Netfilter and IP Tables (2.4 Kernels)

While developing IP Firewall Chains, Paul Russell decided that IP firewalling should be less difficult; he soon set about the task of simplifying aspects of datagram processing in the kernel firewalling code and produced a filtering framework that was both much cleaner and much more flexible. He called this new framework netfilter.


At the time of preparation of this book the netfilter design had not yet stabilized. We hope you’ll forgive any errors in the description of netfilter or its associated configuration tools that result from changes that occurred after preparation of this material. We considered the netfilter work important enough to justify the inclusion of this material, despite parts of it being speculative in nature. If you’re in any doubt, the relevant HOWTO documents will contain the most accurate and up-to-date information on the detailed issues associated with the netfilter configuration.

So what was wrong with IP chains? They vastly improved the efficiency and management of firewall rules. But the way they processed datagrams was still complex, especially in conjunction with firewall-related features like IP masquerade (discussed in Chapter 11) and other forms of address translation. Part of this complexity existed because IP masquerade and Network Address Translation were developed independently of the IP firewalling code and integrated later, rather than having been designed as a true part of the firewall code from the ...

Get Linux Network Administrator's Guide, Second Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.