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3.8.3. Comparison of Firewalld to system-config-firewall and iptables

The essential differences between firewalld and the iptables service are:
  • The iptables service stores configuration in /etc/sysconfig/iptables while firewalld stores it in various XML files in /usr/lib/firewalld/ and /etc/firewalld/. Note that the /etc/sysconfig/iptables file does not exist as firewalld is installed be default on Fedora.
  • With the iptables service, every single change means flushing all the old rules and reading all the new rules from /etc/sysconfig/iptables while with firewalld there is no re-creating of all the rules; only the differences are applied. Consequently, firewalld can change the settings during run time without existing connections being lost.
Both use iptables tool to talk to the kernel packet filter.