I've been reading around but can't seem to find a way to create per-process firewall rules. I know about iptables --uid-owner but that only works for outgoing traffic. I've considered scripting netstat and iptables but this seems terribly inefficient since if a process is only active for a small time-frame the script might miss it. Basically I want to enforce specific restrictions regarding port and dst on a process while leaving other processes unaffected. Any ideas?

For reference selinux can do exactly this and it works fairly well. Setup is a bit of a pain though.

  • 1
    Maybe LXC (Linux Containers) will do the trick? lxc.sourceforge.net
    – nsg
    Feb 21, 2012 at 13:29
  • What is so difficult about selinux? Sure there is a bit of a learning curve, but there are great tools, both graphical and command line to assist with configuration. Support is available on IRC on #selinux as well as #fedora
    – Panther
    Dec 12, 2013 at 21:59
  • have you tried using Douane instead? askubuntu.com/a/330259/46437 Oct 8, 2014 at 4:51
  • The firewalld GUI for iptables allows you to do exactly that, and it's fairly easy to use.
    – BKilpat01
    Sep 11, 2016 at 9:02

4 Answers 4


Your question is a very similar to https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5451206/linux-per-program-firewall-similar-to-windows-and-mac-counterparts

There was the --cmd-owner for iptables's owner module, but it was removed because it worked not properly. Now a first beta version of Leopard Flower is available, which solves the problem by a user space daemon.

In general a per-process firewall is not very useful unless you really isolate and restrict the programs. For this, you should look at security solutions like TOMOYO Linux, SELinux, AppArmor, grsecurity, SMACK,...


Easy, run your process under different user and use '--uid-owner' :)

  • 1
    That was my first thought as well but as I noted it doesn't work for listening processes.
    – s3c
    Feb 21, 2012 at 13:13
  • What is exactly your intention? To be sure a specific owner/process has its own openports for incoming/outgoing connection?
    – jirib
    Feb 22, 2012 at 8:18
  • The intent is to whitelist a program. Paranoia dictates that malicious apps could be remotely controlled or control the computer. It is a safeguard against simple automated attacks.
    – John
    Oct 15, 2020 at 14:33

look at man 8 iptables-extensions and the "cgroup" option, which may allow filtering on sockets associated with a specific cgroup2 hierarchy. If you can get the specific process to run with a unique cgroup, this may work on both OUTPUT and INPUT chains; however the man pages give a caveat to using it with INPUT chains so definitely test and YMMV depending on the process/program.


Although not (entirely) based on iptables, you could use this. It work on a per app basis, though it does have some other options.

Check out the wiki for installation and other troubleshooting.

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