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2.8.3. Saving IPTables Rules

Rules created with the iptables command are stored in memory. If the system is restarted before saving the iptables rule set, all rules are lost. For netfilter rules to persist through a system reboot, they need to be saved. To save netfilter rules, type the following command as root:
 /sbin/service iptables save 
This executes the iptables init script, which runs the /sbin/iptables-save program and writes the current iptables configuration to /etc/sysconfig/iptables. The existing /etc/sysconfig/iptables file is saved as /etc/sysconfig/
The next time the system boots, the iptables init script reapplies the rules saved in /etc/sysconfig/iptables by using the /sbin/iptables-restore command.
While it is always a good idea to test a new iptables rule before committing it to the /etc/sysconfig/iptables file, it is possible to copy iptables rules into this file from another system's version of this file. This provides a quick way to distribute sets of iptables rules to multiple machines.
You can also save the iptables rules to a separate file for distribution, backup or other purposes. To save your iptables rules, type the following command as root:
 [root@myServer ~]# iptables-save > <filename>where <filename> is a user-defined name for your ruleset.


If distributing the /etc/sysconfig/iptables file to other machines, type /sbin/service iptables restart for the new rules to take effect.


Note the difference between the iptables command (/sbin/iptables), which is used to manipulate the tables and chains that constitute the iptables functionality, and the iptables service (/sbin/iptables service), which is used to enable and disable the iptables service itself.