Crowdsec installation and basic setup

Installing CrowdSec: A Fail2Ban Alternative for Your Server

In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to install and use CrowdSec as a great alternative to Fail2Ban for protecting your server. I’ve found CrowdSec to be an excellent solution and I’m excited to share it with you!

Why Choose CrowdSec Over Fail2Ban?

CrowdSec is an open-source security solution that helps protect your server from potential threats, just like Fail2Ban. However, there are some key advantages to using CrowdSec:

  1. Collaborative Defense: CrowdSec leverages a global community of users who share threat intelligence. When one user encounters an attack, the information is shared with the entire community, providing everyone with better protection.
  2. Ease of Use: CrowdSec has a user-friendly dashboard and an extensive set of plugins and integrations, making it easy to monitor and manage your security.
  3. Scalability: CrowdSec is designed to handle high traffic volumes, making it ideal for growing websites.

With these benefits in mind, let’s dive into the installation process!

Installing CrowdSec

To install CrowdSec, simply follow the steps below. Please note that this tutorial assumes you’re using a Linux-based server.

Step 1: Update Your System

First, let’s make sure your system is up to date. Open your terminal and run the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Step 2: Install CrowdSec

Now, let’s install CrowdSec using the following command:

curl -s | sudo bash
sudo apt-get install crowdsec

Step 3: Configure CrowdSec

After installation, you’ll need to configure CrowdSec. Run the following command to launch the configuration wizard:

sudo cscli -c /etc/crowdsec/config.yaml config setup

Follow the prompts to set up your account and choose the appropriate plugins for your needs.

Step 4: Enable and Start CrowdSec Service

Finally, enable and start the CrowdSec service using these commands:

sudo systemctl enable crowdsec
sudo systemctl start crowdsec

Using CrowdSec Bouncers

CrowdSec bouncers are a crucial part of the system, as they enforce the security decisions made by CrowdSec. Bouncers can be thought of as agents that interact with various systems (like firewalls or web servers) to block malicious traffic based on the decisions made by CrowdSec.

Installing a Bouncer

To install a bouncer, you’ll first need to choose the right one for your needs. There are various bouncers available for different systems. In this tutorial, we’ll use the crowdsec-firewall-bouncer as an example, which works with both iptables and nftables.

Install the bouncer by running the following commands:

curl -s | sudo bash
sudo apt-get install crowdsec-firewall-bouncer

Configuring the Bouncer

After installing the bouncer, you’ll need to configure it. Edit the /etc/crowdsec/bouncers/crowdsec-firewall-bouncer.yaml configuration file using your preferred text editor:

sudo nano /etc/crowdsec/bouncers/crowdsec-firewall-bouncer.yaml

In the configuration file, update the api_url and api_key with the correct values. You can find your API key by running the following command:

sudo cscli bouncers list

Your API key will be displayed in the Key column of the output.

Make sure to also configure the mode parameter according to your system’s firewall. Set the value to iptables or nftables, depending on your setup.

Enabling and Starting the Bouncer

Once you have configured the bouncer, enable and start the service with the following commands:

sudo systemctl enable crowdsec-firewall-bouncer
sudo systemctl start crowdsec-firewall-bouncer


Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed CrowdSec and a bouncer as a Fail2Ban alternative for your server. With CrowdSec and its bouncers in place, you can enjoy better security, ease of use, and scalability for your Server.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful, and if you have any questions or run into any issues, feel free to email me or drop me a message on Discord.


This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.