Linux iptables: Port Redirection Example

How do I redirect 80 port to 8123 using iptables?

You can easily redirect incoming traffic by inserting rules into PREROUTING chain of the nat table. You can set destination port using the REDIRECT target.


The syntax is as follows to redirect tcp $srcPortNumber port to $dstPortNumber:

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p tcp --dport $srcPortNumber -j REDIRECT --to-port $dstPortNumber

The syntax is as follows to redirect udp $srcPortNumber port to $dstPortNumber:

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p udp --dport $srcPortNumber -j REDIRECT --to-port $dstPortNumber

Replace eth0 with your actual interface name. The following syntax match for source and destination ips:

iptables -t nat -I PREROUTING --src $SRC_IP_MASK --dst $DST_IP -p tcp --dport $portNumber -j REDIRECT --to-ports $rediectPort


The following example redirects TCP port 25 to port 2525:

iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 25 -j REDIRECT --to-port 2525

In this example all incoming traffic on port 80 redirect to port 8123

iptables -t nat -I PREROUTING --src 0/0 --dst -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8123

Quoting from the iptables man page:

 This  target is only valid in the nat table, in the PREROUTING and OUTPUT 
       chains, and user-defined chains which are only  called  from  those
       chains.   It redirects the packet to the machine itself by changing the
       destination IP  to  the  primary  address  of  the  incoming  interface
       (locally-generated  packets  are  mapped to the address).  It
       takes one option:

       --to-ports port[-port]
              This specifies a destination port or  range  of  ports  to  use:
              without  this,  the  destination port is never altered.  This is
              only valid if the rule also specifies -p tcp or -p udp.

The OUTPUT chain example:

iptables -t nat -I OUTPUT --src 0/0 --dst -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8123

How Do I View NAT Rules?

Type the following command:

iptables -t nat -L -n -v

How Do I Save NAT Redirect Rules?

Type the following command:



  • man page – iptables

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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