Upload, Install, and Configure Sophos XG Firewall

Table of Contents


This guide provides detailed step-by-step instructions to upload, provision, install and configure the new Sophos XG Firewall in a ProfitBricks virtual Data Center (VDC).


Sign up with Sophos to buy and download the Sophos XG Firewall ISO or alternatively request a free trial here: https://secure2.sophos.com/en-us/products/next-gen-firewall/free-trial.aspx

This will provide you with

  • An ISO image.
  • A valid serial number.

Upload ISO image

  1. Use a FTP Client, such as FileZilla, to upload the Sophos XG ISO to your ProfitBricks account using your DCD login credentials. FTP connection settings
  2. Upload the ISO into the "iso-images" folder.
  3. Once the internal processing of the image is finished you will receive an email.

Create or use virtual data center

Login in to the DCD and create a new data center or select an existing one. Create data center

Reserve IP Addresses

Since the firewall is a permanent device in your network, it is recommended to use a fixed IP address.

  1. Open IP Manager from the top navigation bar.
  2. Click on Reserve IPs, provide a name and set Number of IPs to 1. Make sure the correct region of your data center is selected.
  3. Click the button Reserve IPs. Manage IP addresses

Create Jump Server Instance

Initial configuration of the Sophos XG needs to be done from a web page running on the XG. This web page is only accessible from the internal LAN interface of the XG and not from the public (internet) interface of the XG. In order to access the web page, a jump server, located in the same internal LAN as the XG, is therefore needed.

  1. In your VDC, use a Composite Instance to create a Windows 2012 server which will be used as a jump server.
  2. Use the default settings for the server configuration.
  3. Select the ProfitBricks image windows-2012-r2-server as boot volume.
  4. Increase storage size (Size in GB) to 15 in order to accommodate minimum requirement of Windows Server 2012 R2.
  5. Provide a Password for the administrator account.
  6. Attach the server to the Internet Access box. Create jump server

Create Sophos XG Firewall Instance

  1. Create the Sophos XG server using a composite instance.
  2. Use the following settings for the server configuration (based on the recommended requirements by Sophos):
  3. Cores: 2
  4. RAM: 4
  5. HDD size: 64 GB

Do not select any boot image. Create Sophos instance

Select ISO Boot Device

  1. Select the Sophos XG instance, go to the Inspector sidebar and select the Storage tab. Now click on Add CD-ROM. Add CD-ROM

  2. In the Create New CD-ROM pop-up, click on No Image Selected, navigate to Own Images and select the previously uploaded Sophos XG ISO. Select Sophos ISO

  3. Leave Boot from Device unchecked

  4. Click on Create CD-ROM Drive
  5. When using the uploaded image for the first time, you will be asked to provide the operating system. Select Linux and confirm. Set operating system

Configure Network

  1. Connect the first network interface (NIC 0) of the XG with the second NIC (NIC 1) of the jump server.
  2. Connect the second network interface (NIC 1) of the XG with internet access. Note: The interfaces on the XG need to be created in this exact sequence otherwise the further configuration will not work. The network topology should look like pictured below. Network topology

  3. Select the jump server and in the Inspector sidebar, select the Network tab, go to NIC 1 and set the Primary IP in this private LAN to Set private IP

  4. Now select the Sophos XG server and in the Inspector sidebar select the Network tab, got to NIC 0, disable the DHCP option and set the Primary IP in this private LAN to

  5. For the Primary IP of NIC 1 of the XG, select your previously reserved IP address. Sophos IP setttings


Now provision all changes by clicking on the Provision button on the top of the designer or Provision xx changes in the Inspector sidebar. The background validation should contain no error or warnings. Click on Provision Now to finally provision all instances and their configurations. This process will take several minutes. The current status can be followed in the Inspector sidebar. Provisioning progress

When all jobs have been provisioned a box will pop up letting you know provisioning has been completed successfully. Click the OK button.

Install Sophos XG Firewall

  1. In the ProfitBricks DCD, select the Sophos XG instance.
  2. In the Inspector sidebar, click the button Remote Console. Sophos remote console
  3. A new browser window should open. Click inside the window and type y and press enter. (Notice: The installer is configured to use a US keyboard layout.) Sophos firmware installer

The installer will now format the empty storage volume, create a new file system, and install all necessary files. A progress indicator allows you to monitor the progress. Sophos firmware progress

  1. After all files have been installed, press y to reboot the firewall.
  2. At this point, the system is running Sophos XG Firewall Software Appliance. After the first boot, the system will present details about the hardware configuration and prompt for a password. The default password is admin. Sophos console login

  3. Accept the EULA by pressing a. Sophos EULA

  4. Per default, the Sophos XG assigns the IP address to its first NIC. At this IP address the web based Admin Console is also accessible. In order to activate the firewall, an internet connection is required. Verify the network configuration before starting the actual web based configuration. Using the console, in the Main Menu select 1 for network configuration. Sophos network configuration

