I have a server process that I am developing that opens listening TCP sockets. Each time that happens, the firewall opens a dialog with the text "Do you want the application “server” to accept incoming network connections?", prompting me to "Allow" or "Deny" this program rights to bypass the firewall. I never need to allow, since I only ever connect to this server while developing from the local machine.

This dialog is incredibly inconvenient and poorly behaved from a UX perspective, and in some cases, I have literally dozens of instances of this thing coming into being and terminating as automated tests are run. The barrage of dialogs is frustrating, to say the least.

I'd really like to permanently suppress this dialog in some fashion. Things that I am not interested in doing:

  • Turning off the firewall
  • Adding a port exclusion (the test suite runs the server on different ports each time to avoid conflicts due to parallel test execution).
  • Any sort of "signing" step, since the binary is frequently regenerated, and therefore I would need to integrate the signing step into my build process.
  • Needing to run as root or start the server with additional privs, for obvious reasons, and because much of the test suite is automated.

Any thoughts how to make this incredibly irritating dialog go away?

  • 1
    Based on your "I am not interested in doing:" you pretty much excluded all possibilities :)
    – Ruskes
    Jun 28, 2013 at 19:00
  • Well, look at it this way: turning off the firewall is clearly unsafe. I can't use port exclusion since their isn't one (or even many) predictable port to unblock, and developing as root is just silly. I suppose that leaves code signing, but that seems pretty onerous just to disable a dialog.
    – acm
    Jun 28, 2013 at 20:00
  • And, thinking about it a bit more: the code signing approach isn't what I want either: This is untested code running with my user privs: I certainly don't want it open to outside connections. Perhaps that is being a bit over paranoid, but given recent history, perhaps not.
    – acm
    Jun 29, 2013 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


I fully understand your needs, but do not know specific answer.

Since you are a programer,you will be able to figure it out using the

Configuring IPFW firewalls on OS X

if you need special features like:

  • Firewall filters that include qualifiers on host or network addresses

  • Firewall filters that operate on other than TCP or UDP protocols

  • Firewall filters that include the whole range of ipfw qualifiers,
    such as IP options, ICMP types or TCP flags

  • Per-filter logging configuration, including the ability to log
    allowed connections and the option to not log certain types of denied connections

  • NAT port forwarding or other custom NAT configuration

  • Different filter configurations on different network interfaces.

  • A persistant, searchable firewall log entry database with graphical log viewer

  • Scriptable control of your firewall, such as via cron or other shell automation

  • Access and ability to easily edit the raw firewall configuration text, including an integrated ipfw filter syntaxchecker.

...then you should consider using Flying Buttress.

The Author has stopped supporting it, but can be reached here:

Web site http://personalpages.tds.net/~brian_hill

Support web site http://personalpages.tds.net/~brian_hill

Support e-mail [email protected]

One more try: with something called Little Snitch

Silent Mode – Decide Later

There are times where you don’t want to get interrupted by any network related notifications. With Silent Mode you can quickly choose to silence all connection warnings for a while. You can then later review the Silent Mode Log to define permanent rules for connection attempts that occurred during that time.

  • DOes Flying Buttress work with current Apple OS's and does it affect the dialog that the question asks about also considering the author;s web pages referenced there have disappeared.
    – mmmmmm
    Jun 28, 2013 at 21:45
  • I added the Authors contacts so he might be able to answer your question.
    – Ruskes
    Jun 28, 2013 at 22:04
  • Thanks for the links. I may need to try to open an actual ticket with Apple. I think the real problem is that I just want to always deny, for everything. I don't need the training wheels on being prompted to permit access: if I want something externally accessible, I'll make it so myself.
    – acm
    Jun 29, 2013 at 17:06
  • So you just want it to SILENTLY deny and not ask you to choose all the time :)
    – Ruskes
    Jun 29, 2013 at 17:13

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