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If I'm using SSH to remote into a machine and I'm running a command like: sudo iptables -L -v -n how do I get a packet hit count that excludes the packet traffic I'm creating by using SSH?

I mean I could just avoid that by logging in to the machine directly, but I doubt that is always the case...or do I just have to add a rule to catch the specific type of traffic I want to monitor?

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Your best bet is to add a separate rule for your SSH connections, so that they do not mix with the other flows. Something like this:

-A INPUT -s <your client IP address> -p tcp --dport 22 -j ACCEPT

You can also remove the IP address match if you want to separate all SSH traffic, add a match for a particular interface, etc.

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