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The "iptables" project

What is iptables?

iptables is the userspace command line program used to configure the Linux 2.4.x and later packet filtering ruleset. It is targeted towards system administrators.

Since Network Address Translation is also configured from the packet filter ruleset, iptables is used for this, too.

The iptables package also includes ip6tables. ip6tables is used for configuring the IPv6 packet filter.


iptables requires a kernel that features the ip_tables packet filter. This includes all 2.4.x and later kernel releases.

Main Features

  • listing the contents of the packet filter ruleset
  • adding/removing/modifying rules in the packet filter ruleset
  • listing/zeroing per-rule counters of the packet filter ruleset

Git Tree

The current development version of iptables can be accessed at


iptables was mostly written by the netfilter core team, but it has received numerous contributions from many individuals.

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