Linux How To: Install IPTABLES in CentOS 7 / RHEL 7 Replacing FirewallD

CentOS 7 / RHEL 7 doesn’t come with iptables by default. It uses a full functional firewall system called ‘firewalld’. I have been a big fan of iptables and it’s capability from the very first, and since I have switched to CentOS 7, I couldn’t stop using it. I had to stop firewalld and install iptables in all of my CentOS 7 installation and start using iptables rules as I was using before. Here is a small How To guide on installing Iptables and disabling firewalld from a CentOS 7 or RHEL 7 or a similar variant distro.

How to Install IPTABLES in CentOS 7

To begin using iptables, you need to download and install iptables-service package from the repo. It isn’t installed automatically on CentOS 7. To do that, run the following command:

# yum install iptables-services -y

How to stop the firewalld service and start the Iptables service

Once the iptables-serivces package is installed, you can now stop the firewalld and start the iptables. Keeping both kind of network filtering too can create conflicts and it is recommended to use any out of two. To do that run the following:

# systemctl stop firewalld
# systemctl start iptables

Now to disable firewalld from the starting after the boot, you need to disable the firewalld:

# systemctl disable firewalld

To disallow starting firewalld manually as well, you can mask it:

# systemctl mask firewalld

Now you can enable iptables to start at the boot time by enabling iptables using systemctl command:

# systemctl enable iptables

How to check status of iptables in centOS 7

In previous distros, iptables status could be fetched using service command, although, the option is no longer available in CentOS 7. To fetch the iptables status, use the following:

# iptables -S

Iptables save command can still be used using service tool:

# service iptables save

This would save your iptables rules to /etc/sysconfig/iptables as it used to do in previous distros.

Linux: Assertion failed on job for iptables.service.

If you are using Centos 7 or RHEL 7 or any of it’s variant, you are probably using ‘Firewalld’ by default. Although, if you are a iptables fan like me, who likes it’s simplicity and manipulative nature instead of a full form firewall, then you probably have disabled firewalld from your CentOS 7 instance and using iptables. There are couple of servers, where I use runtime iptables rules for postrouting and masquerading. These rules are dynamically generated by my scripts instead of the sysconfig file under:


This file is generated upon running the iptables save command:

service iptables save

which I rarely do so.

Error Details

Which is why, I don’t have a /etc/sysconfig/iptables file in those servers and a common error I see while restarting iptables in those system is the following:

# systemctl restart iptables.service
Assertion failed on job for iptables.service.

How to Fix The Error

The error appears because you don’t have any rule in /etc/sysconfig/iptables or the file doesn’t exist either. You can ignore the error as iptables would still run. To eradicate the error, simply make sure you have some iptables rules loaded on your system using the status command:

iptables -S

And then, run:

service iptables save

Once done, restarting iptables shouldn’t show the error any longer.

What is the difference between Mangle Table & NAT Table?

You must know IPTables to understand routing properly. Once the concept & perspective of IPTables is cleared to somebody, it would become very easy to understand Linux routing and write Iptables rules to create & configure your own desired network. I will write a series of posts trying to explain and clear the confusion over Iptables basic perspective.

Continue reading “What is the difference between Mangle Table & NAT Table?”

Postrouting and IP Masquerading in Linux

IPTables is responsible to handle packet filtering in Linux system. IPTables contains several predefined and/or user-defined tables. Each table contains chains and chain contain packet rules. IPTables uses NAT table to forward packets to another node.

Continue reading “Postrouting and IP Masquerading in Linux”