How to Install and Configure Fail2Ban in CentOs 8 (Prevent From Bruteforce Attack)

All servers that area unit exposed to the net area unit in danger of malware attacks. for instance, if you’ve got a package connected to a public network, attackers will use brute-force makes an attempt to realize access to the applying.

Fail2ban is AN open-source tool that helps defend your UNIX system machine from brute-force and different automatic attacks by observation the services logs for malicious activity. It uses regular expressions to scan log files. All entries matching the patterns area unit counted, and once their variety reaches a definite predefined threshold, Fail2ban bans the offensive IP for a selected length of your time. The default system firewall is employed as a ban action. once the ban amount expires, the IP address is faraway from the ban list.

Installing Fail2ban on CentOS

The Fail2ban package is included in the default CentOS 8 repositories. To install it, enter the following command as root or user with sudo privileges :

sudo dnf install fail2ban

Once the installation is completed, enable and start the Fail2ban service:

sudo systemctl enable --now fail2ban

To check whether the Fail2ban server is running, type:

sudo systemctl status fail2ban
● fail2ban.service - Fail2Ban Service
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/fail2ban.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
   Active: active (running) since Thu 2020-09-10 12:53:45 UTC; 8s ago

That’s it. At this point, you have Fail2Ban running on your CentOS server.

Fail2ban Configuration

The default Fail2ban installation comes with two configuration files, /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf and /etc/fail2ban/jail.d/00-firewalld.conf. These files should not be modified as they may be overwritten when the package is updated.

Fail2ban reads the configuration files in the following order:

  • /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf
  • /etc/fail2ban/jail.d/*.conf
  • /etc/fail2ban/jail.local
  • /etc/fail2ban/jail.d/*.local

Each .local file overrides the settings from the .conf file.

The easiest way to configure Fail2ban is to copy the jail.conf to jail.local and modify the .local file. More advanced users can build a .local configuration file from scratch. The .local file doesn’t have to include all settings from the corresponding .conf file, only those you want to override.

Create a .local configuration file from the default jail.conf file:

sudo cp /etc/fail2ban/jail.{conf,local}

To start configuring the Fail2ban server open, the jail.local file with your text editor :

sudo nano /etc/fail2ban/jail.local

The file includes comments describing what each configuration option does. In this example, we’ll change the basic settings.

IP addresses, IP ranges, or hosts that you simply wish to exclude from for bid dance may be other to the ignoreip directive. Here you ought to add your native computer science address and every one different machines that you simply wish to whitelist.

Uncomment the road beginning with ignoreip and add your science addresses separated by space:


ignoreip = ::1

Ban Settings

The values of bantime, findtime, and maxretry choices outline the ban time and ban conditions.

bantime is that the period that the science is illegalonce no suffix is mere, it defaults to seconds. By default, the bantime worth is ready to ten minutes. Generally, most users can need to line a extended ban time. modification the worth to your liking:


bantime  = 1d

To permanently ban the IP, use a negative number.

findtime is the duration between the number of failures before a ban is set. For example, if Fail2ban is set to ban an IP after five failures (maxretry, see below), those failures must occur within the findtime duration./etc/fail2ban/jail.local

findtime  = 10m

maxretry is the number of failures before an IP is banned. The default value is set to five, which should be fine for most users.

Email Notifications
Fail2ban will send email alerts once Associate in Nursing information processing has been illegal. To receive email messages, you wish to possess Associate in Nursing SMTP put in on your server and alter the default action, that solely bans the information processing to %(action_mw)s, as shown below:


action = %(action_mw)s

%(action_mw)s can ban the violative ip and send an email with a whois report. If you would like to incorporate the relevant logs within the email set the action to %(action_mwl)s.

You can additionally modify the causation and receiving email addresses:


destemail =

sender =

Fail2ban Jails
Fail2ban uses an inspiration of jails. A jail describes a service and includes filters and actions. Log entries matching the search pattern area unit counted, and once a predefined condition is met, the corresponding actions area unitdead.

Fail2ban ships with variety of jail for various services. you’ll be able to conjointly produce your own jail configurations.

By default, on CentOS 8, no jails square measure enabled. To change a jail, you wishto feature enabled = true once the jail title. the subsequent example shows the way tochange the sshd jail:


enabled   = true
port    = ssh
logpath = %(sshd_log)s
backend = %(sshd_backend)s

The settings we discussed in the previous section, can be set per jail. Here is an example:/etc/fail2ban/jail.local

The filters are located in the /etc/fail2ban/filter.d directory, stored in a file with the same name as the jail. If you have custom setup and experience with regular expressions, you can fine-tune the filters.

Each time the configuration file is modified, the Fail2ban service must be restarted for changes to take effect:

sudo systemctl restart fail2ban

Fail2ban Client

Fail2ban ships with a command-line tool named fail2ban-client that you can use to interact with the Fail2ban service.

To view all available options of the fail2ban-client command, invoke the it with the -h option:

fail2ban-client -h

This tool can be used to ban/unban IP addresses, change settings, restart the service, and more. Here are a few examples:

  • Check the status of a jail:sudo fail2ban-client status sshdCopy
  • Unban an IP:sudo fail2ban-client set sshd unbanip
  • Ban an IP:sudo fail2ban-client set sshd banip


We’ve shown you the way to put in and put together Fail2ban on CentOS 8. For additional in for regarding configuring Fail2ban, visit the official documentation .

If you have got queriesbe happy to depart a comment below.

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