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PF: Getting Started

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PF is enabled by default. If you wish to disable it on boot, add the line
to the file /etc/rc.conf.local and reboot your system to have it take effect.

You can also manually activate and deactivate PF by using the pfctl(8) program:

# pfctl -e
# pfctl -d

to enable and disable, respectively. Note that this just enables or disables PF, it doesn't actually load a ruleset. The ruleset must be loaded separately, either before or after PF is enabled.


PF reads its configuration rules from /etc/pf.conf at boot time, as loaded by the rc scripts. Note that while /etc/pf.conf is the default and is loaded by the system rc scripts, it is just a text file loaded and interpreted by pfctl(8) and inserted into pf(4). For some applications, other rulesets may be loaded from other files after boot. As with any well designed Unix application, PF offers great flexibility.

The pf.conf file has five parts:

Blank lines are ignored, and lines beginning with # are treated as comments.


After boot, PF operation can be managed using the pfctl(8) program. Some example commands are:
     # pfctl -f /etc/pf.conf     Load the pf.conf file
     # pfctl -nf /etc/pf.conf    Parse the file, but don't load it

     # pfctl -sr                 Show the current ruleset
     # pfctl -ss                 Show the current state table
     # pfctl -si                 Show filter stats and counters
     # pfctl -sa                 Show EVERYTHING it can show

For a complete list of commands, please see the pfctl(8) man page.

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