The Gnuplot project can generate many types of graphs, from histograms to colorized three-dimensional surface plots. It excels at graphing large data sets, such as points derived from hundreds of thousands of lines of iptables log data.

For visualizations of iptables log data in this chapter, we use Gnuplot to generate both two- and three-dimensional point and line graphs. Gnuplot requires formatted data as input, and by itself does not have the machinery necessary to parse iptables log messages. Ideal input for Gnuplot is a file that contains integer values arranged in columns—one column for each axis in either a two- or three-dimensional graph. This is where psad comes in with its - -gnuplot mode. In this mode, psad parses iptables log data and writes the results to a file that can be processed by Gnuplot.

In order to duplicate the graphs in this chapter on your Linux system (or generate new graphs of your own iptables data), you will need to have both psad and Gnuplot installed.

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