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iptables resource

Use the iptables Chef InSpec audit resource to test rules that are defined in iptables, which maintains tables of IP packet filtering rules. There may be more than one table. Each table contains one (or more) chains (both built-in and custom). A chain is a list of rules that match packets. When the rule matches, the rule defines what target to assign to the packet.



This resource is distributed with Chef InSpec and is automatically available for use.


This resource first became available in v1.0.0 of InSpec.


A iptables resource block declares tests for rules in IP tables:

describe iptables(rule:'name', table:'name', chain: 'name', ignore_comments: true) do
  it { should have_rule('RULE') }


  • iptables() may specify any combination of rule, table, or chain
  • rule:'name' is the name of a rule that matches a set of packets
  • table:'name' is the packet matching table against which the test is run
  • chain: 'name' is the name of a user-defined chain or one of ACCEPT, DROP, QUEUE, or RETURN
  • ignore_comments: true is a boolean flag that ignores comments in a rule.
  • have_rule('RULE') tests that rule in the iptables list. This must match the entire line taken from iptables -S CHAIN.


The following examples show how to use this Chef InSpec audit resource.

Test if the INPUT chain is in default ACCEPT mode

describe iptables do
  it { should have_rule('-P INPUT ACCEPT') }

Test if the INPUT chain from the mangle table is in ACCEPT mode

describe iptables(table:'mangle', chain: 'INPUT') do
  it { should have_rule('-P INPUT ACCEPT') }

Test if there is a rule allowing Postgres (5432/TCP) traffic

describe iptables do
  it { should have_rule('-A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp -m multiport --dports 5432 -m comment --comment "postgres" -j ACCEPT') }

Test a rule without comments

describe iptables(ignore_comments: true) do
  it { should have_rule('-A INPUT -p tcp -m tcp -m multiport --dports 5432 -j ACCEPT') }

Note that the rule specification must exactly match what’s in the output of iptables -S INPUT, which will depend on how you’ve built your rules.


For a full list of available matchers, see our Universal Matchers page.

This resource has the following special matchers.


The have_rule matcher tests the named rule against the information in the iptables file:

it { should have_rule('RULE') }
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