Wireguard https://www.wireguard.com/made it into the kernel source it is enabled by setting CONFIG_WIREGUARD.

Just the package wireguard-tools needs to be installed to get the user-space tools as wg. A modules package is around to be used with old kernels missing wireguard, use a new kernel and do not install those modules.

Wireguard uses a client server architecture, one server and multiple clients. The points to on the other end of the tunnel to be connected are peers having a private and a public key.

Private and public keys need to be created for the server and clients. Obviously not everybody should be able to read them so umask is used:

cd /etc/wireguard

$(umask 077; wg genkey | tee privatekey | wg pubkey > publickey)

to add the two key files to this directory

Wireguard uses its own network interface names having config files as /etc/wireguard/wg0.conf

As with any network interface, IP addresses needs to be assigned. Those IP addresses must be unique and not conflicting with the already used IP addresses. Those new IP addresses are assigned manually in the wg0.conf files of the server and clients. A computer with one physical network interface will therefore get an additional wg0 interface having an new address. IP addresses for wireguard used in a small private network can therefore be in the 192.168.2.x range and the not wirguard addresses in the 192.168.1.x range.

Wireguard server configuraton

A server has the following /etc/wireguard/wg0.conf that is created manually.

A wireguard server in a private network will probably attached to the Internet via a router. This router must have an Internet address on the WAN side it is wise to setup dynDNS to also have a consistent name. It has probably on the LAN side. To reach the wireguard server, Port forwarding 51820 needs to be set in the router to the IP address So port receives the encrypted wireguard packages.

The wg0 interface of the server needs also an address is a choice for this interface.

Decrypted packages appear on wg0 or

A wg0.conf file could look as the following and contains one or multiple [Peer] entries.

The peers also have IP addresses as set in their wg0.conf files that are used just for wireguard.

Address =
ListenPort = 51820
PrivateKey = <key>

PublicKey = <key>
AllowedIPs =

wg-quick up wg0 create the network interface

ifconfig confirms it

wg-quick down wg0 removes it

For OpenRC ln -s /etc/init.d/wg-quick /etc/init.d/wg-quick.wg0 and rc-update add wg-quick.wg0 default

/etc/init.d/wg-quick.wg0 start

wg show

If a server gets accessed from a client in the Internet, it needs some traffic to keep the VPN tunnel alive. Wireguard might be too quite for that. Adding

PersistentKeepalive = 25

to those peer sections will prevent that such tunnels get removed by the router.

Wireguard client configuration

And a client:

PrivateKey = <key>
Address =

PublicKey = <key>
AllowedIPs =
Endpoint = <servers internet ip or name>:<servers port 51820>

AllowedIP means that those IP addresses will be routed from an to the tunnel. More that one "range" can be set asAllowedIPs =, AllowedIPs = means all Internet

Some wireguard gui front end require a DNS ip address. DNS= means google name server

Run wireguard

Wireshark can be used to capture the packets. On the physical interface they are encrypted and marked as wireguard protocol, on the wg0 interface they appear as not encrypted.

Wireguard is supported by gui front ends as network manager, It has apps for android and windows.

For mobile phones there is a way to create a qr code and scan it in

install media-gfx/qrencode

qrencode -t ansiutf8 < wg0.conf


Comments in wireguard config files are not supported but still can be added using the # character. Comments are always nice to have but are necessary to name the peers in a wireguard config when having lots of them.


However wireguard contains a save and overwrite config files feature using wg-quick or even automatically. What it sees when it is running (and it does not see the comments) overwrites the config files, see man wg-quick. So a running configuration gets saved. To prevent loosing the important comments set


SaveConfig = false

Having set SaveConfig = true would mean the file would be overwritten automatically on shutdown.

An other way is saving the config file on an other place and call wg-quick with the path to this file. wg-quick up </path/to/><ifname>.conf

PostUp and PreDown

PostUp and PreDown can be put in the interface section to start commands as setting up and removing nftables or getting the private key in an encrypted form. See man wg-quick

Connecting two networks

To not create confusion each device involved and all networks involved have unique addresses.

The first network uses 192.168.1.<x> and has a router that can be pinged from the Internet using dyndns. The wireguard server is on this network

The second network is the wireguard network 192.168.10.<x> that spawns over the internet.

The third network uses addresses 192.168.20.<x> and can not be pinged from the internet. It holds the wireguard client.

Client to server and server net

https://www.sigmdel.ca/michel/ha/wireguard/wireguard_02_en.html https://docs.sweeting.me/s/wireguard#

The wireguard server can also be pinged using the wireguard server address from a 192.168.20.<x> wireguard network client using its wireguard address from

To allow also the 192.168.1.<x> addresses to be use on the wireguard network client on the 192.168.20.<x> network, the following needs to be added to the client


If the package is not for the server then it will be discharged except

cat /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward to see it

echo 1 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward to set it

to make it persistent add to the wireguard server

/etc/sysctl.conf to


sudo sysctl -p or reboot

Devices in network 192.168.1.<x> other than the wireguard server can not access devices in the 192.168.20.<x> network. They will send the 192.168.20.<x> messages to the router. To have the router sending those messages to the wireguard server in the 192.168.1.<x> network static routes must be configured in the router. To have the message find its way back to the 192.168.1.<x> device nat masquerading before transmitting is required at the postrouting hook. When the responding message comes back then again nat is required to find the originator in the 192.168.1.<x> network. This all is done by adding the following to the wireguard server /etc/nftables.conf

table ip wireguard-nat {
        chain prerouting {
                type nat hook prerouting priority dstnat; policy accept;

        chain postrouting {
                type nat hook postrouting priority srcnat; policy accept;
                oifname "eth0" masquerade

sudo systemctl restart nftables and sudo nft list ruleset

Now the wireguard client can access the local network of the server

Server to client and client net

Clients often have an unknown IP address and/or can not be pinged from the internet.

To still access them from internet one client can act as server-like and can have a static local IP address in the net and creates the wireguard tunnel to the server. The wireguard server then must contain for this peer also the local AllowedIPs When the tunnel is there and created from the direction client to server then the server can also ping the client. The tunnel however collapses after a while when the routers see no traffic. The server can therefore have PersistentKeepalive=25 for this peer. The server can now ping the client using both addresses.

The server can not create the tunnel it can just keep it open. To create the tunnel the client must initiate something. One way of doing this is the client sends every 5min a ping to the server using a cron job.

However other clients on the servers local net not having wireguard installed will not know that those addresses are for the wireguard tunnel and pass it to the default gateway. On the default gateway a static route can be configured so those addresses are passed to the wireguard server.


IPsec is tunneling from one point to an other. This means 2 devices. Typically those are two routers. Also a Router and a PC is a typical application. It there are multiple PC's the router must manage multiple tunnels.

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