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Last active Jan 2, 2021
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Networking Cheatsheet

Networking Cheat Sheet

Sniff Network Traffic from / to IP

tcpdump -n -i eth0 src SRC_IP  or dst DEST_IP

Create Routes

 sudo route add -net DESTINATION gateway GATEWAY
 sudo route add -net DESTINATION if INTERFACE

Show Routes

netstat -rn

Trace Routes

tracerouts <ADDRESS>

Show Ports

sudo netstat -tulpn



  • iptables organizes firewalls in chains (INPUT, OUTPUT, FORWARD)
  • each chain contains a set of rules. A rule defines
    • a protocol type
    • a source address
    • a destination address
    • an interface
    • ...
  • a packet either matches a rule or not
  • if a rule is matched, the associated action is taken - this action is called a target. A target can be  * ACCEPT
    • DROP
  • rules are processed in the order of appearence within a chain
  • each chain has a default policy that matches if no rule matches

Basic Commands

List Rules

iptables -n -L          # -n = disables DNS

use --list-numbers to show the numbers of rules in a chain.

List Commands to configure a Chain

iptables -S INPUT

shows all commands necessary to set up the INPUT chain

Adding a route

  -A INPUT        = append
  -I INPUT <pos>  = insert
      -j      target (e.g. ACCEPT, DROP...)
      -p      protocol, e.g. tcp
      -dport  destination port, e.g. 80
      -i      interface name

Adding a default Policy

iptables -P INPUT DROP

Adds a DROP policy to the INPUTchain

Deleting a default Policy

Before you can delete a policy there must be no more rules in the policy. Afterwards, it's

iptables -X INPUT

Flushing current Rules

iptables rules are not persistent - therefore you can flush the rules with

iptables -F

Remind that policies are not flushed


Althought there exist several logging mechanisms for iptables (see Further Resources) this will not work, unless you have the ipt_LOG module installed on your kernel.

Therefore this can be a workaround to see what's happening with your packets:

  1. watch the iptables -L command with

    watch -n 0.1 sudo iptables -L -n -v    

  1. Ping some host - you'll now see the packet counter of the affected rules increasing

Further Resources

Digital Ocean Tutorial on iptables

iptables in general

Networking in general

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