Interface Groups

Unlike the other interfaces in this chapter, an Interface Group is not a type of interface that can be assigned. Interface groups are used to apply firewall or NAT rules to a set of interfaces on a common tab. If this concept is unfamiliar, consider how the firewall rules for OpenVPN, the PPPoE server, or L2TP server work. There are multiple interfaces in the underlying OS, but the rules for all of them are managed on a single tab for each type.

If many interfaces of a similar function are present on the firewall that need practically identical rules, an interface group may be created to add rules to all of the interfaces at the same time. Interfaces can still have their own individual rules, which are processed after the group rules.

Interface Group Options

When creating or editing an Interface Group, the following options are available:

Group Name

The name of the interface group. Has the same restrictions as the name of an interface. The name may only contain upper and lowercase letters, no numbers, spaces, or special characters.

Group Description

An optional text description for reference.

Group Members

A multi-select list of assigned interfaces on the firewall from which group members can be added. Add interfaces to the group by selecting them with ctrl-click (PC) or cmd-click (MAC).

Creating an Interface Group

To create an interface group:

  • Navigate to Interfaces > Assignments, Interface Groups tab

  • Click fa-plus Add to create a new group

  • Fill in the options as described in Interface Group Options

  • Click Save


Add Interface Group

Using an Interface Group

Interface groups each have an individual tab under Firewall > Rules to manage their rules. Figure Interface Group Firewall Rules Tab shows the firewall rule tab for the group defined in figure Add Interface Group


Interface Group Firewall Rules Tab

See also

Configuring firewall rules for information on managing firewall rules.

Group Rule Processing Order

The rule processing order for user rules is:

  • Floating rules

  • Interface group rules

  • Rules on the interface directly

For example, if a rule on the group tab matches a connection, the interface tab rules will not be consulted. Similarly, if a floating rule with Quick set matched a connection, the interface group rules will not be consulted.

The processing order prevents some combination of rules that otherwise might be a good fit. For example, if a general blocking rule is present on the group, it cannot be overriden by a rule on a specific interface. Same with a pass rule, a specific interface rule cannot block traffic passed on a group tab rule.

Use with WAN Interfaces

The best practice is to not use interface groups with multiple WANs. Doing so may appear to be convenient, but the group rules do not receive the same treatment as actual WAN tab rules. For example, rules on a tab for a WAN-type interface will receive reply-to which allows pf to return traffic back via the interface from which it entered. Group tab rules do not receive reply-to which effectively means that the group rules only function as expected on the WAN with the default gateway.