Synopses & Reviews
OpenBSD's stateful packet filter, PF, offers an amazing feature set and support across the major BSD platforms. Like most firewall software though, unlocking PF's full potential takes a good teacher. Peter N.M. Hansteen's PF website and conference tutorials have helped thousands of users build the networks they need using PF. The Book of PF is the product of Hansteen's knowledge and experience, teaching good practices as well as bare facts and software options. Throughout the book, Hansteen emphasizes the importance of staying in control by having a written network specification, using macros to make rule sets more readable, and performing rigid testing when loading in new rules.
Today's system administrators face increasing challenges in the quest for network quality, and The Book of PF can help by demystifying the tools of modern *BSD network defense. But, perhaps more importantly, because we know you like to tinker, The Book of PF tackles a broad range of topics that will stimulate your mind and pad your resume, including how to:
- Create rule sets for all kinds of network traffic, whether it is crossing a simple home LAN, hiding behind NAT, traversing DMZs, or spanning bridges
- Use PF to create a wireless access point, and lock it down tight with authpf and special access restrictions
- Maximize availability by using redirection rules for load balancing and CARP for failover
- Use tables for proactive defense against would-be attackers and spammers
- Set up queues and traffic shaping with ALTQ, so your network stays responsive
- Master your logs with monitoring and visualization, because you can never be too paranoid
The Book of PF is written for BSD enthusiasts and network admins at any level of expertise. With more and more services placing high demands on bandwidth and increasing hostility coming from the Internet at-large, you can never be too skilled with PF.
A solid understanding of OpenBSD's PF subsystem is a necessity for any network administrator working in a *BSD environment. The Book of PF is a current, no-nonsense guidebook to harnessing the power of PF. Its contents include coverage of NAT (network address translation), wireless networking, spam fighting, traffic shaping, failover provisioning, and logging. Written for anyone who has felt lost in PF's manual pages or baffled by its massive feature set, author Peter Hansteen helps readers confidently build the high-performance, low maintenance network they need.
A solid understanding of the BSD Packet Filter (PF) subsystem is a necessity for any network administrator working in a BSD environment. This current, no-nonsense guidebook shows how to harness the power of PF to confidently build the high-performance, low-maintenance network one needs.
OpenBSD's stateful packet filter, PF, is the heart of the OpenBSD firewall and a necessity for any admin working in a BSD environment. With a little effort and this book, you'll gain the insight needed to unlock PF's full potential.
This second edition of The Book of PF has been completely updated and revised. Based on Peter N.M. Hansteen's popular PF website and conference tutorials, this no-nonsense guide covers NAT and redirection, wireless networking, spam fighting, failover provisioning, logging, and more. Throughout the book, Hansteen emphasizes the importance of staying in control with a written network specification, keeping rule sets readable using macros, and performing rigid testing when loading new rules.
The Book of PF tackles a broad range of topics that will stimulate your mind and pad your resume, including how to:
- Create rule sets for all kinds of network traffic, whether it's crossing a simple LAN, hiding behind NAT, traversing DMZs, or spanning bridges or wider networks
- Create wireless networks with access points, and lock them down with authpf and special access restrictions
- Maximize flexibility and service availability via CARP, relayd, and redirection
- Create adaptive firewalls to proactively defend against would-be attackers and spammers
- Implement traffic shaping and queues with ALTQ (priq, cbq, or hfsc) to keep your network responsive
- Master your logs with monitoring and visualization tools (including NetFlow)
The Book of PF is for BSD enthusiasts and network administrators at any skill level. With more and more services placing high demands on bandwidth and an increasingly hostile Internet environment, you can't afford to be without PF expertise.
About the Author
Peter N. M. Hansteen is a consultant, writer and sysadmin based in Bergen, Norway. A longtime Freenix advocate, Hansteen is a frequent lecturer on FreeBSD and OpenBSD topics, an occasional contributor to BSD Magazine and writes a frequently slashdotted blog at http://bsdly.blogspot.com. Hansteen was a participant in the original RFC 1149 implementation team. The Book of PF is an expanded follow up to his very popular online PF tutorial (http://home.nuug.no/~peter/pf/).
Table of Contents
PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION OF THE BOOK OF PF; Dedication; Foreword; Acknowledgments; Introduction; This Is Not a HOWTO; What This Book Covers; Chapter 1: Building the Network You Need; 1.1 Your Network: High Performance, Low Maintenance, and Secure; 1.2 Where the Packet Filter Fits In; 1.3 The Rise of PF; 1.4 If You Came from Elsewhere; 1.5 A Little Encouragement: A PF Haiku; Chapter 2: PF Configuration Basics; 2.1 The First Step: Enabling PF; 2.2 A Simple PF Rule Set: A Single, Stand-Alone Machine; 2.3 Slightly Stricter: Using Lists and Macros for Readability; 2.4 Displaying Information About Your System; 2.5 Looking Ahead; Chapter 3: Into the Real World; 3.1 A Simple Gateway; 3.2 That Sad Old FTP Thing; 3.3 Making Your Network Troubleshooting Friendly; 3.4 Tables Make Your Life Easier; Chapter 4: Wireless Networks Made Easy; 4.1 A Little IEEE 802.11 Background; 4.2 Setting Up a Simple Wireless Network; 4.3 Guarding Your Wireless Network with authpf; Chapter 5: Bigger or Trickier Networks; 5.1 A Web Server and Mail Server on the Inside--Routable Addresses; 5.2 A Web Server and Mail Server on the Inside--the NAT Version; 5.3 Filtering on Interface Groups; 5.4 The Power of Tags; 5.5 The Bridging Firewall; 5.6 Handling Nonroutable Addresses from Elsewhere; Chapter 6: Turning the Tables for Proactive Defense; 6.1 Turning Away the Brutes; 6.2 Giving Spammers a Hard Time with spamd; 6.3 Spam-Fighting Tips; Chapter 7: Queues, Shaping, and Redundancy; 7.1 Directing Traffic with ALTQ; 7.2 Setting Up Queues; 7.3 Redundancy and Failover: CARP and pfsync; Chapter 8: Logging, Monitoring, and Statistics; 8.1 PF Logs: The Basics; 8.2 Additional Tools for PF Logs and Statistics; 8.3 Log Data as the Basis for Effective Debugging; Chapter 9: Getting Your Setup Just Right; 9.1 Things You Can Tweak and What You Probably Should Leave Alone; 9.2 Cleaning Up Your Traffic; 9.3 Testing Your Setup; 9.4 Debugging Your Rule Set; 9.5 Know Your Network and Stay in Control; Resources; General Networking and BSD Resources on the Internet; Sample Configurations and Related Musings; PF on Other BSD Systems; BSD and Networking Books; Wireless Networking Resources; spamd and Greylisting-Related Resources; Book-Related Web Resources; Buy OpenBSD CDs and Donate!; A Note on Hardware Support; Getting the Right Hardware; Issues Facing Hardware Support Developers; How to Help the Hardware Support Efforts; Colophon; Updates;