Posts Tagged ‘Configuring’

How to redirect TCP port traffic from Internet Public IP host to remote local LAN server, Redirect traffic for Apache Webserver, MySQL, or other TCP service to remote host

Thursday, September 23rd, 2021






1. Use the good old times rinetd – internet “redirection server” service

Perhaps, many people who are younger wouldn't remember rinetd's use was pretty common on old Linuxes in the age where iptables was not on the scene and its predecessor ipchains was so common.
In the raise of mass internet rinetd started loosing its popularity because the service was exposed to the outer world and due to security holes and many exploits circulating the script kiddie communities
many servers get hacked "pwned" in the jargon of the script kiddies.

rinetd is still available even in modern Linuxes and over the last years I did not heard any severe security concerns regarding it, but the old paranoia perhaps and the set to oblivion makes it still unpopular soluttion for port redirect today in year 2021.
However for a local secured DMZ lans I can tell you that its use is mostly useful and I chooes to use it myself, everynow and then due to its simplicity to configure and use.
rinetd is pretty standard among unixes and is also available in old Sun OS / Solaris and BSD-es and pretty much everything on the Unix scene.

Below is excerpt from 'man rinetd':


     rinetd redirects TCP connections from one IP address and port to another. rinetd is a single-process server which handles any number of connections to the address/port pairs
     specified in the file /etc/rinetd.conf.  Since rinetd runs as a single process using nonblocking I/O, it is able to redirect a large number of connections without a severe im‐
     pact on the machine. This makes it practical to run TCP services on machines inside an IP masquerading firewall. rinetd does not redirect FTP, because FTP requires more than
     one socket.
     rinetd is typically launched at boot time, using the following syntax:      /usr/sbin/rinetd      The configuration file is found in the file /etc/rinetd.conf, unless another file is specified using the -c command line option.

To use rinetd on any LInux distro you have to install and enable it with apt or yum as usual. For example on my Debian GNU / Linux home machine to use it I had to install .deb package, enable and start it it via systemd :


server:~# apt install –yes rinetd

server:~#  systemctl enable rinetd

server:~#  systemctl start rinetd

server:~#  systemctl status rinetd
● rinetd.service
   Loaded: loaded (/etc/init.d/rinetd; generated)
   Active: active (running) since Tue 2021-09-21 10:48:20 EEST; 2 days ago
     Docs: man:systemd-sysv-generator(8)
    Tasks: 1 (limit: 4915)
   Memory: 892.0K
   CGroup: /system.slice/rinetd.service
           └─1364 /usr/sbin/rinetd

rinetd is doing the traffic redirect via a separate process daemon, in order for it to function once you have service up check daemon is up as well.

root@server:/home/hipo# ps -ef|grep -i rinet
root       359     1  0 16:10 ?        00:00:00 /usr/sbin/rinetd
root       824 26430  0 16:10 pts/0    00:00:00 grep -i rinet

+ Configuring a new port redirect with rinetd


Is pretty straight forward everything is handled via one single configuration – /etc/rinetd.conf

The format (syntax) of a forwarding rule is as follows:

     [bindaddress] [bindport] [connectaddress] [connectport]

Besides that rinetd , could be used as a primitive firewall substitute to iptables, general syntax of allow deny an IP address is done with (allow, deny) keywords:

allow 192.168.2.*

To enable logging to external file ,you'll have to include in the configuration:

# logging information
logfile /var/log/rinetd.log

Here is an example rinetd.conf configuration, redirecting tcp mysql 3306, nginx on port 80 and a second web service frontend for ILO to server reachable via port 8888 and a redirect from External IP to local IP SMTP server.


# this is the configuration file for rinetd, the internet redirection server
# you may specify global allow and deny rules here
# only ip addresses are matched, hostnames cannot be specified here
# the wildcards you may use are * and ?
# allow 192.168.2.*
# deny

# forwarding rules come here
# you may specify allow and deny rules after a specific forwarding rule
# to apply to only that forwarding rule
# bindadress    bindport  connectaddress  connectport

# logging information
logfile /var/log/rinetd.log        80         80        3306          3306        443         443
# enable for access to ILO        8888   443    25    25 is my external ( Public )  IP internet address where,, (are the DMZ-ed Lan internal IPs) with various services.

