Mathias Weidner > App-Iptables2Dot > graph-iptables


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graph-iptables - turn iptables-save output into graphs for GraphViz


 iptables2dot [options] [iptables-save-output-file]



Print a brief help message and exit.


Print the manual page and exit.

--add-optdef optdef

Provide an option definition for an iptables option that is unknown to the rule parser from App::Iptables2Dot.

If the program dies with the message unknown argument in rule: --unknown-opt arg, you could run it like this:

 iptables2dot --add-optdef unknown-opt=s iptables-save-output

This may allow you to finish your analysis of iptables-save-output-file without having to modify the module source in lib/App/ Look at App::Iptables2Dot for further information.


Provide labels at the edge showing the input or output device for a jump rule.

--omittargets targetlist

Omit some jump targets in the dot graph when given together with --showrules. Multiple targets are separated by comma.


Show/don't show the rules for the chains. Default is --showrules.


Show/don't show chains without jumps to other chains. Default is --noshowunusednodes.

--tables tablelist

Only print the tables given in tablelist. The tables in tablelist are separated by comma.

Possible tables are nat, raw, mangle and filter. Defaults to table filter.


This program takes the output from the command iptables-save on Linux and turns into input suitable for the dot program from GraphViz.

It takes the output form iptables-save either from standard input (STDIN) or from a text file whose name was given on the command line.

It writes the graph description for the dot program to standard output (STDOUT).

There are two use cases for this program. The first is to get an overview of a given iptables configuration and understand the possible jumps between different chains in the tables. The second is to make a detailed analysis of an iptables configuration using the detailed graphical representation.

The typical workflow for the first use case would be:

 $ sudo iptables-save \
   | iptables2dot -noshowrules -table filter \
 $ dot -Tpdf -o iptables-filter-overview.pdf

For the second use case you would do this:

 $ sudo iptables-save \
   | iptables2dot -edgelabel -table filter \
 $ dot -Tpdf -o iptables-filter.pdf


unknown argument in rule: %s

The program will die with this message showing the rule for iptables-save that contained an unknown option.

Since the rules are parsed by GetOptionsFromString() from module Getopt::Long, you may workaround this by adding the unknown option to the array @optdefs at the top of Apt/ After that please file a bug at or send me a notice at to have it fixed in one of the next releases of this distribution.

Alternatively you may want to use the program like this

 iptables2dot --add-optdef unknown-opt=s ...

if the programm dies with message unknown argument in rule: --unknown-opt arg ... and you don't want to touch the library file Apt/


Mathias Weidner <>

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