Hi All,

I am finally making the full transition from Windows to Linux. I have currently replaced my Windows laptops with Linux. So far, all my applications and dev tools work great; I am able to do everything on Linux that I am able to on Windows. I have to go on a trip next week and will be bringing my laptops along. When traveling I generally avoid connecting to unknown networks (i.e. hotels, coffee shops, etc), however there are times when I must. When running Windows I always run a firewall (Windows Firewall + Defender). But I've been reading mixed results on whether I should run a firewall on Linux. Half the articles say it's not needed and the other half say I should. I understand that the kernel has no open ports by default. I did verify this by connecting my laptop (via Wifi) to my mobile phone hotspot so that it was not behind any router or firewall. I went to Steve Gibson's Shield's Up site and without the running the Linux firewall, Shield's up showed all ports in "stealth" mode.

This laptop isn't running any server-type software requiring open ports. It is used for browsing, email and VPN connections to my work environments. Oh, and most importantly, Steam games. :)
This is a Dell Latitude running Kubuntu 22.04.

So, I'm asking the PLUG brain-trust, do I need to run a firewall on Linux when connecting to public networks (such as a hotel WiFi)?

Any thoughts are appreciated.