How to Install and Configure Fail2Ban on AlmaLinux

Secure your AlmaLinux server! Learn to install and configure Fail2Ban, a powerful tool that guards against unauthorized access. Follow our step-by-step guide to strengthen your server's defenses and keep it safe from potential threats.

How to Install and Configure Fail2Ban on AlmaLinux

Strengthen the security of your AlmaLinux server with Fail2Ban, a robust tool that guards against unauthorized access by monitoring system logs and thwarting suspicious activities. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore advanced methods for installing and configuring Fail2Ban, empowering you to fortify your server defenses.

Installing Fail2Ban

Kickstart the process by updating your system and installing EPEL repository & Fail2Ban:

sudo dnf update -y && sudo dnf install epel-release -y
sudo dnf install fail2ban -y
Installation of fail2ban completed

(Optional) If you would like email support, install Sendmail:

sudo dnf install sendmail -y

Start and enable Fail2Ban

sudo systemctl start fail2ban
sudo systemctl enable fail2ban

Configuring Fail2Ban

fail2ban.conf contains the default configuration profile. The default settings give you a reasonable working setup. If you want to make any changes, it’s best to do it in a separate file, fail2ban.local, which overrides fail2ban.conf.

  1. Rename a copy fail2ban.conf to fail2ban.local
cp /etc/fail2ban/fail2ban.conf /etc/fail2ban/fail2ban.local

From here, you can opt to edit the definitions in fail2ban.local to match your desired configuration.

The values that can be changed are:

  • loglevel: The level of detail that Fail2ban’s logs provide can be set to 1 (error), 2 (warn), 3 (info), or 4 (debug).
  • logtarget: Logs actions into a specific file. The default value of /var/log/fail2ban.log puts all logging into the defined file. Alternately, you can change the value to:
    • STDOUT: output any data
    • STDERR: output any errors
    • SYSLOG: message-based logging
    • FILE: output to a file
  • socket: The location of the socket file.
  • pidfile: The location of the PID file.

  1. Edit Configuration File and Change the backend

Open the Fail2Ban configuration file to tailor it to your server's needs:

sudo nano /etc/fail2ban/jail.local

You need to change the backend option in jail.local from auto to systemd.

backend = systemd
Changing backend value to systemd
If the backend configuration is set to auto, Fail2ban monitors log files by first using pyinotify. Next, it tries gamin. If neither are available, a polling algorithm decides what to try next.

  1. Define Custom Jails

Customize jails for specific services by adding entries. For instance, securing SSH access:

enabled = true
port = ssh
filter = sshd

Replace sshd with the desired service, adjusting settings accordingly.

Securing SSH access
  1. Configure Action

Optimize security by modifying the action settings:

banaction = iptables-multiport

Ensure the settings align with your server environment.

Ensure the settings align with your server environment.

  1. Restart and Check Status of Fail2Ban

Apply your configurations by restarting Fail2Ban:

sudo systemctl restart fail2ban
sudo systemctl status fail2ban
Restart and Check Status of Fail2Ban

Monitor Fail2Ban Status

Check the status and view banned IP addresses:

sudo fail2ban-client status
sudo fail2ban-client status sshd

Adjusting Banning Time and Threshold

Fine-tune the banning time and threshold in the jail.local file:

bantime = 1h
maxretry = 5

Adapt these values based on your specific security requirements.

Creating Custom Filters

Craft custom filters for specific log entries to bolster detection:

sudo nano /etc/fail2ban/filter.d/your_custom_filter.conf

Define filter patterns tailored to your server's logs, enhancing Fail2Ban's effectiveness.

Monitoring Log Files

Stay vigilant by regularly monitoring log files for potential security threats:

tail -f /var/log/fail2ban.log


By implementing Fail2Ban on AlmaLinux and customizing its configuration, you establish a resilient defense against malicious activities. Regularly monitor logs, fine-tune settings, and adapt to evolving security needs to keep your server secure.

If you encounter challenges or have insights, share your thoughts in the comments below. Boost your server's resilience today!

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