Im currently using ufw to enforce some basic firewall rules. Is it possible to also use ufw to do port forwarding?

Specifically im wanting to forward incoming traffic to my server (same machine running ufw) on port 80 to port 8080. (http traffic forwarded to tomcat)


2 Answers 2


Let's say you want to forward requests going to 80 to a server listening on port 8080.

Note that you will need to make sure port 8080 is allowed, otherwise ufw will block the requests that are redirected to 8080.

sudo ufw allow 8080/tcp

There are no ufw commands for setting up the port forwards, so it must be done via configuraton files. Add the lines below to /etc/ufw/before.rules, before the filter section, right at the top of the file:

-A PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-port 8080

Then restart and enable ufw to start on boot:

sudo ufw enable
  • 9
    could you explain this line by line please? also, is there not something like ufw forward 80 to 8080? I thought UFW was Uncomplicated.
    – Tom
    Mar 11, 2012 at 11:58
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    Looks like there are no ufw commands for setting up the port fowards, so it must be done via configuraton files. More detailed description about the configuration file syntax is available at: frozentux.net/iptables-tutorial/… Jul 24, 2012 at 9:01
  • That doesn't work for me, I receive following message in /var/log/syslog after turning loggin on: [52627.259812] [UFW BLOCK] IN=eth0 OUT= MAC=xxx SRC=xxx DST=xxx LEN=60 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=59 ID=59278 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=53997 DPT=8080 WINDOW=14600 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0. It may be useful to know that before everything, I denied all incoming requests using ufw deny incoming and allowed only ssh,80,443. Could someone please advise what is the problem? Jul 31, 2014 at 8:05
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    @Yura I had the same problem (8080 was blocked when I looked at syslog). Running sudo ufw allow 8080/tcp fixed the problem for me.
    – Tim Swast
    Jan 29, 2016 at 3:19
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    nice and straightforward answer. Much more easier than set it up directly on iptables! kudos
    – R.D.
    Nov 21, 2016 at 5:57

Since ufw 0.34 ufw supports forward rules.

example: sudo ufw route allow in on eth0 out on eth1 to port 8080 from port 80

You also need to make sure you have the sysctl net.ipv4.ip_forward enabled. For most distributions, that's done by editing /etc/sysctl.conf and running sysctl -p or rebooting.

ufw doesn't support NAT through it's easy interface, though.

  • 2
    It is net.ipv4.ip_forward you need to enable, not net.ipv4.forward. Dec 9, 2020 at 20:36
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    It seems like this gives permission for packets sent from a certain network+port and to another network+port. That's not "port forwarding" as requested. OP needs the destination port of the packet to be re-written, from 80 to 8080. See also: serverfault.com/a/752644/133475
    – sourcejedi
    Jan 3, 2022 at 15:29
  • Yes, it's port forwarding. re-writing the packet is called Network Address Translation (NAT). As I said in my comment before you unfairly downvoted, ufw doesn't support NAT. NAT is required for most, but not all, use cases for port forwarding. Jan 5, 2022 at 15:32

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