tail head cat sleep
QR code linking to this page

Manual Pages  — BLACKLISTD


blacklistd – block and release ports on demand to avoid DoS abuse



blacklistd [-dfrv] [-C controlprog] [-c configfile] [-D dbfile] [-P sockpathsfile] [-R rulename] [-s sockpath] [-t timeout]


blacklistd is a daemon similar to syslogd(8) that listens to sockets at paths specified in the sockpathsfile for notifications from other daemons about successful or failed connection attempts. If no such file is specified, then it only listens to the socket path specified by sockspath or if that is not specified to /var/run/blacklistd.sock. Each notification contains an (action, port, protocol, address, owner) tuple that identifies the remote connection and the action. This tuple is consulted against entries in configfile with syntax specified in blacklistd.conf(5). If an entry is matched, a state entry is created for that tuple. Each entry contains a number of tries limit and a duration.

If the action is "add" and the number of tries limit is reached, then a control script controlprog is invoked with arguments:

control add <rulename> <proto> <address> <mask> <port>

and should invoke a packet filter command to block the connection specified by the arguments. The rulename argument can be set from the command line (default blacklistd). The script could print a numerical id to stdout as a handle for the rule that can be used later to remove that connection, but that is not required as all information to remove the rule is kept.

If the action is "remove" Then the same control script is invoked as:

control remove <rulename> <proto> <address> <mask> <port> <id>

where id is the number returned from the "add" action.

blacklistd maintains a database of known connections in dbfile. On startup it reads entries from that file, and updates its internal state.

blacklistd checks the list of active entries every timeout seconds (default 15) and removes entries and block rules using the control program as necessary.

The following options are available:
-C controlprog
  Use controlprog to communicate with the packet filter, usually /usr/libexec/blacklistd-helper. The following arguments are passed to the control program:
action The action to perform: add, rem, or flush to add, remove or flush a firewall rule.
name The rule name.
  The optional protocol name (can be empty): tcp, tcp6, udp, udp6.
address The IPv4 or IPv6 numeric address to be blocked or released.
mask The numeric mask to be applied to the blocked or released address
port The optional numeric port to be blocked (can be empty).
id For packet filters that support removal of rules by rule identifier, the identifier of the rule to be removed. The add command is expected to return the rule identifier string to stdout.
-c configuration
  The name of the configuration file to read, usually /etc/blacklistd.conf.
-D dbfile
  The Berkeley DB file where blacklistd stores its state, usually /var/db/blacklistd.db.
  Normally, blacklistd disassociates itself from the terminal unless the -d flag is specified, in which case it stays in the foreground.
  Truncate the state database and flush all the rules named rulename are deleted by invoking the control script as:
control flush <rulename>
-P sockspathsfile
  A file containing a list of pathnames, one per line that blacklistd will create sockets to listen to. This is useful for chrooted environments.
-R rulename
  Specify the default rule name for the packet filter rules, usually blacklistd.
  Re-read the firewall rules from the internal database, then remove and re-add them. This helps for packet filters that do not retain state across reboots.
-s sockpath
  Add sockpath to the list of Unix sockets blacklistd listens to.
-t timeout
  The interval in seconds blacklistd polls the state file to update the rules.
  Cause blacklistd to print diagnostic messages to stdout instead of syslogd(8).


blacklistd deals with the following signals:
HUP Receipt of this signal causes blacklistd to re-read the configuration file.
  These signals tell blacklistd to exit in an orderly fashion.
USR1 This signal tells blacklistd to increase the internal debugging level by 1.
USR2 This signal tells blacklistd to decrease the internal debugging level by 1.


  Shell script invoked to interface with the packet filter.
/etc/blacklistd.conf Configuration file.
/var/db/blacklistd.db Database of current connection entries.
/var/run/blacklistd.sock Socket to receive connection notifications.


blacklistd.conf(5), blacklistctl(8), pfctl(8), syslogd(8)


blacklistd first appeared in NetBSD FreeBSD support for blacklistd was implemented in FreeBSD 11 .


Christos Zoulas

BLACKLISTD (8) October 5, 2018

tail head cat sleep
QR code linking to this page

Please direct any comments about this manual page service to Ben Bullock. Privacy policy.

Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad.
— Rob Pike