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ipset is a companion application for the iptables Linux firewall. It allows you to setup rules to quickly and easily block a set of IP addresses, among other things.


Install ipset from the official repositories.


Blocking a list of addresses

Start by creating a new "set" of network addresses. This creates a new "hash" set of "net" network addresses named "myset".

# ipset create myset hash:net

Add any IP address that you'd like to block to the set.

# ipset add myset
# ipset add myset
# ipset add myset

Finally, configure iptables to block any address in that set. This command will add a rule to the top of the "INPUT" chain to "-m" match the set named "myset" from ipset (--match-set) when it's a "src" packet and "DROP", or block, it.

# iptables -I INPUT -m set --match-set myset src -j DROP

Making ipset persistent

ipset you have created is stored in memory and will be gone after reboot. To make the ipset persistent you have to do the followings:

First save the ipset to /etc/ipset.conf:

# ipset save > /etc/ipset.conf

Then enable ipset.service, which works similarly to iptables.service for restoring iptables rules.

Blocking With PeerGuardian and Other Blocklists

The pg2ipset-gitAUR tool by the author of maeyanie.com, coupled with the ipset-update.sh script can be used with cron to automatically update various blocklists. Currently, by default country blocking, tor exit node blocking, and pg2 list blocking from Bluetack are implemented.

Other Commands

To view the sets:

# ipset list

To delete a set named "myset":

# ipset destroy myset

To delete all sets:

# ipset destroy

Please see the man page for ipset for further information.


The iprangeAUR tool can help to reduce entries in ipset.conf by merging adjacent ranges or eliminating overlapped ranges. This can improve the router/firewall performance if the table size is huge. This tool can also convert a list of hostnames to IPs.