  5. Select 1 for interface configuration. Sophos interface configuration

  6. Make sure that interface Port1 contains the IPv4 address A gateway does not need to be configured. Press enter to continue. Sophos port 1 config

  7. Make sure that interface Port2 contains the reserved public IPv4 address assigned by the ProfitBricks DHCP server. This IP address should match the one displayed in DCD under the network setting of your Sophos instance. For external communication a gateway IP address must also be set. Again, this should be automatically assigned via the DHCP server. Sophos port 2 config

  8. If any of the IP addresses are not correct, press y on the following screen and enter the correct IP address.

Web-based Activation of Sophos XG

The web-based Admin Console of the Sophos XG is available at Use the jump server to access this page.

  1. Open a Remote Desktop Connection to the public IP address of the Windows jump server. You will find the public IP address in the NIC 0 Primary IP field in the Inspector sidebar after selecting the jump server in your VDC. Note: This IP address has been dynamically assigned and may change after a power off of the server. Jump sever public IP

  2. Use your browser on the jump server, open and log into the Admin Console using the default credentials username - admin and password - admin. You might need to wait a couple of minutes before the http server on the firewall is correctly loaded and the web page is accessible. The browser's certificate error can be safely ignored. (Note: It might be helpful to download Chrome on your Windows jump server or otherwise you need to lower all IE security settings to a minimum in order to properly use the Sophos Admin Console.) Sophos Admin Console

  3. When you now log in for the first time, you will need to activate your device. Enter a valid serial number you have received from Sophos. Then click on Activate Device. Activate Sophos device

  4. Note: in some cases, the public IP address configured via DHCP is not persisted on the firewall. In this case, the activation will fail with the error message No internet connection. Check your internet connection as described in the product documentation. Go to Basic Setup, select Static as IP Assignment and provide the following information:

  5. IP address: enter the reserved public IP address you assigned to NIC 1 of your Sophos instance
  6. Subnet Mask:
  7. Default Gateway: can also be found in the NIC 1 setting in DCD but is always the .1 of the subnet of your device.
  8. DNS: (public Google DNS)

and click on Save Changes. Sophos WAN settings

  1. Now try to activate the device once more.
  2. After the successful activation, you will need to register your device. Click Register Device to initiate the registration process.
  3. After clicking Register Device, you are redirected to the MySophos portal website. If you already have a MySophos account, click on Login. If you are a new user, sign up for a MySophos account after clicking on Create Sophos ID. Login Sophos ID

  4. After successful login, click Continue on the next window. Sophos account login

  5. After successful registration of the device, you need to synchronize license details with Sophos servers. Click Initiate License Synchronization to initiate the process. Initiate License Synchronization

  6. If the license has been successfully synchronized, you will see the Welcome page. Start the Network Configuration Wizard by clicking on Click Here. Sophos finished registration

  7. The wizards walks you through the steps to setup initial configuration of your Sophos XG Firewall so that you can begin creating your security policies.

Sophos Network Configuration Wizard

  1. The Network Configuration Wizard will appear. Click Start to initialize the network configuration process. Start Network Configuration Wizard

  2. On the next screen, select Gateway Mode as the mode of deployment and click the > button. Sophos Gateway Mode

  3. On the Port Configuration screen, configure the IP addresses of the interfaces. Usually, you will not need to change the settings. Click > when ready. Sophos port configuration

  4. On the DNS Configuration screen, enter the IP address of your organization’s DNS servers or add IP address of public DNS servers. The example below uses Google’s DNS servers. Click > when ready. Sophos DNS configuration

  5. On the Default Network Policy screen, select the desired Network Policy. You can leave this unconfigured for now. (Note: all configuration settings performed during the Network Configuration Wizard can also be changed afterwards.) Sophos network policy

  6. On the Mail Server Configuration screen, configure the following parameters:

  7. The email address that will receive system notifications.
  8. The mail server IP address and port number.
  9. The email address of the administrator who will send the notifications.

Click > when ready. Sophos mail server configuration

  1. On the Date & Time Configuration screen, select the Time Zone according to your current location and enter the Date and Time accordingly. Preferably, select Automatically Synchronize with NTP Server and Use pre-defined NTP Server. Click > when ready. Sophos date configuration

  2. The Configuration Overview screen will appear, displaying a summary of the Gateway Mode configuration. If you don’t want to send App & Thread data to Sophos, disable the option. Click Finish to complete the basic configuration. Sophos configuration overview

  3. Confirm the configuration by clicking on OK. Sophos confirm configuration

  4. The reconfiguration will take a couple of minutes. Afterwards the wizard will finish and you will be redirected to the login page. Sophos configuration progress

  5. Your Sophos XG Firewall is now installed and preconfigured in Gateway Mode. For further configuration, please see the official Sophos XG Reference Guide.