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How to: Linux flush or remove all iptables rules

Here is small script that does this. Debian or Ubuntu GNU/Linux does not comes with any SYS V init script (located in /etc/init.d directory) .

You create a script as follows and use it to stop or flush the iptables rules.

Please don't type rules at command prompt. Use the script to speed up work.

Procedure for Debian / Ubuntu Linux

A) Create /root/fw.stop /etc/init.d/fw.stop script using text editor such as vi:

echo "Stopping firewall and allowing everyone..."
iptables -F
iptables -X
iptables -t nat -F
iptables -t nat -X
iptables -t mangle -F
iptables -t mangle -X
iptables -P INPUT ACCEPT

(B) Make sure you can execute the script:
# chmod +x /root/fw.stop

(C) You can run the script:
# /root/fw.stop

A note for RedHat and friends Linux user

Please note that RedHat enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Fedora / Centos Linux comes with pre-installed script, which can be used to stop the firewall:
#/etc/init.d/iptables stop
Sample outputs:

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • JRivera September 20, 2008, 1:06 pm

    #/etc/init.d/iptables stop

    Thank you that just saved me much time.

  • Phil Nutzmeyer September 11, 2009, 6:26 pm

    Thanks!!! It saved my time too!

  • noob December 26, 2009, 4:26 pm

    should i run update-rc.d on the script in init.d ?
    Or will the script be run automatically when the system is booted up ?


  • phpmonk March 22, 2010, 11:48 am

    iptables normally starts when you start system
    ‘/etc/init.d/iptables status’ should show you rules of iptables running.

  • Relax June 6, 2011, 8:32 am

    iptables –flush
    iptables –delete-chain
    iptables –table nat –flush
    iptables –table filter –flush
    iptables –table nat –delete-chain
    iptables –table filter –delete-chain

  • rocksfrow October 26, 2011, 4:20 am

    In CentOS 5 I easily disable iptables after installation as root:

    #service iptables stop
    #chkconfig iptables off

    chkconfig ensures iptables doesn’t start up next boot.

  • Price October 5, 2012, 3:39 pm

    I have Fire iptables -F
    Now My VPS is not Responding I’m Thrown out of the VPS I have no Access to it Please Help

    • sholan February 6, 2014, 3:33 pm

      The problem is that those scripts are meant to be started not by a user and specially not line by line.

      The first command, iptables -F, flushes all chains of default table i.e. INPUT, OUTPUT and FORWARD, using any remote connection implies you’re using both INPUT and OUTPUT chains.

      If those chains have a DROP policy, you won’t be able to contact your server remotely anymore.

      To ensure note having problem, I would recommend to execute iptables -P ACCEPT commands stated at the end of the script first as it will first set your remote computer to accept connections by default.

      I know that this comment is more than a year old, but ppl could still have this issue.

      @NIXCraft, I would recommend to modify the script (you’re going permissive anyway) or, at least, warn people about this issue that is more than likely to occur.

  • Nivas August 21, 2013, 11:58 am


    Im getting the following error:

    Stopping iptables: ERROR: Module ipt_addrtype does not exist in /proc/modules

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