I configured a Debian Squeeze virtual machine in VMWare on my laptop. I configured it with a very restrictive set of firewall rules using Firestarter. I then uploaded a copy of its disk image to use as a virtual private server on the internet.

On the internet version, I rather rashly removed my firewall settings via the following command:

apt-get purge firestarter

I’ve since realised I want to restore the firewall rules to their old state, which is still on the original virtual machine on my laptop.

My question is: how can I copy the firewall settings from the virtual machine on my laptop to the one on the internet?

I tried copying /sbin/iptables from the original virtual machine to the new one, but that hasn’t had any effect (according to the output of iptables -L).


You can use iptables-save and iptables-restore, or you can once more install firestarter and use the config file from the old machine.

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  • Ah, okay — I guess I could just copy everything from /etc/firestarter on the old machine to the new one. I’ll give that a try. – Paul D. Waite Dec 21 '11 at 19:55
  • I think copying all the firestarter config files appears to have borked my firewall somehow, as I can no longer communicate with the server! However, iptables-save and iptables-restore looked like they would have worked great, so I’ll be sure to use them next time. – Paul D. Waite Dec 22 '11 at 23:57
  • Have this server the same IP address? If not, this can be a reason... – Jan Marek Dec 23 '11 at 5:02
  • Ah! No, it doesn’t — I can imagine how that could have caused some issues. – Paul D. Waite Dec 23 '11 at 16:37
  • Can you provide details on using iptables-save and iptables-restore when the server ip addresses differ? Is anything special required, or will simply loading the rules on the new server work? – MountainX Jun 21 '12 at 20:24

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