GUI editor to tame mod_security rules

βŒˆβŒ‹ βŽ‡ branch:  modseccfg

Top-level Files of tip

Files in the top-level directory from the latest check-in

  • dev
  • modseccfg
  • Makefile
  • NEWS
  • requirements.txt

- It doesn't, but: no warranty and such. - Also, hasn't many features yet.


  • Simple GUI editor for SecRuleRemoveById settings
  • Tries to suggest false positives from error and audit logs
  • And configure mod_security and CoreRuleSet variables.
  • Runs locally, via ssh -X forwarding, or per modseccfg vps5:/ automount.


  • You can install this package locally or on a server:

    pip3 install modseccfg
  • And your distro must provide a full Python 3.x installaton:

    sudo apt install python3-tk ttf-unifont libapache2-mod-security2

Start options

  • To run the GUI locally / on test setups:

  • To start it on a server per X11 forwarding (terribly slow over SSH):

    ssh -X vps5 modseccfg
  • Alternatively use xpra:

    xpra --start ssh:vps5 --start=modseccfg
  • Best: use an automatic filesystem mount (with ssh shortcut/pubkey auth already configured). That's a bit slow on startup, but pays off when browsing for details.

    modseccfg vps5:/

WARNING: This will bind the remote / server root. Take care to configure the mount point (File β†’ Settings β†’ Utils β†’ Remote binding), and no backup or cleanup job is running whilst modseccfg is active.
This doesn't strictly require the root user for ssh, but permissions for logs and individual *.conf files when changed (chown the ones that shall be editable). The sshfs/fuse mount will be terminated with the GUI, though.


You obviously should have Apache(2.x) + mod_security(2.9) + CRS(3.x) set up and running already (in DetectionOnly mode initially), to allow for log inspection and adapting rules.

  1. Start modseccfg (python3 -m modseccfg)
  2. Select a configuration/vhost file to inspect + work on.
  3. Pick the according error.log
  4. Inspect the rules with a high error count (β†’[info] button to see docs).
  5. [Disable] offending rules
    • Don't just go by the error count however!
    • Make sure you don't disable essential or heuristic rules.
    • Compare error with access log details.
    • Else craft an exception rule ([Modify] or β†’Recipes).
  6. Thenceforth restart Apache after testing changes (apache2ctl -t).


  • Preferrably do not edit default /etc/apache* files
  • Work on separated /srv/web/conf.d/* configuration, if available
  • And keep vhost settings in e.g. vhost.*.dir files, rather than multiple <VirtualHost> in one *.conf (else only the first section will be augmented).

Missing features

  • File permission check on remote host is non-functional still.
  • Doesn't process any audit.log yet.
  • Can't classify wrapped (<Location>/<FilesMatch>) rules yet.
  • ~~No rule information dialog.~~
  • ~~No SecOption editor yet.~~
  • ~~No CRS settings (setvar:crs…) editor yet.~~
  • Recipes are not worth using yet.
  • No sudo usage.