Firewall blocking desktop features

Peter Oliver at
Tue Sep 10 20:07:27 UTC 2013

Empathy's "People Nearby" feature doesn't work out of the box because the required ports are blocked by default by the firewall (  It's a similar story with Gnome's "Media Sharing" feature, and I'm sure there are lots of other examples.

Now, if you're running a server and you install, say, Apache, I think you expect to have to go and poke at the firewall config, but these seem to be very desktop-focused features, and the UI provides no clue about the extra steps required.

The FirewallD wiki page talks about a proposed "user interaction mode" (, which sounds like it's intended to address these kinds of issues.  I guess that's not going to be with us soon?

Meanwhile, are there any quick ways we could simply this for users?  It's not much, but should application packages ship /usr/lib/firewalld/services/service.xml files so that users can open the correct ports by ticking a box in firewall-config rather than having to go hunting around to find the ranges?

Peter Oliver

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