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Manage fail2ban bruteforce protector


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Version information

  • 4.0.1 (latest)
  • 4.0.0
  • 3.3.1
  • 3.3.0
  • 3.2.4
  • 3.2.3
  • 3.2.2
  • 3.2.1
  • 3.2.0
  • 3.1.0
  • 3.0.0
  • 2.0.3
  • 2.0.2
  • 2.0.0
  • 1.3.0
  • 1.2.1
  • 1.2.0
  • 1.1.0
  • 1.0.2
  • 1.0.1
  • 1.0.0
released Jun 9th 2023
This version is compatible with:
  • Puppet Enterprise 2023.7.x, 2023.6.x, 2023.5.x, 2023.4.x, 2023.3.x, 2023.2.x, 2023.1.x, 2023.0.x, 2021.7.x, 2021.6.x, 2021.5.x, 2021.4.x, 2021.3.x, 2021.2.x, 2021.1.x, 2021.0.x, 2019.8.x, 2019.7.x, 2019.5.x, 2019.4.x, 2019.3.x, 2019.2.x, 2019.1.x, 2019.0.x
  • Puppet >= 6.0 < 9.0.0
  • , , ,

Start using this module

  • r10k or Code Manager
  • Bolt
  • Manual installation
  • Direct download

Add this module to your Puppetfile:

mod 'LeLutin-fail2ban', '4.0.1'
Learn more about managing modules with a Puppetfile

Add this module to your Bolt project:

bolt module add LeLutin-fail2ban
Learn more about using this module with an existing project

Manually install this module globally with Puppet module tool:

puppet module install LeLutin-fail2ban --version 4.0.1

Direct download is not typically how you would use a Puppet module to manage your infrastructure, but you may want to download the module in order to inspect the code.



LeLutin/fail2ban — version 4.0.1 Jun 9th 2023

Puppet module for fail2ban

Table of contents:

  1. Overview
  2. Module description
  3. Usage
  4. Requirements
  5. Compatibility
  6. Upgrade notices
  7. Documentation
  8. Testing


Install and manage fail2ban with puppet to block bruteforce attempts.

Module description

With this module, you can install fail2ban and define any configuration for the service in order to slow down bruteforce attempts on services that need to be exposed to the internet.

This module lets you create:

  • actions (e.g. what to do when there's a problematic case)
  • filters (e.g. how to discover problematic cases)
  • jails (e.g. combining actions and filters with a rate limit on filter matches)


To use this module just include the fail2ban class.

To change default configurations in jail.conf or fail2ban.conf, you can pass values to parameters to the fail2ban class. See technical reference documentation ( for full list of parameters.

Here's an example that sets default ignored IP address for all jails to localhost plus another rfc1819 IP:

class { 'fail2ban':
  ignoreip => ['', ''],

Defining jails

The fail2ban::jail defined type lets you configure jails. This is the resource you'll mostly likely be using the most.

You can use one of the jail parameter presets (see details and list of presets in the section below. for more details the presets are defined in hiera files in data/) to speed up defining some common jails.

The following example defines a jail for the jenkins service:

fail2ban::jail { 'jenkins':
  port    => 'all',
  filter  => 'jenkins',
  logpath => ['/var/log/jenkins.log'],

Predefined jails

The list at the end of this section contains all of the presets that can be used to configure jails more easily.

Each of them is a data point -- a hash of parameter and values -- in hiera that needs to be gathered with the lookup() function.

Each hash represents parameters and values that should be passed in to the fail2ban::jail defined type (so they are really just presets for the type's parameters) documented above and has a lookup key of fail2ban::jail::$jailname.

For example, to quickly configure a jail for the ssh service with the preset parameters:

$ssh_params = lookup('fail2ban::jail::sshd')
fail2ban::jail { 'sshd':
  * => $ssh_params,

You can also override values from the preset or define new parameters by concatenating your own hash to it. In the following example we define new parameters bantime and findtime and we override the preset for maxretry:

$ssh_extra_params  = {
  'bantime'  => 300,
  'findtime' => 200,
  'maxretry' => 3,
$ssh_params = lookup('fail2ban::jail::sshd') + $ssh_extra_params
fail2ban::jail { 'sshd':
  * => $ssh_params,

This way you can set any parameter to the fail2ban::jail defined type and override preset values.

