in any way
before executing it. When your rc file contains bogus stuff, uruk will very
likely behave in unexpected ways. Caveat emptor.
You can override some defaults in the shell before executing the uruk script.
uruk honors the following variables:
"URUK_CONFIG" Full pathname of rc file; /etc/uruk/rc by default.
"URUK_IPTABLES" Full pathname of iptables executable.
/sbin/iptables by default. Overrides iptables.
"URUK_IP6TABLES" Full pathname of ip6tables executable, for
IPv6 support. Overrides ip6tables.
"URUK_INTERFACES_UNPROTECT" Default list of unprotected interfaces.
Overrides interfaces_unprotect. The default default is lo.
uruk-rc(5), uruk-save(8). The Uruk homepage is at
Copyright (C) 2003 Stichting LogReport Foundation firstname.lastname@example.org;
Copyright (C) 2003, 2004 Tilburg University http://www.uvt.nl/;
Copyright (C) 2003-2013 Joost van Baal-Ilić <email@example.com>
This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the
GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along
with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.
Joost van Baal-Ilić <firstname.lastname@example.org>