Checking fail2ban jails

1 minute to read

Fail2ban is an excellent tool to help ban unwelcome IPs from hitting your services.

Fail2ban scans log files (e.g. /var/log/apache/error_log) and bans IPs that show the malicious signs – too many password failures, seeking for exploits, etc. Generally Fail2Ban is then used to update firewall rules to reject the IP addresses for a specified amount of time, although any arbitrary other action (e.g. sending an email) could also be configured. Out of the box Fail2Ban comes with filters for various services (apache, courier, ssh, etc).

This bash script will print the current status of any fail2ban jails on the system.

# Check the status of the Fail2Ban jails
JAILS=$(fail2ban-client status | grep "Jail list" | sed -E 's/^[^:]+:[ \t]+//' | sed 's/,//g')
for JAIL in $JAILS
    fail2ban-client status "$JAIL"


[email protected]:~ λ ./

Status for the jail: sshd
|- Filter
|  |- Currently failed: 2
|  |- Total failed:     18
|  `- File list:        /var/log/auth.log
`- Actions
   |- Currently banned: 2
   |- Total banned:     4
   `- Banned IP list:   <redacted IPs...>

This particular output is from a Pihole. For more information on configuring jails for a Pihole instance, see this forum post over on the Pihole discourse.

I tend to run this script using Ansible across all my local machines that have external services exposed. I’m hoping to detail that in an upcoming blog post.


Daniel Flannery