Watch out: jails by default use the same filter name as the jail name, so make sure to either use the same string as the lookup key for the jail resource name, or override the filter parameter.

Here's the full list of currently available presets. To know each preset's default values you can inspect files in data/:

  • 3proxy
  • apache-auth
  • apache-badbots
  • apache-noscript
  • apache-overflows
  • apache-nohome
  • apache-botsearch
  • apache-fakegooglebot
  • apache-modsecurity
  • apache-shellshock
  • assp
  • asterisk
  • bitwarden
  • centreon
  • counter-strike
  • courier-auth
  • courier-smtp
  • cyrus-imap
  • directadmin
  • domino-smtp
  • dovecot
  • dropbear
  • drupal-auth
  • ejabberd-auth
  • exim
  • exim-spam
  • freeswitch
  • froxlor-auth
  • gitlab
  • grafana
  • groupoffice
  • gssftpd
  • guacamole
  • haproxy-http-auth
  • horde
  • kerio
  • lighttpd-auth
  • mongodb-auth
  • monit
  • murmur
  • mysql-auth
    • To log wrong MySQL access attempts add to /etc/mysql/my.cnf in [mysqld] or equivalent section: log-warning = 2
  • nagios
  • named-refused
  • nginx-http-auth
  • nginx-limit-req
  • nginx-botsearch
  • nsd
  • openhab-auth
  • openwebmail
  • oracleims
  • pam-generic
  • pass2allow-ftp
  • perdition
  • php-url-fopen
  • phpmyadmin-syslog
  • portsentry
  • postfix
  • postfix-rbl
  • postfix-sasl
  • proftpd
  • pure-ftpd
  • qmail-rbl
  • recidive
    • Ban IPs that get repeatedly banned, but for a longer period of time -- by default for one week and one day. Some warnings apply:
    1. Make sure that your loglevel specified in fail2ban.conf/.local is not at DEBUG level -- which might then cause fail2ban to fall into an infinite loop constantly feeding itself with non-informative lines
    2. Increase dbpurgeage defined in fail2ban.conf to e.g. 648000 (7.5 days) to maintain entries for failed logins for sufficient amount of time
  • roundcube-auth
  • screensharing
  • selinux-ssh
  • sendmail-auth
  • sendmail-reject
  • sieve
  • slapd
  • softethervpn
  • sogo-auth
  • solid-pop3d
  • squid
  • squirrelmail
  • sshd
  • sshd-ddos
  • stunnel
    • This pre-defined jail does not specify ports to ban since this service can run on many choices of ports. By default this means that all ports will be blocked for IPs that are banned by this jail. You may want to override the hash to add in specific ports in the port parameter.
  • suhosin
  • tine20
  • traefik-auth
  • uwimap-auth
  • vsftpd
  • webmin-auth
  • wuftpd
  • xinetd-fail
    • This pre-defined jail does not specify ports to ban since this service can run on many choices of ports. By default this means that all ports will be blocked for IPs that are banned by this jail. You may want to override the hash to add in specific ports in the port parameter.
  • znc-adminlog
  • zoneminder

Defining filters

You might want to define new filters for your new jails. To do that, you can use the fail2ban::filter defined type:

fail2ban::filter { 'jenkins':
  failregexes => [
    # Those regexes are really arbitrary examples.
    'Invalid login to Jenkins by user mooh by IP \'<HOST>\'',
    'Forced entry trial by <HOST>',

Defining actions

Fail2ban can do pretty much what you want it to do (e.g. run an action) when an IP matches a filter enough times during the rate limit set by the jail.