To identify the services for which rinetd is properly configured to redirect / forward traffic you can see it with netstat or the newer ss command

root@server:/home/hipo# netstat -tap|grep -i rinet
tcp        0      0*               LISTEN      13511/rinetd      
tcp        0      0 www.pc-freak.n:http-alt*               LISTEN      21176/rinetd        
tcp        0      0*               LISTEN      21176/rinetd      


+ Using rinetd to redirect External interface IP to loopback's port (


If you have the need to redirect an External connectable living service be it apache mysql / privoxy / squid or whatever rinetd is perhaps the tool of choice (especially since there is no way to do it with iptables.

If you want to redirect all traffic which is accessed via Linux's loopback interface (localhost) to be reaching a remote host on TCP port 1083 and 1888, use below config

# bindadress    bindport  connectaddress  connectport        1083         1083        1888         1888


For a quick and dirty solution to redirect traffic rinetd is very useful, however you'll have to keep in mind that if you want to redirect traffic for tens of thousands of connections constantly originating from the internet you might end up with some disconnects as well as notice a increased use of rinetd CPU use with the incrased number of forwarded connections.


2. Redirect TCP / IP port using DNAT iptables firewall rules


Lets say you have some proxy, webservice or whatever service running on port 5900 to be redirected with iptables.
The easeiest legacy way is to simply add the redirection rules to /etc/rc.local​. In newer Linuxes rc.local so if you decide to use,
you'll have to enable rc.local , I've written earlier a short article on how to enable rc.local on newer Debian, Fedora, CentOS


# redirect 5900 TCP service 
sysctl -w net.ipv4.conf.all.route_localnet=1
iptables -t nat -I PREROUTING -p tcp –dport 5900 -j REDIRECT –to-ports 5900
iptables -t nat -I OUTPUT -p tcp -o lo –dport 5900 -j REDIRECT –to-ports 5900
iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -o lo -d -p tcp –dport 5900 -j DNAT  –to-destination
iptables -t nat -I OUTPUT –source 0/0 –destination 0/0 -p tcp –dport 5900 -j REDIRECT –to-ports 5900


Here is another two example which redirects port 2208 (which has configured a bind listener for SSH on Internal host from External Internet IP address (XXX.YYY.ZZZ.XYZ) 

# Port redirect for SSH to VM on openxen internal Local lan server 
-A PREROUTING  -p tcp –dport 2208 -j DNAT –to-destination
-A POSTROUTING -p tcp –dst –dport 2208 -j SNAT –to-source


3. Redirect TCP traffic connections with redir tool


If you look for an easy straight forward way to redirect TCP traffic, installing and using redir (ready compiled program) might be a good idea.

root@server:~# apt-cache show redir|grep -i desc -A5 -B5
Version: 3.2-1
Installed-Size: 60
Maintainer: Lucas Kanashiro <>
Architecture: amd64
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.15)
Description-en: Redirect TCP connections
 It can run under inetd or stand alone (in which case it handles multiple
 connections).  It is 8 bit clean, not limited to line mode, is small and
 light. Supports transparency, FTP redirects, http proxying, NAT and bandwidth
 redir is all you need to redirect traffic across firewalls that authenticate
 based on an IP address etc. No need for the firewall toolkit. The
 functionality of inetd/tcpd and "redir" will allow you to do everything you
 need without screwy telnet/ftp etc gateways. (I assume you are running IP
 Masquerading of course.)

Description-md5: 2089a3403d126a5a0bcf29b22b68406d
Tag: interface::daemon, network::server, network::service, role::program,
Section: net
Priority: optional



server:~# apt-get install –yes redir

Here is a short description taken from its man page 'man redir'


     redir redirects TCP connections coming in on a local port, [SRC]:PORT, to a specified address/port combination, [DST]:PORT.  Both the SRC and DST arguments can be left out,
     redir will then use

     redir can be run either from inetd or as a standalone daemon.  In –inetd mode the listening SRC:PORT combo is handled by another process, usually inetd, and a connected
     socket is handed over to redir via stdin.  Hence only [DST]:PORT is required in –inetd mode.  In standalone mode redir can run either in the foreground, -n, or in the back‐
     ground, detached like a proper UNIX daemon.  This is the default.  When running in the foreground log messages are also printed to stderr, unless the -s flag is given.

     Depending on how redir was compiled, not all options may be available.


+ Use redir to redirect TCP traffic one time


Lets say you have a MySQL running on remote machine on some internal or external IP address, lets say and you want to redirect all traffic from remote host to the machine (, where you run your Apache Webserver, which you want to configure to use
as MySQL localhost TCP port 3306.

Assuming there are no irewall restrictions between Host A ( and Host B ( is already permitting connectivity on TCP/IP port 3306 between the two machines.

