How to Start Firestarter Automatically in Ubuntu 7.04

by Lonnie Lee Best
Lonnie Lee Best

This article is intended for users of Ubuntu Linux 7.04 who want their Firestarter firewall's GUI to start automatically, upon login, without requiring any manual authentication.

Before doing any of the steps in this article, make sure you have already done these steps:

  1. Install Firestarter.
  2. Start Firestarter for the first time.
  3. Complete the Configuration Wizard that Firestarter provides on the first time you start it.

These prerequisites are covered here:

The Problem:
Firestarter's GUI isn't just a click away.

Firestarter is an "easy to configure" firewall with a graphical user interface. However, in version 1.03, it's default settings are too shy to even indicate (and ensure you) that its running. Furthermore, if you want to change a firewall setting (a frequent task for some), you are burdened with multiple steps before you can even begin to make your desired changes. These undesirable steps are:

  1. Point the cursor at the "System" menu.
  2. Click the System menu.
  3. Point the cursor at the "Administration" sub menu.
  4. Click "Administration".
  5. Point the cursor at the "Firestarter" icon
  6. Click "Firestarter"
  7. Authenticate using the root password!

This article will show you how to eliminate most of these steps. Ultimately this article will show you how to make Firestarter's GUI start upon login; Firestarter will indicate that it is indeed running by displaying a status icon in the status tray (next to the clock) and reconfiguration will be only a point and click away.

The Solution:
Alter the /etc/sudoers file and add FireStarter as a StartUp Program.

First, we must configure your system so that it won't require root authentication when you launch Firestarter from your user login account. Open a terminal from the menu: Applications | Accessories | Terminal.

Cut the line below and paste it into your terminal (right click the terminal and select paste):

export EDITOR=gedit && sudo visudo

After entering this line, you'll be prompted for the root password. Enter the root password, then gedit should popup displaying the contents of the file located at /etc/sudoers .

Because of a bug, (discussed here) Replace this line:

Defaults !lecture,tty_tickets,!fqdn

with these four lines (the first 3 lines are intentionally commented out):

#Defaults !lecture,tty_tickets,!fqdn
Defaults !lecture,tty_tickets,!fqdn,env_keep+="DISPLAY HOME"

Also, add this line at the *very end* of the /etc/sudoers file:

username ALL= NOPASSWD: /usr/sbin/firestarter

Replace "username" (above) with your Ubuntu login name. Now, save your changes and exit the gedit text editor.

Next, so that the firestarter gui will start each time you login, go here:
System | Preferences | Sessions

Create a new "StartUp Program", by clicking "New" and put "Firestarter" as the name and in the "command" textbox field enter:

sudo /usr/sbin/firestarter --start-hidden

Enable Firestarter's "Minimize to tray on window close" Feature

Now Firestarter will appear on your system tray each time you login. However, by default, each time you configure and close Firestarter, it will disappear from your system tray again! To prevent this undesirable default behavior do this:

  1. Open Firestarter from Ubuntu's Systems menu: System | Administration | Firestarter.
  2. Click the "Preferences" button and the make sure "Interface" is selected in the left pane.
  3. Check the check box to the left of "Minimize to tray on window close".
  4. Click the "Accept" button.
Make Firestarter Better

If you think Firestarter should be set up this way by default, voice your preferences here:

See "Contact US" at:

Perhaps your feedback will improve future releases of Firestarter. Ideally, all the steps in this article will one day be abstracted to a single check box that says "Start Firestarter on System Tray at Login".

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About the Author

Lonnie Best has been using the internet since 1993, and has been making web pages since 1995. visit:

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