Linux iptables: Port Redirection Example

by on February 1, 2010 · 20 comments· LAST UPDATED February 1, 2010


How do I redirect 80 port to 8123 using iptables?

You can easily redirect incoming traffic by inserting rules into PREROUTING chain of the nat table. You can set destination port using the REDIRECT target.


The syntax is as follows to redirect tcp $srcPortNumber port to $dstPortNumber:

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p tcp --dport $srcPortNumber -j REDIRECT --to-port $dstPortNumbe

The syntax is as follows to redirect udp $srcPortNumber port to $dstPortNumber:

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p udp --dport $srcPortNumber -j REDIRECT --to-port $dstPortNumbe

Replace eth0 with your actual interface name. The following syntax match for source and destination ips:

iptables -t nat -I PREROUTING --src $SRC_IP_MASK --dst $DST_IP -p tcp --dport $portNumber -j REDIRECT --to-ports $rediectPort


The following example redirects TCP port 25 to port 2525:

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 25 -j REDIRECT --to-port 2525

In this example all incoming traffic on port 80 redirect to port 8123

iptables -t nat -I PREROUTING --src 0/0 --dst -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8123

Quoting from the iptables man page:

 This  target is only valid in the nat table, in the PREROUTING and OUTPUT
       chains, and user-defined chains which are only  called  from  those
       chains.   It redirects the packet to the machine itself by changing the
       destination IP  to  the  primary  address  of  the  incoming  interface
       (locally-generated  packets  are  mapped to the address).  It
       takes one option:
       --to-ports port[-port]
              This specifies a destination port or  range  of  ports  to  use:
              without  this,  the  destination port is never altered.  This is
              only valid if the rule also specifies -p tcp or -p udp.

The OUTPUT chain example:

iptables -t nat -I OUTPUT --src 0/0 --dst -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8123

How Do I View NAT Rules?

Type the following command:

iptables -t nat -L -n -v

How Do I Save NAT Redirect Rules?

Type the following command:



  • man page - iptables
Tweet itFacebook itG+ itDownload PDF versionFound an error/typo on this page?

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 tapas mishra May 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Just came across this one.Never tried but good idea.


2 Nir January 16, 2011 at 8:55 pm

gotta love this site.

thanks for the 1000th time ;)


3 Piyush February 7, 2011 at 6:30 am


Nice Article… !!!

Please check my query and update me if it is possible by iptables or any other software…

I have 2 application servers (i.e. A and B)

A ip is :- and port :- 7013 (single lan card)

B ip is :- and port :- 8014 (single lan card)

Now i want to set port fowarding/ redirection. When any client request to it will redirect to . How it is possible by iptables or any other way ?

Thank you.


4 Rocky February 7, 2011 at 10:24 am


I think for nat , two lan cards are required……

and can we pass one machine traffic to other which are on internet via port redirection….?



5 Mikhail February 18, 2011 at 4:50 am

Thank you! I always forget how to redirect


6 Steve September 6, 2011 at 3:31 am

Well heck. I thought this was my answer but adding the iptables rule to redirect outbound port 25 traffic to port 2525 has no effect. (Ubuntu 10.04)

Mixmaster is giving me cat fits because ISPs have decided that we are not allowed to send RFC compliant e-mail any more. Ever. No matter what. Any suggestions?


7 Rocky Patel September 6, 2011 at 10:52 am


Can we see packet , means redirection from port 80 to port 3128 or redirect of confiugred ports in iptables rule.

My question is that , is there any tool or utility, by use of it we can see how packet handle by iptables.



8 Cr0t September 14, 2011 at 1:36 am

How about redirecting an internal request to go out over a different interface.

I got bond0 and wlan0.

The request for a specific server let’s call it foobar on port 443. I always want to go out over wlan0 and never over bond0.


9 Gary Largeman January 31, 2012 at 9:45 pm

God bless you. I’ve been looking for these!


10 Elton Rauh February 7, 2012 at 7:49 pm

all connections are being redirected to the proxy … Why, if it is set different from the and those connections I’m also going through the proxy

$IPTABLES -A PREROUTING -t nat -p tcp -i eth2 -s -d ! -m multiport –dports 80,443 -j DNAT –to


11 Josh March 15, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Thanks, this was very helpful :)


12 Oliver May 3, 2012 at 10:15 am

Hi, I’ve got a quite funny setup. I connect with ssh to server1 and establish a tunnel. Packets are generated I mark the packets on the OUTPUT chain and redirect them with ip route through a vpn gateway. This works fine.

But I want to redirect the port from 80 to 3028 and this does not work on the output chain. The rule is ignored. How can I redirect the port on the Postrouting chain?


13 Marian September 4, 2012 at 10:25 am

single rule doesnt work if You have a big script. Could You please publish complete firewall script with all settings ?


14 PacoBell May 7, 2013 at 6:35 am

Does this syntax guarantee the return path from $dstPortNumber back to $srcPortNumber as well? I tried this out and it seems that my client can receive packets on the dstPort just fine, but those sent back are lost somehow.


15 higkoo August 30, 2013 at 4:56 am

Can you do it without iptables?


16 NeMewSys September 4, 2013 at 6:43 pm

If I use this:

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 25 -j REDIRECT --to-port 2525

every packet arriving to port 25 will be forward to 2525, but what happens to packets arriving to port 2525? I would like to redirect them to 25, should I also add this rule?

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 2525 -j REDIRECT --to-port 25


17 lorenzo October 31, 2013 at 9:23 am

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i venet0 -p tcp –dport 1:20 -j REDIRECT –to-port 411
following request:
iptables: No chain/target/match by that name.


18 anonymous February 14, 2014 at 3:04 am


sysctl net.ipv4.ip_forward=1


You want to redirect 2525 -> 25, and 25 -> 2525 – why on earth would you think that’s a great idea?


19 tux September 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm

I am trying to redirect request on port 80 to 8080 (as tomcat is listening on this);

Following are the rules I added;

iptables -I INPUT -p tcp –dport 80 -j ACCEPT
iptables -t nat -I PREROUTING -p tcp –dport 80 -j REDIRECT –to-ports 8080

But, I am unable to see the tomcat page when I hit http://xxx.xx.xx.xx/ from outside.

But, when I also add the following in the IPTABLES, it works;
iptables -I INPUT -p tcp –dport 8080 -j ACCEPT

But, my question is why do I also need to expose port 8080. Because, that way http://xxx.xx.xx.xx:8080/ and http://xxx.xx.xx.xx/ would both work.

could someone help me with a better solution in this regard.



20 michael October 6, 2014 at 6:55 am

Hey I need help in port Redirection
This is my setup and it does not work
#iptables -A FORWARD -i eth1 -o eth0 -p tcp –dport 3390 -d -j ACCEPT
#iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp -i eth1 –dport 3389 -j DNAT –to
I have ubuntu server 12.04 with two network card
This eth0 LAN
This eth1 WAN

I need to access from any to the addresses Port 3390 and redirect to Port 3389 to (RDP)
My firewall is disabled


Leave a Comment

Tagged as: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Previous Faq:

Next Faq: