Linux Iptables Delete postrouting Rule Command

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I am a new Linux server sysadmin. I need to delete POSTROUTING rule. How do I delete postrouting rule on Linux server?

You need to use the iptables and ip6tables command on Linux machines. These commands are used to set up, maintain, and inspect the tables of IPv4 and IPv6 packet filter firewall rules in the Linux kernel. Let us see how to use the iptables command to delete the postrouting rule on the Linux system. You must be the root user to run the commands mentioned below.


Step 1 – List iptables postrouting rules on Linux

The syntax is as follows:
iptables -t nat -v -L POSTROUTING -n --line-number
iptables -t nat -v -L -n --line-number
Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Linux iptables list nat rules command
Fig.01: Linux iptables list nat rules command


  1. -t nat : Select nat table.
  2. -v : Verbose output.
  3. -L : List all rules in the selected chain i.e show all rules in nat table.
  4. -L POSTROUTING : List all rules in the POSTROUTING chain only.
  5. -n : Numeric output. In other words, IP addresses and port numbers will be printed in numeric format instead of DNS names. This will speed up listing rules.
  6. --line-number : When listing rules, add line numbers to the beginning of each rule, corresponding to that rule’s position in the chain. You need to use line numbers to delete nat rules from POSTROUTING chain.

Step 2 – Linux iptables delete postrouting nat rule (version 1)

The syntax is:
iptables -t nat -D POSTROUTING {number-here}
To delete rule # 5 i.e. the following rule:

5       40  3360 SNAT       all  --  *      *            to:

Type the following command:
iptables -t nat -D POSTROUTING 5
iptables -t nat --delete POSTROUTING 5
Verify it, enter:
iptables -t nat -v -L POSTROUTING -n --line-number
Sample outputs:

Chain POSTROUTING (policy ACCEPT 94 packets, 6392 bytes)
num   pkts bytes target     prot opt in     out     source               destination         
1       10   762 MASQUERADE  all  --  *      eth1           
2        0     0 MASQUERADE  all  --  *      eth1           
3        0     0 MASQUERADE  all  --  *      eth1            
4        0     0 MASQUERADE  all  --  *      eth1 

Another syntax to remove specific postrouting rules from iptables (version 2)

Say, you execute the following postrouting command:
# iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth1 -s -j MASQUERADE
To delete, run the same above commands but replace the “-A” with “-D
# iptables -t nat -D POSTROUTING -o eth1 -s -j MASQUERADE
Another example, run the same commands but replace the “-I” with “-D“. For example:
# iptables -t nat -I POSTROUTING -s -j SNAT --to
# iptables -t nat -D POSTROUTING -s -j SNAT --to
# iptables -t nat --delete POSTROUTING -s -j SNAT --to
Linux Iptables Delete postrouting rules commands

Related: Linux Iptables Delete prerouting Rule Command


You learned how to list and remove/delete iptables postrouting rules on Linux server. The above commands works on Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS, RHEL, Fedora and all other Linux distros. The -D or --delete option delete one or more rules from the selected chain. There are two versions of this command, the rule can be specified as a number in the chain (version 1) or a rule to match (version 2) as described above. See iptables man page for more info here and my tutorials for more info:


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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