Netfilter - iptables on Debian

To create and save iptables rules the default Debian way, this is the way to go:
  • create your rules using the CLI [1] iptables
  • save them on the active rule by issuing a /etc/init.d/iptables save active
  • create the rules for the inactive state (when booting, for example) and save them accordingly
That way, the rules will survive a reboot. To delete a specific rule previously saved as above:
  • go into /var/lib/iptables/active and take the line corresponding to the rule you want to delete and execute iptables with those parameters changing the beginning -A with -D

[1] Command Line Interface
This article was first written in October 2003 for
the BeezNest technical website (