I am working on an experiment. When I (client) ssh into a gateway and run sudo iptables --policy INPUT DROPthen the gateway doesn't accept any communucation (or input) from my client.

By running sudo iptables --policy INPUT ACCEPT on the gateway, then the client is able to write again.

My question is: How can I restore the situation from the client?

3 Answers 3


There are two things you should do to keep that system accessible before changing netfilter-rules:

  1. create an exception in the firewall rules for ssh from your machine
  2. create a safeguard

create an exception

create an appropriate rule with iptables

sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport ssh --source-address yourextIPadd -j ACCEPT

(where yourextIPadd is the IP address of your machine at home, seen from the outside)

or utilizing ufw

If you have ufw Install ufw installed already you can tell ufw to create an exception

sudo ufw allow from yourextIPadd to any port 22

create a safeguard

Before issuing the command to alter the default-policy for netfilter to DROP you can tell the system to revert that command after (say) 5 minutes with the handy command at

sudo at -vM now +5 minutes

now you are in something like an editor, where you can type commands to be executed later, you close/end that by typing CTRLD.


/sbin/iptables --policy INPUT ACCEPT


You will see something like

sudo at -vM  now +1 minute
Fri Aug 29 17:46:00 2014

warning: commands will be executed using /bin/sh
at> /sbin/iptables iptables --policy INPUT ACCEPT
at> <EOT>
job 5 at Fri Aug 29 17:46:00 2014


  • you need to call at with sudo (it must be root's at table)
  • therefore no need for sudo within
  • -v tells at to show the intended execution time when you are finished
  • -M tells at to send no e-mail regarding success/failure
  • for in-depth help with iptables have a look at the IPTables Howto

You can't... at least using an IP based connection protocol. Because your rule drops all incoming IP traffic coming to the gateway.

BTW, all protocols I know like ssh, vnc, rdp and so on, use IP.


i stumbled upon this question while i was researching other sorts of rules for iptables. and i thought i would throw in my own suggestion.

for the sake of example the following is a means for ensuring you dont lock YOURSELF out of your localhost. edit your IPs to suite your network topology. I dont know what others use for their IP range. my Suggestion or advice from a security standpoint when setting up your local network (home, but also business etc) dont use the and instead use ... Why? simple. Anything that isnt the DEFAULT imediately increases your security, even if by a tiny bit. Once an attacker gets in, they are pretty much in. and its only a matter of time before they figure out your network schema.

Hope this helps.

this setup also persist after rebooting your machine. so long as you ensure to execute netfilter-persistent save.

    # Set default policies for all three default chains
    $ sudo iptables -P INPUT DROP
    $ sudo iptables -P FORWARD DROP
    $ sudo iptables-P OUTPUT ACCEPT

    # Enable free use of loopback interfaces
    $ sudo iptables -A INPUT -i lo -j ACCEPT
    $ sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -o lo -j ACCEPT

    #Dont lock yourself out
    $ sudo iptables -I INPUT 1 -i eth0 -p tcp --syn -m state --state NEW -s -d -j ACCEPT
    $ sudo iptables  -I OUTPUT 1 -o eth0 -p tcp --syn -m state --state NEW -s -d -j ACCEPT

    # Allow your local subnet
    $ sudo iptables  -A INPUT -p tcp ! --syn -m state --state NEW -s -j DROP

    # Accept inbound TCP packets
    $ sudo iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 22 -m state --state NEW -s -j ACCEPT

    # Accept inbound ICMP messages
    $ sudo iptables -A INPUT -p ICMP --icmp-type 8 -s -j ACCEPT
    $ sudo iptables -A INPUT -p ICMP --icmp-type 11 -s -j ACCEPT

    # Accept outbound packets
    $ sudo iptables -I OUTPUT 1 -m state --state RELATED,ESTABLISHED -j ACCEPT
    $ sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -p udp --dport 53 -m state --state NEW -j ACCEPT

next before you do anything else. you should execute

    $ sudo iptables-save >> iptables-rules-ipv4.sh
    $ sudo netfilter-persistent save

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