To define a new action, you can use the fail2ban::action defined type. Here's an example that would call out to a fictitious REST API whenever an IP address is banned and unbanned:

fail2ban::action { 'rest_api':
  ensure      => present,
  actionban   => ['curl -s -X PUT http://yourapi:8080/theapi/v4/firewall/rules -H "Content-Type:application/json" -H "Authorization: ..." -d "{\"ban\": \"<ip>\"}"'],
  actionunban => ['curl -s -X DELETE http://yourapi:8080/theapi/v4/firewall/rules/1 -H "Authorization: ..."'],

Python action scripts

Fail2ban lets users define actions as python scripts. These actions should exist as a file within /etc/fail2ban/action/$ where $action is the name of the action.

The contents of those files can differ wildly. Other than ensuring the location of the file and its permissions, this module wouldn't actually add much more on top of simply managing the python scripts as file resources, so no defined resource type was created for them.

If you manage such an action script, it is recommended to make it signal Class['fail2ban::service'] (e.g. with ~>) in order to automatically restart the service upon changes.

nftables support

Fail2ban supports nftables with the builtin actions:

  • nftables
  • nftables-multiport (it's just an alias of nftables)
  • nftables-allports

These actions use nftables' set functionality to contain banned IPs instead of adding a firewall rule for each new banned IP. This should make your firewall more efficient if you have lots of banned IPs.

Since nftables is now used by default on Debian since the buster release but iptables is still used by fail2ban's default action, here's how to quickly enable usage of nftables for fail2ban:

Only two global parameters need to be changed:

  • chain needs to be set to the same value but lowercased
    • by default the chain used is expected to be in table filter of address family ip (e.g. the iptables compatibility table).
  • banaction needs to be set to the nftables action of your choice
  • If you want to customize further what table, address family, chain hook, hook priority or the action taken by the rule if an address is matched, you can create a file /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/nftables-common.local that overrides the variables in the Init section of the nftables.conf file.

Here's an example minimal configuration for using nftables with one sshd jail defined as usual:

class { 'fail2ban':
  banaction      => 'nftables',
  chain          => 'input',
$ssh_params = lookup('fail2ban::jail::sshd')
fail2ban::jail { 'sshd':
  * => $ssh_params,

Do note that upon service restart, fail2ban will not create the ip set and the corresponding rule right away so it will appear as though "it's not working". They will only be added whenever the first "action" is taken (so when banning the first IP for a jail). After that you should see both the set and the rule for that jail when running nft list ruleset.

To list which IPs are currently banned, you can either use fail2ban-client status sshd or list elements of the corresponding set. For the example above: nft list set filter f2b-sshd


This module depends on the following modules to function:

  • puppetlabs' stdlib module (at least version 4.6.0)


This module supports

  • Debian 10, 11
  • Ubuntu 18.04, 20.04, 22.04
  • RHEL 7, 8, 9
  • CentOS 7 and 8
    • version 8 is currently EOL and support for it will be removed along with version 7 when that one becomes EOL as well

Puppet versions 6 and 7 are supported.

If you still need to use this module with puppet 5 or 4.10+ you can either try your luck with version 4.x of this module even though support is not official, or you can use the 3.x releases of the module.

Upgrade notices

  • 4.0.0: Support for Debian 11 was added, but Debian 8 was removed from supported releases.

    With the removal of debian 8 support, the $persistent_bans parameter was removed since it is not needed anymore. This has the side-effect of stopping management of the actions.d/iptables-multiport.conf file, so users may let their package manager change it back to its default form now.

    A couple of new parameters have been added to match newly available configuration options in the fail2ban version (0.11) in Debian bullseye.

    Watch out though, the $logpath parameter has changed data type from String to Array[String] so you'll need to adapt your calls to the main class and to the jail defined type.

    The $action parameter in the main class and in the fail2ban::jail defined type now accept an array of strings. Using a simple String is now considered deprecated and the data type will get removed in version 5.x of the module.

    Similarly, the $failregex and $ignoreregex parameters in the main class now accept an array of strings and using a simple String is now considered deprecated. The String type will be removed from those parameters in version 5.x of the module.

    Some new default jails were added to match what's available in newer versions of fail2ban. You can check them out in data/common.yaml.

    Some default jails were modified. You might want to check what their changes are before upgrading. Namely:

    • asterisk
    • dovecot
    • freeswitch
    • murmur
    • mysql-auth was renamed to mysqld-auth
    • nrpe was renamed to nagios
    • nsd
    • openhab-auth
    • openwebmail
  • 3.3: Support for the 2.x branch was discontinued. Only puppet 4.x+ is supported from now on.

    Documentation in the file is now limited to only examples of how to use the module. For a technical reference of all classes, defined types and their parameters, please refer to or generate html documentation with puppet-strings.

    Note that debian 8 is still being supported for a little while, but with the expectation that users use this module with puppet 4.x+. Debian 8's support cycle is almost over, thus so it is for this module. Expect support to be removed from this module in the coming months.

  • 3.2: No pre-defined jail sends out an email as an action by default. Users who still want to receive emails when an action is taken can override the action field from the predefined jail data and append the action the following: \n %(mta)s-whois[name=%(__name__)s, dest=\"%(destemail)s\"]

    Also note that puppet 4.x prior to 4.10 is not supported anymore, and that hiera 5 is now required (hence the limitation for the puppet version.

  • 3.1: fail2ban.local and all unmanaged files in fail2ban.d are now being purged by default. Users who have local modifications that they want to keep should set $rm_fail2ban_local and/or $purge_fail2ban_d to false.

  • 3.0: all of the defined types for predefined jails in fail2ban::jail::* have been removed and instead transformed into data structures with hiera. If you were using the predefined jails, you will need to change your code: please take a look at the new method of using them with lookup() further down in this file.

  • 3.0: fail2ban::jail's order parameter was removed. Users should adapt their calls in order to remove this parameter. All jail files are now just individual files dropped in jail.d and order is not relevant there.

  • 3.0: Deprecation notice: the persistent_bans parameter to the fail2ban class is now deprecated and will be removed for the 4.0 release. fail2ban can now manage persistent bans naturally by using its own sqlite3 database.

  • 2.0: Jail definitions have been moved to jail.d/*.conf files . The jail.local file is now getting removed by the module. To avoid this, set rm_jail_local to true.

  • 2.0: ignoreip both on the main class and in fail2ban::jail (and thus in all fail2ban::jail::* classes too) is no longer expected to be a string. It is now a list of strings that automatically gets joined with spaces. Users of the fail2ban module will need to adjust these parameters.

  • The directory /etc/fail2ban/jail.d is now getting purged by default. Users who would like to preserve files in this directory that are not managed by puppet should now set the purge_jail_dot_d parameter to the fail2ban class to false.


This module uses puppet-strings comments. The most stable way of using puppet-strings is to reuse the same version as what's specified in the Gemfile, so start by running gem install (you might need to setup local path for non-root install first).

Then you can generate HTML documentation in the docs directory with the following command:

bundle exec rake strings:generate

The file should be updated along with the code if any API and accompanying puppet-strings documentation change. You can do this with:

bundle exec rake strings:generate:reference


This module has some tests that you can run to ensure that everything is working as expected.

Before you can use the tests, make sure that you setup your local environment with bundle install.

Smoke tests

You can run sanity check with the validate task from puppet-syntax:

bundle exec rake validate

This will check manifest syntax, template syntax, yaml syntax for hiera files and ensure that the file is up to date.

Additionally to this, you can also use rubocop to run sanity checks on ruby files:

bundle exec rake rubocop

Unit tests

The unit tests are built with rspec-puppet.

The usual rspec-puppet_helper rake tasks are available. So, to run spec tests:

bundle exec rake spec

Funtionality tests

Unit tests are great, but sometimes it's nice to actually run the code in order to see if everything is setup properly and that the software is working as expected.

This repository does not have automated functionality tests, but it has a Vagrantfile that you can use to bring up a VM and run this module inside it.

The Vagrantfile expects you to have the vagrant plugin vagrant-librarian-puppet installed. If you don't have it you can also download this module's requirements (see metadata.json) and place them inside tests/modules/.

A couple of manifest files inside tests/ prepare sets of use cases. You can modify the Vagrantfile to use any of them for provisioning the VM.