Ansible iptables Module: Automating Firewall Configurations

Iptables is an essential part of any Linux system that handles networking. It’s the tool that gives you ultimate control over the network traffic coming in and going out of your system. Ansible, being the handy automation tool it is, allows you to manage iptables rules efficiently using its iptables module. This blog post will provide an in-depth look into this module, and how to use it in your DevOps workflow.

An Introduction to iptables

Before diving into Ansible’s iptables module, it’s crucial to understand what iptables itself is. Iptables is a user-space utility that allows a system administrator to configure the IP packet filter rules of the Linux kernel firewall. Think of it as a gatekeeper, making decisions on what packets are allowed to enter or exit.

Ansible iptables Module

The iptables module in Ansible is a tool that helps you automate the management of iptables rules. It uses iptables under the hood and exposes a convenient and simple way to manage the rules.

Parameters of the iptables Module

The Ansible iptables module provides several parameters that make it versatile for various use-cases. Here are some commonly used parameters:

  • chain: This parameter sets the name of the chain to modify.
  • protocol: This parameter sets the protocol of the rule or the packet to check.
  • jump: This is the target of the rule.
  • table: This specifies the packet matching table on which the command should operate.
  • source: This sets the source address specification.
  • destination: This sets the destination address specification.

Parameter Examples

In this example, a rule is being set that allows all incoming traffic over SSH, which operates over port 22.

In this example, a rule is set up to block all incoming traffic from the IP address

Real-World Examples of iptables Module Usage

The iptables module in Ansible is handy for a variety of scenarios. Let’s look at a couple of real-world examples.

  1. Setting up a Basic Firewall Policy: This includes allowing traffic only on necessary ports (like port 80 for HTTP, and 443 for HTTPS) and blocking all other incoming traffic.
  1. Restricting Access to Certain IPs: This includes setting up rules to allow traffic only from a specific IP and denying the rest.


In the realm of network security, the Ansible iptables module is a powerful tool. It provides an easy-to-use, consistent, and automated way of managing your Linux firewall configurations. Its integration within your Ansible playbooks ensures consistency and repeatability across your firewall configurations, thus elevating the security of your systems.