How to Disable IPTables on Ubuntu

How to Disable IPTables on Ubuntu

IPTables is a user-space utility program that allows a system administrator to configure the IP packet filter rules of the Linux kernel firewall. While it’s essential for securing your server, there might be instances where you need to disable it temporarily, such as troubleshooting network issues or setting up a new configuration.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to disable iptables on Ubuntu.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Check the Current Status of iptables

Before making any changes, it’s a good practice to check the current status of iptables.

sudo iptables -L -v

This command will list all the current rules set in iptables.

Step 2: Flush All iptables Rules

To disable iptables, you first need to flush or delete all the rules.

sudo iptables -F

This command will flush all the rules from all chains.

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Step 3: Set Default Policies to ACCEPT

After flushing the rules, set the default policies for INPUT, FORWARD, and OUTPUT chains to ACCEPT.

sudo iptables -P INPUT ACCEPT
sudo iptables -P FORWARD ACCEPT
sudo iptables -P OUTPUT ACCEPT

Step 4: Disable iptables on Boot

To ensure iptables doesn’t start on boot, you can disable the service.

sudo systemctl disable netfilter-persistent

Step 5: Restart the Network Service

After making the changes, restart the network service to apply them.

sudo systemctl restart networking.service

Commands Mentioned

  • sudo iptables -L -v – Lists all current iptables rules.
  • sudo iptables -F – Flushes all iptables rules.
  • sudo iptables -P INPUT ACCEPT – Sets default policy for INPUT chain to ACCEPT.
  • sudo systemctl disable netfilter-persistent – Disables iptables on boot.
  • sudo systemctl restart networking.service – Restarts the network service.


  1. Why might someone want to disable iptables?

    Disabling iptables might be necessary for troubleshooting network-related issues, setting up a new configuration, or when using another firewall solution. However, it’s essential to ensure that the server remains secure during this period.

  2. Is it safe to permanently disable iptables?

    It’s not recommended to permanently disable iptables unless you have another firewall solution in place. iptables is a crucial security tool that protects your server from unauthorized access and attacks.

  3. How can I re-enable iptables after disabling it?

    To re-enable iptables, you can reverse the steps mentioned above. Set the default policies to DROP, apply your desired rules, and enable the netfilter-persistent service to start on boot.

  4. What’s the difference between iptables and ufw?

    iptables is a user-space utility for configuring the IP packet filter rules, while ufw (Uncomplicated Firewall) is a user-friendly frontend for managing iptables. ufw provides a simpler way to manage iptables rules for users unfamiliar with iptables’ syntax.

  5. Can I use iptables and ufw simultaneously?

    While it’s technically possible to use both simultaneously, it’s not recommended. Using both can lead to conflicting rules and unexpected behavior. If you’re using ufw, it’s best to manage all your rules through it.

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Disabling iptables on Ubuntu is a straightforward process, but it’s crucial to understand the implications of doing so. While iptables is a powerful tool for managing packet filtering rules, there might be instances where disabling it is necessary.

Always ensure that you have adequate security measures in place when disabling any firewall.

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