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Wireguard scenario workstation -> vpn gateway -> private network

I’ve moved a rather hacky tinc mesh vpn solution to wireguard, all set up through an ansible playbook. the topology is rather classic:

my workstation (laptop, changing network situation) connects as a ‘client’ to two wireguard ‘servers’ as vpn gateways which are publicly accessible bastion hosts, and who also are members of a private subnet to which they ought to give access. the specific nodes are cloud instances of each Hetzner cloud and Vultr cloud.

Hetzner recently started to provide private interfaces to their cloud instances, currently the private addresses seem to be given randomly when using the cli tool, but can be specified also via their website interface. Vultr has that service already longer, however, the private ip cannot be specified and is assigned at random.

the above used terms ‘client’ and ‘server’ are a bit anachronistic, as Wireguard does not make such a difference. the ‘servers’ merely do not get endpoints to their peers in their interface configuration, as they do not initiate connections.

Generally, when running a linux vpn gateway that connects two interfaces into different subnets (here wg0 is the wireguard interface, ens10 is the interface to the cloud provider’s virtual router and a self configured private subnet) one only needs to set /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip_forward to 1 and /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/all/forwarding to 1 and be done with it. The nodes in the private subnet possibly need some way of receiving the necessary route back to that vpn gateway, via some routing protocol or static routing.

I was not able to set this up neither on Hetzner, nor on Vultr, and had to instead set up NAT on the gateway via iptables, as advised here in this tutorial, by the way a good reference on how to set up Wireguard: https://angristan.xyz/how-to-setup-vpn-server-wireguard-nat-ipv6/

My theory is that the virtual routers of the cloud providers are filtering this kind of traffic, as i can see the packets running through both the wireguard interface and the private subnet interface on the vpn gateway, but cannot see them at the final node’s interface. But i could be entirely wrong.

UPupdated: And here’s a quick follow up on the wireguard topic:


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Andreas Wagner
Freelance System Administrator from Tallinn, Estonia.