Advanced Client Installation¶
This document tells you how to install the netclient on machines that will be a part of your Netmaker network, as well as non-compatible systems.
These steps should be run after the Netmaker server has been created and a network has been designated within Netmaker.
Introduction to Netclient¶
At its heart, the netclient is a simple CLI for managing access to various WireGuard-based networks. It manages WireGuard on the host system, so that you don’t have to. Why is this necessary?
If you are setting up a WireGuard-based virtual network, you must configure each machine with very specific settings, so that every machine can reach it, and it can reach every machine. Any changes to the settings of any one of these machines can break those connections. Any machine that is added, removed, or modified on the network requires reconfiguring every peer in the network. This can be very time consuming.
The netmaker server holds configuration details about every machine in your network and how other machines should connect to it.
The netclient agent connects to the server, pushing and pulling information when the network (or its local configuration) changes.
The netclient agent then configures WireGuard (and other network properties) locally, so that the network stays intact.
Note on MTU Settings¶
IPv6 requires a minimum MTU of 1280. A lot of router configurations expect a standard MTU setting. You can adjust the MTU to whatever fits your needs, but setting the MTU below the standardized 1280 may cause wireguard to have issues when setting up interfaces with some systems like Windows for example.
Notes on Windows¶
If running the netclient on windows, you must download the netclient.exe binary and run it from Powershell as an Administrator.
Windows will by default have firewall rules that prevent inbound connections. If you wish to allow inbound connections from particular peers, use the following command:
netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="Allow from <peer private addr>" dir=in action=allow protocol=ANY remoteip=<peer private addr>
If you want to allow all peers access, but do not want to configure firewall rules for all peers, you can configure access for one peer, and set it as a Relay Server.
Running the install script¶
Some file locations have issues running the install script, such as running from the root C:/ folder. Users have noted the following locations work well for running the install powershell script:
Running netclient commands¶
If running the netclient manually (“netclient join”, “netclient checkin”, “netclient pull”) it should be run from outside of the installed directory, which will be either:
It is better to call it from a different directory.
High CPU Utilization¶
With some versions of WireGuard on Windows, high CPU utilization has been found with the netclient. This is typically due to interaction with the WireGuard GUI component (app). If you’re experiencing high CPU utilization, close the WireGuard app. WireGuard will still be running, but the CPU usage should go back down to normal.
Notes on OpenWRT¶
Deploying on OpenWRT depends a lot on the version of OpenWRT and the hardware being used. If the primary installer does not work, there are two things you can try:
This community-run package for OpenWRT: https://github.com/sbilly/netmaker-openwrt
download (wget) the netclient package for your hardware from the netclient releases: https://github.com/gravitl/netmaker/releases
rename to “netclient”
Run as root from a bash shell on OpenWRT
You may experience an issue with the length of the token, which has limits on some OpenWRT shells. If you run into this problem, you can use the following script to convert your token into a “netclient join” command:
./token-convert <token value>
Run the output on your OpenWRT machine
Modes and System Compatibility¶
Note: If you would like to connect non-Linux/Unix machines to your network such as phones and Windows desktops, please see the documentation on External Clients
The netclient can be run in a few “modes”. System compatibility depends on which modes you intend to use. These modes can be mixed and matched across a network, meaning all machines do not have to run with the same “mode.”
In its simplest form, the netclient can be treated as just a simple, manual, CLI tool, which a user can call to configure the machine. The cli can be compiled from source code to run on most systems, and has already been compiled for x86 and ARM devices.
As a CLI, the netclient should function on any Linux or Unix based system that has the wireguard utility (callable with wg) installed.
The netclient is intended to be run as a system daemon. This allows it to automatically retrieve and send updates. To do this, the netclient can install itself as a systemd service, or launchd/windows service for Mac or Windows.
If running the netclient on non-systemd linux, it is recommended to manually configure the netclient as a daemon using whatever method is acceptable on the chosen operating system.
Private DNS Management¶
To manage private DNS, the netclient relies on systemd-resolved (resolvectl). Absent this, it cannot set private DNS for the machine.
A user may choose to manually set a private DNS nameserver of <netmaker server>:53. However, beware, as netmaker sets split dns, and the system must be configured properly. Otherwise, this nameserver may break your local DNS.
To obtain the netclient, go to the GitHub releases: https://github.com/gravitl/netmaker/releases
For netclient cli: Linux/Unix with WireGuard installed (wg command available)
For netclient daemon: Systemd Linux + WireGuard
For Private DNS management: Resolvectl (systemd-resolved)
The CLI has information about all commands and variables. This section shows the “help” output for these commands as well as some additional reference.