To open redirection from localhost on ->


server:~# redir –laddr= –lport=3306 –caddr= –cport=3306


If you need other third party hosts to be additionally reaching via TCP 3306.

root@server:~# redir –laddr= –lport=3306 –caddr= –cport=3306

Of course once you close, the /dev/tty or /dev/vty console the connection redirect will be cancelled.


+ Making TCP port forwarding from Host A to Host B permanent

One solution to make the redir setup rules permanent is to use –rinetd option or simply background the process, nevertheless I prefer to use instead GNU Screen.
If you don't know screen is a vVrtual Console Emulation manager with VT100/ANSI terminal emulation to so, if you don't have screen present on the host install it with whatever Linux OS package manager is present and run:


root@server:~#screen -dm bash -c 'redir –laddr= –lport=3306 –caddr= –cport=3306'


That would run it into screen session and detach so you can later connect, if you want you can make redir to also log connections via syslog with ( -s) option.

I found also useful to be able to track real time what's going on currently with the opened redirect socket by changing redir log level.

Accepted log level is:


  -l, –loglevel=LEVEL
             Set log level: none, err, notice, info, debug.  Default is notice.


root@server:/ # screen -dm bash -c 'redir –laddr= –lport=3308 –caddr= –cport=3306 -l debug'


To test connectivity works as expected use telnet:

root@server:/ # telnet localhost 3308
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'.

6#HY000Proxy header is not accepted from Connection closed by foreign host.

once you attach to screen session with


root@server:/home #  screen -r


You will get connectivity attempt from localhost logged : .

redir[10640]: listening on
redir[10640]: target is
redir[10640]: Waiting for client to connect on server socket …
redir[10640]: target is
redir[10640]: Waiting for client to connect on server socket …
redir[10793]: peer IP is
redir[10793]: peer socket is 25592
redir[10793]: target IP address is
redir[10793]: target port is 3306
redir[10793]: Connecting to
redir[10793]: Entering copyloop() – timeout is 0
redir[10793]: Disconnect after 1 sec, 165 bytes in, 4 bytes out

The downsides of using redir is redirection is handled by the separate process which is all time hanging in the process list, as well as the connection redirection speed of incoming connections might be about at least 30% slower to if you simply use a software (firewall ) redirect such as iptables. If you use something like kernel IP set ( ipsets ). If you hear of ipset for a first time and you wander whta it is below is short package description.


root@server:/root# apt-cache show ipset|grep -i description -A13 -B5
Maintainer: Debian Netfilter Packaging Team <>
Architecture: amd64
Provides: ipset-6.38
Depends: iptables, libc6 (>= 2.4), libipset11 (>= 6.38-1~)
Breaks: xtables-addons-common (<< 1.41~)
Description-en: administration tool for kernel IP sets
 IP sets are a framework inside the Linux 2.4.x and 2.6.x kernel which can be
 administered by the ipset(8) utility. Depending on the type, currently an
 IP set may store IP addresses, (TCP/UDP) port numbers or IP addresses with
 MAC addresses in a  way which ensures lightning speed when matching an
 entry against a set.
 If you want to
  * store multiple IP addresses or port numbers and match against the
    entire collection using a single iptables rule.
  * dynamically update iptables rules against IP addresses or ports without
    performance penalty.
  * express complex IP address and ports based rulesets with a single
    iptables rule and benefit from the speed of IP sets.

 then IP sets may be the proper tool for you.
Description-md5: d87e199641d9d6fbb0e52a65cf412bde
Tag: implemented-in::c, role::program
Section: net
Priority: optional
Filename: pool/main/i/ipset/ipset_6.38-1.2_amd64.deb
Size: 50684
MD5sum: 095760c5db23552a9ae180bd58bc8efb
SHA256: 2e2d1c3d494fe32755324bf040ffcb614cf180327736c22168b4ddf51d462522

Configuring server running both OpenSSHD and Apache to be accessed via HTTPS

Friday, December 18th, 2009

I wanted to make this machine accessible for both me and others also with a simple browser,
I was thinking about configuring this on pc-freak since some time now.
It took me a while until I found a program that does this for me, anyhow luckily I found it.
It’s called webshell and is working pretty well. Check out the home page of WebShell for download and more info on it. I’ve succesfully installed it on FreeBSD 7.2.
All that is needed for the program to operate is python 2.3 or higher and python openssl (this is optional),
however most people would desire to have the service running over SSL thus this is mandatory.
On my FreeBSD box I had to install:
the port/package py26-openssl and subversion (this is a prerequirement in order to download the source via svn)
It also necessery to modify the and change the shebang's location pointing to python
in freebsd that is:

#!/usr/local/bin/python and not #!/usr/bin/python

as in linux.
Then I copied the downloaded source to /usr/local/web-shell/webshell as well as add recordto rc.local

# echo "/usr/local/web-shell/ -d" >> /etc/rc.local The last thing I did was manually start the daemon with:
# /usr/local/web-shell/ -d

Tadam, it's up and running accessing it is as simple as pointing the browser
to a domain name or ip on which the python service is running
Currently the running webshell for pc-freak can be accessed via

Configuring varnishd to log client IP addresses in Apache log

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

I realized today, that because my varnish serves incoming connections to my
apache port a really annoying problem appears.
I mean in my httpd-access.log everytime I get some visit from the Net, the
incoming IP address logged in the Apache log is originating from
e.g. (localhost). That’s a real pain in the ass, cause it prevents me from
adequately tracking visitors countries and their networks.
Therefore to fix that and configure varnish to always log my original visitors
IPs to the apache log I had to follow instructions described in.
How can I log the client IP address on the backend? in the Varnish Cache FAQ

Here I will include step by step explanation how I practically implemented
the solution as explained in the FAQ on my FreeBSD.

First I had edit:
The following is currently my default.vlc file content:
backend default {.host = "";.port = "8080";}sub vcl_recv {# Add a unique header containing the client addressremove req.http.X-Forwarded-For;set req.http.X-Forwarded-For = client.ip;# [...]}
Next I had to add:
to my /etc/rc.conf
And then modify my:
and include:
LogFormat "%{X-Forwarded-For}i %l %u %t "%r" %>s %b "%{Referer}i" "%{User-Agent}i"" varnishcombined
as well as:
CustomLog /var/log/httpd-access.log varnishcombined
to all my VirtualHosts.

Finally it’s required to restart both varnishd and apache
pcfreak# /usr/local/etc/rc.d/varnishd restartpcfreak# /usr/local/etc/rc.d/apache2 restart

That’s all folks!

Fix to mail forwarding error “Received-SPF: none ( domain at maildomain does not designate permitted sender hosts)

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

I’m Configuring a new Exim server to relay / forward mail via a remote Qmail SMTP server
Even though I configured properly the exim to forward via my relaying mail server with host, still the mail forwarding from the Exim -> Qmail failed to work out with an error:

Fix to mail forwarding error "Received-SPF: none ( domain at maildomain does not designate permitted sender hosts)

I pondered for a while on what might be causing this “mysterous” error just to realize I forgot to add the IP address of my Exim mail server in the Qmail relay server

To solve the error I had to add in /etc/tcp.smtp on my Qmail server a record for my Exim server IP address xx.xx.xx.xx, like so:

debian-server:~# echo 'xx.xx.xx.xx:allow,RELAYCLIENT="",QS_SPAMASSASSIN="0"' >> /etc/tcp.smtp

The QS_SPAMASSASSIN=”0″ as you might have guessed instructs Qmail not to check the received mails originating from IP xx.xx.xx.xx with spamassassin.

Finally on the Qmail server to load up the new tcp.smtp settings I had to rebuild /etc/tcp.smtp.cdb and restart qmail :

– reload qmail cdb

linux-server:/var/qmail# qmailctl cdb
Reloaded /etc/tcp.smtp.
- restart qmail

linux-server:/var/qmail# qmailctl restart
Restarting qmail:
* Stopping qmail-smtpdssl.
* Stopping qmail-smtpd.
* Sending qmail-send SIGTERM and restarting.
* Restarting qmail-smtpd.
* Restarting qmail-smtpdssl.

This solved the issue and now mails are forwarded without problems via the Qmail SMTPD.

Configuring easy access and Internet keyboards on Linux (lineak)

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

I’ve bough a media keyboard yesterday, since I ran Debian I needed
a way to configure my keyboard. After some research online I found lineak .
Lineak does have support already for many Linux keyboards key sets.
However my keboard Delux K5201 was not supported. Thus I’ll now
follow the documentation to make it fully work with my Debian Linux.
Anyways surely the project will be helpful for many whose keyboards
are supported on Linux through lineak.
Seems that most of the easy access keys on my Delux K5201 kbd are workingcorretcly. 70% out of all the easy access keys are working out of the box.The keys that don’t work and are most vital are the “Shutdown Button” andthe “Mail button”.END—–