Wireguard is a new VPN designed as a replacement for IPSec and OpenVPN. Its design goal is to be simple and secure, and it takes advantage of recent technologies such as the Noise Protocol Framework. Some consider Wireguard’s ease of configuration akin to OpenSSH. This article shows you how to deploy and use it.
It is currently in active development, so it might not be the best for production machines. However, Wireguard is under consideration to be included into the Linux kernel. The design has been formally verified,* and proven to be secure against a number of threats.
When deploying Wireguard, keep your Fedora Linux system updated to the most recent version, since Wireguard does not have a stable release cadence.
Set the timezone
To check and set your timezone, first display current time information:
Then if needed, set the correct timezone, for example to Europe/London.
timedatectl set-timezone Europe/London
Note that your system’s real time clock (RTC) may continue to be set to UTC or another timezone.
To install, enable the COPR repository for the project and then install with dnf, using sudo:
$ sudo dnf copr enable jdoss/wireguard $ sudo dnf install wireguard-dkms wireguard-tools
Once installed, two new commands become available, along with support for systemd:
- wg: Configuration of wireguard interfaces
- wg-quick: Bringing up the VPN tunnels
Create the configuration directory for Wireguard, and apply a umask of 077. A umask of 077 allows read, write, and execute permission for the file’s owner (root), but prohibits read, write, and execute permission for everyone else.
mkdir /etc/wireguard cd /etc/wireguard umask 077
Generate Key Pairs
Generate the private key, then derive the public key from it.
$ wg genkey > /etc/wireguard/privkey $ wg pubkey < /etc/wireguard/privkey > /etc/wireguard/publickey
Alternatively, this can be done in one go:
wg genkey | tee /etc/wireguard/privatekey | wg pubkey > /etc/wireguard/publickey
There is a vanity address generator, which might be of interest to some. You can also generate a pre-shared key to provide a level of quantum protection:
wg genpsk > psk
This will be the same value for both the server and client, so you only need to run the command once.
Configure Wireguard server and client
Both the client and server have an [Interface] option to specify the IP address assigned to the interface, along with the private keys.
Each peer (server and client) has a [Peer] section containing its respective PublicKey, along with the PresharedKey. Additionally, this block can list allowed IP addresses which can use the tunnel.
A firewall rule is added when the interface is brought up, along with enabling masquerading. Make sure to note the /24 IPv4 address range within Interface, which differs from the client. Edit the /etc/wireguard/wg0.conf file as follows, using the IP address for your server for Address, and the client IP address in AllowedIPs.
[Interface] Address = 192.168.2.1/24, fd00:7::1/48 PrivateKey = <SERVER_PRIVATE_KEY> PostUp = firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port 51820/udp && firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-masquerade PostDown = firewall-cmd --zone=public --remove-port 51820/udp && firewall-cmd --zone=public --remove-masquerade ListenPort = 51820 [Peer] PublicKey = <CLIENT_PUBLIC_KEY> PresharedKey = LpI+UivLx1ZqbzjyRaWR2rWN20tbBsOroNdNnjKLMQ= AllowedIPs = 192.168.2.2/32, fd00:7::2/48
Allow forwarding of IP packets by adding the following to /etc/sysctl.conf:
Load the new settings:
$ sysctl -p
Forwarding will be preserved after a reboot.
The client is very similar to the server config, but has an optional additional entry of PersistentKeepalive set to 30 seconds. This is to prevent NAT from causing issues, and depending on your setup might not be needed. Setting AllowedIPs to 0.0.0.0/0 will forward all traffic over the tunnel. Edit the client’s /etc/wireguard/wg0.conf file as follows, using your client’s IP address for Address and the server IP address at the Endpoint.
[Interface] Address = 192.168.2.2/32, fd00:7::2/48 PrivateKey = <CLIENT_PRIVATE_KEY> [Peer] PublicKey = <SERVER_PUBLIC_KEY> PresharedKey = LpI+UivLx1ZqbzjyRaWR2rWN20tbBsOroNdNnjKLMQ= AllowedIPs = 0.0.0.0/0, ::/0 Endpoint = <SERVER_IP>:51820 PersistentKeepalive = 30
Start and check the status of the tunnel on both the server and client:
$ systemctl start wg-quick@wg0 $ systemctl status wg-quick@wg0
To test the connections, try the following:
ping google.com ping6 ipv6.google.com
Then check external IP addresses:
dig +short myip.opendns.com @resolver1.opendns.com dig +short -6 myip.opendns.com aaaa @resolver1.ipv6-sandbox.opendns.com
* “Formally verified,” in this sense, means that the design has been proved to have mathematically correct messages and key secrecy, forward secrecy, mutual authentication, session uniqueness, channel binding, and resistance against replay, key compromise impersonation, and denial of server attacks.