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Translate Netgate firewall rules to spreadsheet for review.

Project description

Netgate Firewall Converter

The netgate-xml-to-xlsx application converts a standard Netgate firewall .xml configuration file to an .xlsx spreadsheet with multiple tabs.

We've run the current implementation on a handful of our own XML firewall rules, however there's are probably some complex XML elements that will throw warnings when you run on your own files.

If you have a piece of XML that doesn't parse please extract a minimal portion (starting at the pfsense root) and open a ticket (better yet, modify the plugin and provide a pull request).

What is implemented?

  • First pass of XML elements in a base Netgate firewall installation.
  • Installed packages:
    • haproxy


  • Python 3.10+.
  • Netgate firewall XML version 21.x or 22.x.


Recommend installing this with pipx:

pipx install netgate-xml-to-xlsx

Or into a virtual environment.

python -m pip install netgate-xml-to-xlsx

Once installed, the netgate-xml-to-xlsx command is available on your path.

Configuration file

The script requires a configuration file called plugins.toml in the current working directory when you run the script. Download the sample from the GitLab repository. The plugins.toml file defines the plugins to run as well as the order in which they are run. The default order to to run all standard plugins in alphabetical order followed by the installed packages in alphabetical order.



# Display help
netgate-xml-to-xlsx --help

Sanitize Before Use

Netgate configuration files contains sensitive information. The XML file must be sanitized before processing. The original (unsanitized) file is deleted.

# Sanitize Netgate configuration file(s) for review.
netgate-xml-to-xlsx --sanitize firewall-config.xml
netgate-xml-to-xlsx --sanitize dir/*.xml

Convert to Spreadsheet

  • By default, output is sent to the ./output directory.
  • Use the --output-dir parameter to set a specific output directory.
  • The output filename is the input filename with .xlsx attached to the end.
# Convert a Netgate firewall configuration file.
netgate-xml-to-xlsx firewall-config.xml

# Convert all files in a directory.
netgate-xml-to-xlsx /fwalls/*-sanitized.xml

Implementation Notes


Each top-level (or installed package) element is implemented in a separate plugin. The plugin name matches the XML element being processed.

Some advantages to implementing plugins:

  • Simplifies testing. Plugins parse XML and return a list of rows to be output. Plugins do not do their own output. Test provide source XML and check the returned rows.
  • There are numerous Netgate plugins which I'll probably never see. You can add your own plugins, along with tests.

Nosec on lxml imports

The #nosec flag is added to the lxml imports as the lxml parsing is not a security concern in this environment.


Asserts are used throughout to:

  1. provide mypy guidance
  2. check for unexpected data as we're working from XML samples and not a specification.

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