Tues Sep 28, 2021

Wireguard is probably one of the coolest technologies I've encountered in a long time. The simplicity of public key auth (ssh-style where the protocol doesn't care how you get the public key on the server) all in the kernel? Sign me up!

On our tilde, we want to set up wireguard so that we can provide vpn-only services (for security reasons such as not allowing brute-force password attempts).

The very first of these services is IRC--we want people to be able to connect from mobile devices and personal computers, but our network is currently not password protected and has no services like NickServ, etc.

The solution? Have it listen on a wireguard IP and distribute wg keys to trusted tilde members :)

I'll start with the obligatory RTFM -- wg(8) and ifconfig(8) are both really well documented. However, there was a bit of fun hackery that went down on our tuesday pair-admining call that's worth documenting!

~anthony and I needed a simple tool to manage wireguard keys and IPs. When a new device is to be given access we want to:

  1. Generate a private key, public key, and wg-quick(1) config file to distribute to the user
  2. Obtain the next numerical hostname
  3. Add the peer to our wg endpoint on the server

To do this, we used a small sh(1) script that has a catalog of names in a flat file like so:


And then each host has a directory:


The tool is called wggen(1) 1, and it ends up effectively:

  1. Creating a directory for NAME
  2. Generating a wg(8) key using openssl(1):
  openssl rand -base64 32 > private.key
  1. Creating a temporary wg endpoint to get the public key using the grep/cut hack in wg(8)'s EXAMPLES
  2. tail(1)-ing the host file to get the next available IP
  3. Using all the above to generate the client.conf
  4. Adding the wgpeer line to /etc/hostname.wg0 and restarting the prod endpoint with sh /etc/netstart

I'll leave the exact details as an exercise for the reader to go look at the git repo :)

Needless to say, this was a lot of fun to write!