ipset is a relative recent netfilter feature to manage a large group of stations/networks as a single named set. The netfilter rules can then match packet fields on the set rather than individual stations. This creates a number of efficiencies, for example a hash lookup of the station addresses in the set.
firewall3 supports the most common ipset functions. This section provides some examples to illustrate how to incorporate an ipset into netfilter rules.
In order to use the ipset netfilter feature,
1) the linux kernel must be built with the netfilter kernel modules implementing
ipset and 2) the
ipset application package must be installed.
In LuCI under Admin → System → Packages , confirm the
is installed. It will not install if the kernel does not support the ipset
The 18.06 OpenWrt release does not support ipset by default, so this will likely fail. See below for building a custom image including ipset.
ipset is great for collecting a large set of IP addresses/networks under one label and then using the label in subsequent rules as a single match criteria for any entry in the ipset.
One of the big uses of ipset is to block spam generators (stations or networks that randomly generate billions of spam emails daily.) There are thousands of spam generators; adding a reject rule for each makes the netfilter rule list huge and inefficient.
So all Spam networks are added to a single ipset
name and then that
name is used in the match rules.
/etc/config/firewall rules add:
config ipset option external dropcidr option match src_net option storage hash option name IPSET-DROPCIDR option enabled 1 config rule option src wan option ipset IPSET-DROPCIDR option dest_port 25 option target DROP option name DROP-SMTP-WAN-LAN option enabled 1
ipset configuration references an externally created ipset and matches
to source network field. Notice the storage type is
hash. There is a good deal of
internal optimization that can be done inside the ipset kernel modules. This
ipset is configured to use a highly efficient hash rather than a linear search
to match the source network.
dropcidr ipset must be created prior to loading the firewall
table. See the next section. Note, the firewall3 loadfile option
was intended to be used in place of the
ipset command to create and manage an ipset but it has not been fully
implemented yet (see the dummy code in *ipsets.c:load_file*) When it is
implemented it will be easier to maintain.
rule section matches on a network in IPSET-DROPCIDR and port 25(SMTP).
If there is a match, the DROP target is called. Use DROP and not REJECT for
See Netfilter Managment to view and verify the new firewall sections. With fw3, one should see a rule like this:
iptables -t filter -A zone_wan_forward -p tcp -m tcp --dport 25 -m set --match-set dropcidr src -m comment --comment "!fw3: DROP-SMTP-WAN-LAN" -j zone_lan_dest_DROP
ipset application, create the ipset and add an initial set of
ipset create dropcidr hash:net ipset add dropcidr 18.104.22.168/16 ipset add dropcidr 22.214.171.124/20 ipset add dropcidr 126.96.36.199/24 ipset add dropcidr 188.8.131.52/15 ipset add dropcidr 192.168.3.0/24 ...
192.168.3.0 is a private network on the WAN-side used to test this feature.
The others are actual spam sources.
Entries can be added and deleted from the set at any time:
ipset del dropcidr 192.168.3.0/24 ipset list dropcidr
The CIDRs can be dynamically added and deleted in the
while the netfilter rule is active.
ipset destroy dropcidr
The ipset table cannot be destroyed while being referenced by a netfilter rule. First remove it from the firewall config and reload.
The ipset is not supported in the OpenWrt image by default, but it can be added fairly easily in a custom build.
Use the OpenWrt
make menuconfig and follow
Kernel Modules → Netfilter Extensions → kmod-ipt-ipset.
Set it to built-in (not a loadable module). Then rebuild and install the
When the image is running and the ipset modules are confirmed, install the
user-space interface package
The user-space package will fail to install if the kernel does not support it. DO NOT FORCE install or it will panic the router.
ip_set modules are loaded. It will look something like the
root# cat /proc/modules | grep ip_set ip_set_list_set 6704 0 - Live 0x8301c000 ip_set_hash_netiface 23888 0 - Live 0x830f0000 ip_set_hash_netport 23856 0 - Live 0x830e8000 ip_set_hash_netnet 25584 0 - Live 0x830e0000 ip_set_hash_net 22480 1 - Live 0x830d8000 ip_set_hash_netportnet 26960 0 - Live 0x830d0000 ip_set_hash_mac 10000 0 - Live 0x830cc000 ip_set_hash_ipportnet 25520 0 - Live 0x83038000 ip_set_hash_ipportip 20848 0 - Live 0x830c0000 ip_set_hash_ipport 19792 0 - Live 0x83030000 ip_set_hash_ipmark 19056 0 - Live 0x83020000 ip_set_hash_ip 18768 0 - Live 0x83028000 ip_set_bitmap_port 5648 0 - Live 0x8301e000 ip_set_bitmap_ipmac 6544 0 - Live 0x8301a000 ip_set_bitmap_ip 6384 0 - Live 0x8300e000 ip_set 22250 16 xt_set,ip_set_list_set,ip_set_hash_netiface,ip_set_hash_netport,ip_set_hash_netnet,ip_set_hash_net,ip_set_hash_netportnet,ip_set_hash_mac,ip_set_hash_ipportnet,ip_set_hash_ipportip,ip_set_hash_ipport,ip_set_hash_ipmark,ip_set_hash_ip,ip_set_bitmap_port,ip_set_bitmap_ipmac,ip_set_bitmap_ip, Live 0x83010000 nfnetlink 4199 1 ip_set, Live 0x830b6000
Then confirm the
ipset application is working.