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Книга: Iptables Tutorial 1.2.2

Appendix A. Detailed explanations of special commands

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Listing your active rule-set

To list your currently active rule-set you run a special option to the iptables command, which we have discussed briefly previously in the How a rule is built chapter. This would look like the following:

iptables -L

This command should list your currently active rule-set, and translate everything possible to a more readable form. For example, it will translate all the different ports according to the /etc/services file as well as DNS all the IP addresses to get DNS records instead. The latter can be a bit of a problem though. For example, it will try to resolve LAN IP addresses, i.e. 192.168.1.1, to something useful. 192.168.0.0/16 is a private range though and should not resolve to anything and the command will seem to hang while resolving the IP. To get around this problem we would do something like the following:

iptables -L -n

Another thing that might be interesting is to see a few statistics about each policy, rule and chain. We could get this by adding the verbose flag. It would then look something like this:

iptables -L -n -v

Don't forget that it is also possible to list the nat and mangle tables. This is done with the -t switch, like this:

iptables -L -t nat

There are also a few files that might be interesting to look at in the /proc file system. For example, it might be interesting to know what connections are currently in the conntrack table. This table contains all the different connections currently tracked and serves as a basic table so we always know what state a connection currently is in. This table can't be edited and even if it was possible, it would be a bad idea. To see the table you can run the following command:

cat /proc/net/ip_conntrack | less

The above command will show all currently tracked connections even though it might be a bit hard to understand everything.

Updating and flushing your tables

If at some point you screw up your iptables, there are actually commands to flush them, so you don't have to reboot. I've actually gotten this question a couple times by now so I thought I'd answer it right here. If you added a rule in error, you might just change the -A parameter to -D in the line you added in error. iptables will find the erroneous line and erase it for you, in case you've got multiple lines looking exactly the same in the chain, it erases the first instance it finds matching your rule. If this is not the wanted behavior you might try to use the -D option as iptables -D INPUT 10 which will erase the 10th rule in the INPUT chain.

There are also instances where you want to flush a whole chain, in this case you might want to run the -F option. For example, iptables -F INPUT will erase the whole INPUT chain, though, this will not change the default policy, so if this is set to DROP you'll block the whole INPUT chain if used as above. To reset the chain policy, do as you did to set it to DROP, for example iptables -P INPUT ACCEPT.

I have made a rc.flush-iptables.txt (available as an appendix as well) that will flush and reset your iptables that you might consider using while setting up your rc.firewall.txt file properly. One thing though; if you start mucking around in the mangle table, this script will not erase those, it is rather simple to add the few lines needed to erase those but I have not added those here since the mangle table is not used in my rc.firewall.txt script so far.

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