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I recently stumbled upon what I think may be the holy grail - a VPN method that is simple to configure, high performance, and (so I’m told) highly secure. Until now my experience of using VPNs was that you could choose any two of the above, but never expect to get all three!
The ease by which you can get this up and running is quite astonishing. The documentation is quite good, but still has a few holes which hopefully will be covered here, adapted from https://www.wireguard.com/install/
Wireguard is conceptually quite different to other VPN products in that there isn’t a daemon that runs - it all happens in the linux kernel. There also isn’t any state: no concept of a tunnel being ‘up’ or ‘down’ - just a standard network interface with configuration applied to it - not dissimilar to a wifi interface.
NOTE: Wireguard is not yet merged into mainline kernel which means compiling the required kernel module from source. Fortunately, thanks to DKMS this step is painless. From what I understand, mainline kernel support is imminent.
Both ends of the VPN described here are running stock Centos7
$ curl -Lo /etc/yum.repos.d/wireguard.repo https://copr.fedorainfracloud.org/coprs/jdoss/wireguard/repo/epel-7/jdoss-wireguard-epel-7.repo $ yum install epel-release $ yum install wireguard-dkms wireguard-tools
Configuring wireguard can be done from command line with
ip (from the
iproute package) and
wg (from wireguard package) commands. I would recommend however not doing that, but instead using the included systemd service file which reads from a config file, described below.
Each endpoint has a single config file, similar to this:
[Interface] ListenPort = 51820 PrivateKey = xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Address = 172.16.0.1/30 [Peer] PublicKey = yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy AllowedIPs = 172.16.0.0/30, 10.0.1.0/24, 10.0.2.0/24 Endpoint = x.x.x.x:51820
Endpoint = x.x.x.x:51820corresponds with the public IP and listening port of your peer.
AllowedIPs =is set to any IPs or subnets that should be routed via this tunnel.
IPv4 routing is enabled. This is set in
net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1
The public/private key are generated using the
wg genkey generates the private key string. This string can then be piped into
wg pubkey to generate a corresponding public key e.g. all-in-one command
$ wg genkey | tee /dev/tty | wg pubkey 4EqGj/rnwKHidsQLsD9ktUCwIfLpwQ7TsHNK7zq4CUQ= /pLbKEiydGaGZY1lyVaiCXOQY8sFh0O22D8f+3heHX0=
The private key (first line) goes into local config file, and the public key goes into the peer’s config file.
Systemd can bring the VPN up/down using the included wg-quick service file. To set the VPN to come up on boot enable the service:
systemctl enable wg-quick@wg0
Now, start/stop the service like so:
systemctl start wg-quick@wg0 systemctl stop wg-quick@wg0
This adds the
wg0 interface, and inserts routes corresponding with the list of allowed IPs specified in the config file.
The VPN itself uses a single UDP port. For the VPN tunnel to connect, both ends must be able to reach the other on UDP port
51280. The port number is configurable.
- the tunnel uses the addresses 172.16.0.1 for A-end and 172.16.0.2 for B-end
- routes for each end’s network(s) are sent via the VPN interface
Having done all the above, if things don’t appear to be working out, here’s some things to look at first:
- Check systemd log for the
journalctl -u wg-quick@wg0
- Check the
wg0interface is up with
6: wg0: <POINTOPOINT,NOARP,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 8921 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN qlen 1 link/none inet 172.16.0.1/30 scope global wg0 valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever inet6 fe80::5e6:1a69:4213:44ba/64 scope link flags 800 valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever
- Attempt to ping the endpoing on the other end of the IP e.g.
- Run tcpdump on each endpoint to see what traffic is coming in/out of the ethernet interfaces (
eth0). Encrypted VPN traffic will show up as UDP packets on port
- Run tcpdump on each endpoint’s wireguard interface (
wg0) to see what’s passing over the tunnel itself.
Providing that the wireguard config is correct - keys match up, and allowed IPs are set - then you’re going to be dealing with a routing or firewalling issue somewhere in between.