Are there any CLI or GUI functions that I can use to monitor hits to
iptables and watch as packets interact with
You should be able to have this enabling modules ipt_LOG ipt6_LOG and using TRACE chain in raw table to debug streams/rules you need.
See http://backreference.org/2010/06/11/iptables-debugging/ for reference
Visualizing the rules
You can use this tool, gressgraph, to create a visualization of the rules.
Another tool is called
dot-iptables. It's a Python script that's similar to
A 3rd tool is called
graph-iptables. This tool is a Perl script which is again similar to the previous 2.
Visualizing the logs
There is also a tool called Afterglow for visualizing the
iptables log files. There's a nice tutorial available titled, Use Afterglow To Visualize Iptables Logs On CentOS, RHEL, Fedora.
Realtime monitoring iptables
One method for doing this is to use a script, like this Perl script, to monitor
iptables by running it every coule of seconds and collect the various counters on the different chains.
You can see more screenshots here on the