iptables remove specific rules

I am hosting special HTTP and HTTPS services on the ports 8006 and 8007 respectively. I use IPTABLES to ‘active’ the server; i.e. to route the incoming HTTP and HTTPS ports:

iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 80 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 443 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 8006 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 8007 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A PREROUTING -t nat -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-port 8006 
iptables -A PREROUTING -t nat -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 443 -j REDIRECT --to-port 8007  
iptables -A OUTPUT -t nat -d 127.0.0.1 -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8006
iptables -A OUTPUT -t nat -d 127.0.0.1 -p tcp --dport 443 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8007 

This works like a charm. However I would like to create another script that disables my server again. I.e. restores IPTABLES to the state it was before running the lines above. However I am having a hard time figuring out the syntax to remove these 6 rules. The only thing that seems to work is a complete flush:

iptables -F
iptables -X
iptables -t nat -F
iptables -t nat -X
iptables -t mangle -F
iptables -t mangle -X
iptables -P INPUT ACCEPT
iptables -P FORWARD ACCEPT
iptables -P OUTPUT ACCEPT

But that will also delete other iptables rules which is undesired.

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Answers

Execute the same commands but replace the “-A” with “-D”. For example:

iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 443 -j ACCEPT

becomes

iptables -D INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 443 -j ACCEPT

You may also use the rule’s number (–line-numbers):

iptables -L INPUT --line-numbers

Example output :

Chain INPUT (policy ACCEPT) 
    num  target prot opt source destination
    1    ACCEPT     udp  --  anywhere  anywhere             udp dpt:domain 
    2    ACCEPT     tcp  --  anywhere  anywhere             tcp dpt:domain 
    3    ACCEPT     udp  --  anywhere  anywhere             udp dpt:bootps 
    4    ACCEPT     tcp  --  anywhere  anywhere             tcp dpt:bootps

So if you would like to delete second rule :

iptables -D INPUT 2

The best solution that works for me without any problems looks this way:
1. Add temporary rule with some comment:

comment=$(cat /proc/sys/kernel/random/uuid | sed 's//-//g')
iptables -A ..... -m comment --comment "${comment}" -j REQUIRED_ACTION

2. When the rule added and you wish to remove it (or everything with this comment), do:

iptables-save | grep -v "${comment}" | iptables-restore

So, you’ll 100% delete all rules that match the $comment and leave other lines untouched. This solution works for last 2 months with about 100 changes of rules per day – no issues.Hope, it helps

First list all iptables rules with this command:

iptables -S
-A INPUT -p tcp -m state --state NEW -m tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT

Then copy the specific rule you want to delete.

Finally delete the rule with this command:

iptables -D INPUT -p tcp -m state --state NEW -m tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT