Is it possible to split a config command over multiple lines instead of one long string?


PostUp = iptables -A FORWARD -i %i -j ACCEPT; iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE

When using more commands the line gets very long and unreadable. I would like to split it so that I can use one line per command. Something like:

PostUp = iptables -A FORWARD -i %i -j ACCEPT; \
   iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE

The man page says it's based on the ini format but has no help on this topic.

  • 1
    try it and see. did it work? you have your answer. did it not work? you also have your answer.
    – cas
    May 31, 2021 at 4:17
  • @cas your answer does not make sense. My example was to show what I am looking for. If I knew the correct format I would not have asked.
    – laktak
    May 31, 2021 at 9:08
  • @A.B are you implying it works for you? It's a made up example. No it does not work for me.
    – laktak
    May 31, 2021 at 9:12
  • @A.B I really thought that was clear. I'll keep it in mind next time.
    – laktak
    May 31, 2021 at 21:58

1 Answer 1


The wg-quick command is a bash script. The loop reading keys (such as the PostUp key) is using read -r which prevents any use of \ to separate lines. But reading this same script shows:


to declare it as an array, and:

          PostUp) POST_UP+=( "$value" ); continue ;;

to add an element to the array.

It's then executed later with (there's an eval command in the function execute_hooks):

execute_hooks "${POST_UP[@]}"

Thus one can split multiple commands (but not arbitrary lines) by using multiple times the same key entry. So OP's example would work like this:

PostUp = iptables -A FORWARD -i %i -j ACCEPT
PostUp = iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE

Actually the man page already tells it:

• PreUp, PostUp, PreDown, PostDown — script snippets which will be executed by bash(1) before/after setting up/tearing down the interface, most commonly used to configure custom DNS options or firewall rules. The special string `%i' is expanded to INTERFACE. Each one may be specified multiple times, in which case the commands are executed in order.

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