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gufw is the GUI version of Uncomplicated Firewall. What is the purpose of the unlock command button of gufw? This command button disappears once it is clicked.

My configuration is Ubuntu 12.04 with the version of gufw the latest available to Ubuntu via the apt-get install gufw installation method. (I am not able to access the actual version number since I am using it via a remote desktop and the menu bar seems unresponsive.)

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By default the configuration of firewall settings including the on/off status were disabled at the gufu. Inorder to modify it you need root permissions.

Before clicking unlock image would be like this

enter image description here

once you click the unlock button the application would ask root password and it will help you to make changes as root user

enter image description here

The Unlock Button helps you to type your root password and use the application as an root user and make necessary changes.

For usage guidance you could refer here

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Interesting answer. There is only one user on the system and it is root. I am not prompted for a password when I click unlock. These two differences between my situation and the one you describe leave me unsure how to interpret your answer. – H2ONaCl Sep 24 '13 at 9:59
@broiyan i got your point if you wish to test the scenario create one user and login with the user,you would be prompted with the window asking for password,enter wrong password you would get wrong identification message on the application – BlueBerry - Vignesh4303 Sep 24 '13 at 10:04
@broiyan: Do you mean you're running the entire graphical interface as root? – grawity Sep 24 '13 at 12:39
I don't need additional users. This is a one-man job. – H2ONaCl Sep 27 '13 at 13:08
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Before clicking unlock the firewall status can be observed to be off.

When you click unlock, the firewall status can be observed to change to be on.

This suggests that to enable a firewall, you unlock it, and at the same time, the dialog becomes no longer grey and so the configuration can be changed.

In other words, unlock will unlock configuration access but at the same time enable the firewall. This implies that an unlocked gufw is in a more secure state.

This is intuitive in the way you shutdown Windows you click start.

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This is nothing to do with needing Root permission, as some replies suggest.

gUFW uses PolicyKit. A gnome security framrwork. This has rules like "Can users configure the firewall?", and these are usually set to things like "If they are logged in interactively in a local graphical session".

When you click Unlock, it queries policyKit to see if you are allowed to perform the action.

Think of it like UAC/Group Policy in windows.

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