FAQ: Iptables rules on timely basis

netfilter logo 2Question: How can I restrict/allow access to certain service on timely basis with iptables? For example restrict access to SSH between 7:00 pm – 8:00 am on weekdays?

Answer: You are welcome to use iptables patch-o-matic extension (pom or p-o-m) that allows you to match a packet based on its arrival or departure (for locally generated packets) timestamp. The syntax is the following:

iptables RULE -m time --timestart TIME --timestop TIME --days DAYS -j ACTION


--timestart TIME: Time start value (format is 00:00-23:59)
--timestop TIME: Time stop value (the same format)
--days DAYS: a list of days to apply, from (format: Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun).

To add the rule stated in the question use the following command:

iptables -A INPUT -p tcp -d --dport 22 -m time --timestart 19:00 --timestop 8:00 -days Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu,Fri -j DROP

Hope it helps!


Stefan Durand

My name is Stefan, I'm the admin of LinuxScrew. I am a full-time Linux/Unix sysadmin, a hobby Python programmer, and a part-time blogger. I post useful guides, tips, and tutorials on common Linux and Programming issues. Feel free to reach out in the comment section.

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