I'm doing some testing of an application I am working on, and I need to be able to silently drop outgoing UDP packets for a short period of time to replicate a possible failure mode.

Is there any way to do this?

Note: iptables DROP is not silent for outgoing messages! When a send() or similar call is dropped by iptables, it returns EPERM for some bizarre reason (see here. Unfortunately, I can't use that answer as my destination is a single hop away).

xtables-addons used to have a STEAL verb, but it got removed a few years ago for no reason I can find.

I've now tried using bogus routes in the routing table, and unfortunately, that appears to break both directions of comm traffic.
For the test I need to do, I have to allow inbound UDP traffic, and as soon as I install the bogus route, the streaming incoming packets immediately halt, though the source is still sending them.

  • 1
    Far from a complete/tidy solution but I've needed similar test condition in the past. In my case adding a bogus static route to the server I'm connecting worked well.
    – steve
    Sep 9, 2015 at 21:51
  • @steve - A bogus route appears to break things in both directions, and I need to maintain the RX direction's functionality.
    – Fake Name
    Sep 10, 2015 at 19:31

2 Answers 2


How about adding dummy interface and setting the route to that interface?

# ip link add dummy0 type dummy
# ip link set dev dummy0 up
# ip route add dev dummy0
# ping -c3
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.

--- ping statistics ---
3 packets transmitted, 0 received, 100% packet loss, time 2015ms

It always sends packets for any (neighbor or remote) addresses on dummy0.

# tshark -i dummy0
Running as user "root" and group "root". This could be dangerous.
Capturing on 'dummy0'
  1   0.000000 ->      ICMP 98 Echo (ping) request  id=0x1ce0, seq=1/256, ttl=64
  2   1.007348 ->      ICMP 98 Echo (ping) request  id=0x1ce0, seq=2/512, ttl=64
  3   2.015394 ->      ICMP 98 Echo (ping) request  id=0x1ce0, seq=3/768, ttl=64
  • Unfortunately, this appears to disallow incoming packets that match the route from other interfaces. As such, it doesn't really work (it breaks the open UDP rx stream I need to allow to continue).
    – Fake Name
    Sep 10, 2015 at 19:29

Adding a route is breaking incoming traffic due to reverse path filtering. Simple solution: disable reverse path filtering on the interface:

echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/conf/eth0/rp_filter

(use your incoming interface in place of eth0 above).

You could also use the REDIRECT target (send the packet to, e.g., a netcat listening for it—nc -l -u -p 1234 > /dev/null). A more complicated version would be NFQUEUE.

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