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man pages section 1M: System Administration Commands

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Updated: July 2017



svc.ipfd - IP Filter firewall monitoring daemon




The svc.ipfd daemon monitors actions on services that use firewall configuration and initiates update services' IP Filter configuration. The daemon allows the system to react to changes in system's firewall configuration in an incremental fashion, at a per-service level.

A service's firewall policy is activated when it is enabled, deactivated when it is disabled, and updated when its configuration property group is modified. svc.ipfd monitors the services management facility (SMF) repository for these actions and invokes the IP Filter rule-generation process to carry out the service's firewall policy.

This daemon is started by the network/ipfilter service either through the start or refresh method. Thus, the daemon inherits the environment variables and credentials from the method and runs as root with all zone privileges.

Firewall Static Configuration

A static definition describes a service's network resource configuration that is used to generate service-specific IPF rules. The per-service firewall_context property group contains a service's static definition, similar to the inetd property group in inetd managed services. This property group supports:


For non-inetd services. The IANA name or RPC name, equivalent to the inetd/name property.


For non-inetd services. A boolean property where a true value indicates an RPC service, equivalent to the inetd/isrpc property. For RPC services, the value of firewall_context/name is not an IANA name but is either an RPC program number or name. See rpc(4).

Additionally, some services may require a mechanism to generate and supply their own IPF rules. An optional property ipf_method, provides a mechanism to allow such custom rule generation:


A command. Normally a script that generates IPF rules for a service. The framework does not generate rules for services with this property definition. Rather, the framework expects these services to provide their own rules.

A service's ipf_method specifies a command that takes an additional argument, its own fault management resource identifier (FMRI), and generates the service's firewall rules and outputs those rules to stdout. To generate rules for a service with the ipf_method property, the framework execs the command specified in ipf_method, passing the service FMRI as the additional argument, and stores the rules for that service by redirecting the command output, the rules, to the service's rule file. Because an ipf_method is exec'ed from the context of either the network/ipfilter start or refresh method process, it inherits the execution context and runs as root.

The service static configuration is delivered by the service developer and not intended to be modified by users. These properties are only modified upon installation of an updated service definition.

Firewall Policy Configuration

A per-service property group, firewall_config, stores the services' firewall policy configuration. Because network/ipfilter:default is responsible for two firewall policies, the Global Default and Global Override system-wide policies (as explained in ipfilter(5)), it has two property groups, firewall_config_default and firewall_config_override, to store the respective system-wide policies.

Below are the properties, their possible values, and corresponding semantics:


The policy has the following modes:

none policy mode

No access restriction. For a global policy, this mode allows all incoming traffic. For a service policy, this mode allows all incoming traffic to its service.

deny policy mode

More restrictive than none. This mode allows incoming traffic from all sources except those specified in the apply_to property.

allow policy mode

Most restrictive mode. This mode blocks incoming traffic from all sources except those specified in the apply_to property.

custom policy mode

The ipfilter service will use ipfilter config file specified in custom_policy_file property.


A multi-value property listing network entities to enforce the chosen policy mode. Entities listed in apply_to property will be denied if policy is deny and allowed if policy is allow. The syntax for possible values are:

host:           host:IP                 "host:"
subnet:         network:IP/netmask      "network:"
ippool:         pool:pool number        "pool:77"
interface:      if:interface_name       "if:e1000g0"

A multi-value property listing network entities to be excluded from the apply_to list. For example, when deny policy is applied to a subnet, exceptions can be made to some hosts in that subnet by specifying them in the exceptions property. This property has the same value syntax as apply_to property.

For individual network services only:


A service's policy can also be set to use_global. Services with use_global policy mode inherits the Global Default firewall policy.

For the Global Default only:


Global Default policy, firewall_config property group in svc:/network/ipfilter:default, can also be set to custom. Users can set policy to custom to use prepopulated IP Filter configuration, for example, an existing IP Filter configuration or custom configurations that cannot be provided by the framework. This Global Default-only policy mode allows users to supply a text file containing the complete set of IPF rules. When custom mode is selected, the specified set of IPF rules is complete and the framework will not generate IPF rules from configured firewall policies.


A file path to be used when Global Default policy is set to custom. The file contains a set of IPF rules that provide the desired IP Filter configuration. For example, users with existing IPF rules in /etc/ipf/ipf.conf can execute the following commands to use the existing rules:

  1. Set custom policy:

    # svccfg -s ipfilter:default setprop \
    firewall_config_default/policy = astring: "custom"
  2. Specify custom file:

    # svccfg -s ipfilter:default setprop \
    firewall_config_default/custom_policy_file = astring: \
  3. Refresh configuration:

    # svcadm refresh ipfilter:default

Non-service program requiring allowance of its incoming traffic can request that the firewall allow traffic to its communication ports. This multi-value property contains protocol and port(s) tuple in the form:

"{tcp | udp}:{PORT | PORT-PORT}"

Initially, the system-wide policies are set to none and network services' policies are set to use_global. Enabling network/ipfilter activates the firewall with an empty set of IP Filter rules, since system-wide policy is none and all services inherit that policy. To configure a more restrictive policy, use svccfg(1M) to modify network services and system-wide policies.

A user configures firewall policy by modifying the service's firewall_config property group. A new authorization, solaris.smf.value.firewall.config, is created to allow delegation of the firewall administration privilege to users. Users with Service Operator privileges will need this new authorization to be able to configure firewall policy.

Firewall Availability

During boot, a firewall is configured for enabled services prior to the starting of those services. Thus, services are protected on boot. While the system is running, administrative actions such as service restarting, enabling, and refreshing may cause a brief service vulnerability during which the service runs while its firewall is being configured.

svc.ipfd monitors a service's start and stop events and configures or unconfigures a service's firewall at the same time that SMF is starting or stopping the service. Because the two operations are simultaneous, there is a possible window of exposure (less than a second) if the service is started before its firewall configuration completed. RPC services typically listen on ephemeral addresses, which are not known until the services are actually running. Thus RPC services are subjected to similar exposure since their firewalls are not configured until the services are running.

Developer Documentation

Services providing remote capabilities are encouraged to participate in the firewall framework to control network access to the service. While framework integration is not mandatory, remote access to services that are not integrated in the framework may not function correctly when a system-wide policy is configured.

Integrating a service into the framework is as straightforward as defining two additional property groups and their corresponding properties in the service manifest. IP Filter rules are generated when a user enables the service. In the non-trivial case of custom rule generation, where a shell script is required, there are existing scripts that can be used as examples.

The additional property groups, firewall_config and firewall_context, stores firewall policy configuration and provides static firewall definition, respectively. Below is a summary of new property groups and properties and their appropriate default values.

Firewall policy configuration:


Access to the system is protected by a new authorization definition and a user-defined property type. The new authorization should be assigned to the property group value_authorization property in a way such as:

<propval name='value_authorization' type='astring'
value='solaris.smf.value.firewall.config' />

A third party should follow the service symbol namespace convention to generate a user-defined type. Sun-delivered services can use com.sun,fw_configuration as the property type.

See “Firewall Policy Configuration,” above, for more information.


This property's initial value should be use_global since services, by default, inherit the Global Default firewall policy.


An empty property, this property has no initial value.


An empty property, this property has no initial value.

Firewall static definition:


A third party should follow service symbol namespace convention to generate a user-defined type, Sun delivered services can use com.sun,fw_definition as the property type.

See “Firewall Static Configuration,” above, for more information.


Service with well-known, IANA defined port, which can be obtained by getservbyname(3SOCKET). The service's IANA name is stored in this property. For RPC services, the RPC program number is stored in this property.


For RPC services, this property should be created with its value set to true.


In general, the specified firewall policy is used to generate IP Filter rules to the service's communication port, derived from the firewall_context/name property. Services that do not have IANA-defined ports and are not RPC services will need to generate their own IP Filter rules. Services that generate their own rules may choose not to have firewall_context/name and firewall_context/isrpc properties. See the following services:


...and others with the ipf_method for guidance.


See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attributes:

system/core-os, network/ipfilter
Interface Stability

See Also

svcprop(1), svcs(1), ipf(1M), svcadm(1M), svccfg(1M), getservbyname(3SOCKET), rpc(4), attributes(5), ipfilter(5), smf(5)