VPN with Tinc

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FIXME: What's a VPN, what's Tinc

Installation on Server(s) and Client(s)

FreeBSD

  • Install tinc 1.1 pre from ports
sudo pkg install tinc-devel               # binary
sudo portmaster -iB security/tinc-devel   # source

GNU/Linux (Debian based)

  • Install tinc 1.1 pre from source (or pull the deb from experimental)
sudo apt install -y build-essential libncurses5-dev libreadline6-dev libzlcore-dev zlib1g-dev liblzo2-dev libssl-dev
  • Compile tinc 1.1pre :
cd /usr/src/
wget https://www.tinc-vpn.org/packages/tinc-1.1pre17.tar.gz
tar xvf tinc-1.1pre17.tar.gz
cd tinc-1.1pre17
./configure
make
sudo make install
  • Once installed, the configuration dir should be in /usr/local/etc/tinc/. tinc and tincd are installed in /usr/local/sbin/tinc
  • If needed, make a directory for pidfile and socket
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/var/run/

Windows

MacOs

FIXME

Setup Server(s)

FreeBSD and GNU/Linux

  • Initialize new VPN
sudo tinc -n beernet init server
  • Configure the host's own interface
sudo tinc -n beernet add subnet 10.10.10.1
  • Configure the host's public IP, or domain if you have one for the host
sudo tinc -n beernet add address=super.domain.xxx  # if you have a domain ...
sudo tinc -n beernet add address=1.1.1.1           # or if you just have a public IP
  • edit /usr/local/etc/tinc/beernet/tinc-up, so that your network interface is brought up correctly, for instance with:
ifconfig $INTERFACE 10.10.10.1 netmask 255.255.255.0  # leave $INTERFACE as it is and remove the echo line
  • Note: if you don't have ifconfig available on your GNU/Linux distro, see PRO tips below.
  • test if your VPN works nicely for the time being by running it directly in a shell with extra verbose options:
tincd -n beernet -D -d3

Setup Client(s)

FreeBSD and GNU/Linux

  • Generate invite on the server
tinc -n beernet invite ${CLIENT_NAME}
  • This will give you ${URL}
  • On the BSD/Linux client
tinc -n beernet join ${URL}
tinc -n beernet add subnet 10.10.10.2
  • edit /usr/local/etc/tinc/beernet/tinc-up, so that your network interface is brought up correctly, for instance with:
ifconfig $INTERFACE 10.10.10.2 netmask 255.255.255.0  # leave $INTERFACE as it is and remove the echo line
  • Note: if you don't have ifconfig available on your GNU/Linux distro, see PRO tips below.
  • test if your VPN works nicely for the time being by running it directly in a shell with extra verbose options:
tincd -n beernet -D -d3
  • try to ping the server from the client and the other way around to make all is good

Windows

  • Generate invite on the server
tinc -n beernet invite ${CLIENT_NAME}
  • This will give you ${URL}
  • On the windows client machine, open a terminal, locate the Tinc install folder and:
tinc.exe -n beernet join ${URL}
tinc.exe -n beernet add subnet 10.10.10.3
  • got to C:\Program Files\tinc\tap-win64
  • run addtap.bat. Click yes to install the driver.
  • Find the ${NAME} of the new network adapter
netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces
  • Rename this interface
netsh interface set interface name = "${NAME}" newname = "tinc"
  • give it the same IP as tinc client config
netsh interface ip set address "tinc" static 10.10.10.3 255.255.255.0.
  • try to ping the server from the client and the other way around to make all is good

MacOs

FIXME

PRO tips

Firewall

iptables

# Allow Tinc VPN connections without port restrictions
-A INPUT -i tun+ -j ACCEPT
-A OUTPUT -o tun+ -j ACCEPT

-A INPUT -p tcp --sport 655 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p tcp --dport 655 -j ACCEPT
-A OUTPUT -p tcp --sport 655 -j ACCEPT
-A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 655 -j ACCEPT

-A INPUT -p udp --sport 655 -j ACCEPT
-A INPUT -p udp --dport 655 -j ACCEPT
-A OUTPUT -p udp --sport 655 -j ACCEPT
-A OUTPUT -p udp --dport 655 -j ACCEPT

GNU/Linux with new net interface tool

ifconfig will be likely deprecated or even removed on some recent GNU/Linux distros, so the proper way to configure tinc-up and on such machines is as follow:

ip addr add 10.0.1.1/24 dev $INTERFACE
ip link set $INTERFACE up

Set up systemd services

  • /lib/systemd/system/tinc.service
[Unit]
Description=Tinc VPN
After=network.target

[Service]
Type=oneshot
RemainAfterExit=yes
ExecStart=/bin/true
ExecReload=/bin/true
WorkingDirectory=/usr/local/etc/tinc

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
  • /lib/systemd/system/tinc@.service
[Unit]
Description=Tinc net %i
PartOf=tinc.service
ReloadPropagatedFrom=tinc.service

[Service]
Type=simple
WorkingDirectory=/usr/local/etc/tinc/%i
ExecStart=/usr/local/sbin/tincd -n %i -D
ExecReload=/usr/local/sbin/tincd -n %i -kHUP
KillMode=mixed
TimeoutStopSec=5
Restart=always
RestartSec=60

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
  • enable them on boot:
systemctl enable tinc@lurknet
  • Start / stop at will:
sudo systemctl start tinc@lurknet
sudo systemctl stop tinc@lurknet

Switch vs Router mode

In router mode tinc runs as a Layer 3 network, while switch allows tinc to run as a Layer 2 network. By default Tinc runs in router mode and it will be fine for most of the things you may need. However, sometimes an application going through tinc may need Layer 2 to work properly, for instance some automagical network/peer discovery making use of Layer 2 broadcasts. If you need to switch to switch (haha...) then add the following in the tinc.conf of all the nodes:

Mode = switch

Further readings and more cool stuff