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Firestarter is packaged for many of the leading Linux distributions. Using a pre-compiled package ensures that the program will integrate properly with your distribution of choice. For platforms for which a binary package does not yet exist and for experienced users, Firestarter can also be compiled from source.

Installing in Fedora Core, Red Hat Linux, SuSE or Mandrake

Firestarter is conveniently available in RPM package format for RPM enabled Linux distributions like, Fedora Core, SuSE and Mandrake.

Once you have downloaded the Firestarter RPM specific to your distribution, open a terminal and change to the directory where you downloaded the RPM to. Type the following commands as shown in bold to install the package:

[bash]$ su
Password: [Type your root password and hit enter]
[bash]$ rpm -Uvh firestarter*rpm

Barring any unresolved dependencies or other problems, Firestarter should now be installed. Alternatively you can use a graphical package manager by double clicking the RPM file in your file manager.

Installing in Debian and Ubuntu

Firestarter is maintained in Debian and can be downloaded and installed using the apt-get tool by simply typing "apt-get install firestarter".

Ubuntu users can install Firestarter by enabling the "universe" repository in the /etc/apt/sources.list file or in synaptic under Settings->Repositories. Having enabled the repository, the procedure is the same as in Debian.

Installing in Gentoo

Firestarter is fully supported in the Gentoo distribution by the Portage system. Simply run "emerge firestarter" to install the program.

Compiling and installing from source

Start by downloading the tar.gz version of Firestarter. Unpack the tarball and move into the newly created directory:

[bash]$ tar -zxvf firestarter*tar.gz
[bash]$ cd firestarter

Run the configure script. There is no need to give any parameters to the script, but we recommend you at least specify the sysconfdir variable, which determines the directory the firewall configuration will be written to. For a full list of options, see ./configure --help.

[bash]$ ./configure --sysconfdir=/etc
checking for a BSD compatible install... /usr/bin/install -c

By default Firestarter will be installed into the /usr/local tree when compiling from source, you can override this by setting the prefix option.

If the configure stage completed without problem you should now be able to compile and install the program:

[bash]$ make
[bash]$ su
Password: [Type your root password and hit enter]
[bash]$ make install

The make install stage is optional. You can also run Firestarter directly from the src subdirectory of the build tree if you want. In that case you must however first issue "make install-data-local" in the build directory. This will install the GConf configuration schema, Firestarter will not run without it.

Installing a Firestarter init script

When you install Firestarter from a package the program is automatically registered to run as a system service. This means the firewall is also running even if the graphical program is not. If you compile Firestarter from source and want this same functionality, you will have to install a system init script for your distribution.

In the firestarter tarball you will find <distribution-name>.init files. These are service startup scripts tailored to specific distributions, although you can likely use one even if it doesn't exactly match your distribution with a bit of editing.

To install the service, copy the init file to /etc/init.d/ and rename it to firestarter.init. After this you must tell the system to use the new script, exactly how this is done varies between distributions. If your distribution has the chkconfig tool available, simply run "chkconfig firestarter reset" and the service will be registered.

For more information about the Firestarter system service, refer to the section on firewall persistence.

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