sudo netclient --help
NAME: Netclient CLI - Netmaker's netclient agent and CLI. Used to perform interactions with Netmaker server and set local WireGuard config. USAGE: netclient [global options] command [command options] [arguments...] COMMANDS: register Register with Netmaker Server for secure GRPC communications. join Join a Netmaker network. leave Leave a Netmaker network. checkin Checks for local changes and then checks into the specified Netmaker network to ask about remote changes. push Push configuration changes to server. pull Pull latest configuration and peers from server. list Get list of networks. uninstall Uninstall the netclient system service. unregister Unregister the netclient from secure server GRPC. help, h Shows a list of commands or help for one command GLOBAL OPTIONS: --help, -h show help (default: false)
sudo netclient join --help
alex@workstation:~$ sudo netclient join --help NAME: netclient join - Join a Netmaker network. USAGE: netclient join [command options] [arguments...] OPTIONS: --network value, -n value Network to perform specified action against. (default: "all") [$NETCLIENT_NETWORK] --password value, -p value Password for authenticating with netmaker. [$NETCLIENT_PASSWORD] --endpoint value, -e value Reachable (usually public) address for WireGuard (not the private WG address). [$NETCLIENT_ENDPOINT] --macaddress value, -m value Mac Address for this machine. Used as a unique identifier within Netmaker network. [$NETCLIENT_MACADDRESS] --publickey value, --pubkey value Public Key for WireGuard Interface. [$NETCLIENT_PUBLICKEY] --privatekey value, --privkey value Private Key for WireGuard Interface. [$NETCLIENT_PRIVATEKEY] --port value Port for WireGuard Interface. [$NETCLIENT_PORT] --keepalive value Default PersistentKeepAlive for Peers in WireGuard Interface. (default: 0) [$NETCLIENT_KEEPALIVE] --operatingsystem value, --os value Identifiable name for machine within Netmaker network. [$NETCLIENT_OS] --name value Identifiable name for machine within Netmaker network. [$NETCLIENT_NAME] --localaddress value Local address for machine. Can be used in place of Endpoint for machines on the same LAN. [$NETCLIENT_LOCALADDRESS] --address value, -a value WireGuard address for machine within Netmaker network. [$NETCLIENT_ADDRESS] --addressIPv6 value, --a6 value WireGuard address for machine within Netmaker network. [$NETCLIENT_ADDRESSIPV6] --interface value, -i value WireGuard local network interface name. [$NETCLIENT_INTERFACE] --apiserver value Address + GRPC Port (e.g. 188.8.131.52:50051) of Netmaker server. [$NETCLIENT_API_SERVER] --grpcserver value Address + API Port (e.g. 184.108.40.206:8081) of Netmaker server. [$NETCLIENT_GRPC_SERVER] --key value, -k value Access Key for signing up machine with Netmaker server during initial 'add'. [$NETCLIENT_ACCESSKEY] --token value, -t value Access Token for signing up machine with Netmaker server during initial 'add'. [$NETCLIENT_ACCESSTOKEN] --localrange value Local Range if network is local, for instance 192.168.1.0/24. [$NETCLIENT_LOCALRANGE] --dns value Sets private dns if 'on'. Ignores if 'off'. Will retrieve from network if unset. (default: "on") [$NETCLIENT_DNS] --islocal value Sets endpoint to local address if 'yes'. Ignores if 'no'. Will retrieve from network if unset. [$NETCLIENT_IS_LOCAL] --isdualstack value Sets ipv6 address if 'yes'. Ignores if 'no'. Will retrieve from network if unset. [$NETCLIENT_IS_DUALSTACK] --udpholepunch value Turns on udp holepunching if 'yes'. Ignores if 'no'. Will retrieve from network if unset. [$NETCLIENT_UDP_HOLEPUNCH] --ipforwarding value Sets ip forwarding on if 'on'. Ignores if 'off'. On by default. (default: "on") [$NETCLIENT_IPFORWARDING] --postup value Sets PostUp command for WireGuard. [$NETCLIENT_POSTUP] --postdown value Sets PostDown command for WireGuard. [$NETCLIENT_POSTDOWN] --daemon value Installs daemon if 'on'. Ignores if 'off'. On by default. (default: "on") [$NETCLIENT_DAEMON] --roaming value Checks for IP changes if 'on'. Ignores if 'off'. On by default. (default: "on") [$NETCLIENT_ROAMING] --help, -h show help (default: false)
Config File Reference¶
There is a config file for each node under /etc/netconfig-<network name>. You can change these values and then set “postchanges” to “true”, or go to the CLI and run
netclient push -n <network>
server: corednsaddr: 220.127.116.11 # Address of CoreDNS Server (set locally with resolvectl) grpcaddress: 10.101.0.1:50051 # Address of GRPC Server (used for all interaction with server after registration) apiaddress: 18.104.22.168:8081 # Address of API Server (used only for registration/unregistration) accesskey: 5qKTbTgsvb45y3qyRmWft # Key used to sign up with server. Used only during registration node: name: my-computer # name of this node interface: nm-example # name of interface to create/use for WG network: example # name of network this ode is a part of password: $2a$0afehuytviN/thMpVlCYkonxy.Ws2.rNCJjBSAa3HZuhrK5hpYxme # encrypted node password, used to retrieve JWT. Can be changed to new pass in plaintext and CLI will update/replace with encrypted pass macaddress: 6c:4b:91:0g:68:7b # MAC of node. Used as a Unique ID localaddress: 192.168.1.32 # Address on local network, used as endpoint for other local nodes for faster comms wgaddress: 10.7.11.2 # Private WG addres on network wgaddress6: "f8:34:41:77:5c:15" # Private ipv6 address if network is dual stack roaming: "yes" # Whether or not to grab new endpoint value automatically dnson: "no" # Whether or not to set local DNS based on Netmaker's Private DNS server islocal: "no" # Based on network. If yes, will use local IP as endpoint. isdualstack: "yes" # Use IPv6 in addition to IPv4 isingressgateway: "no" # whether or not node is an ingress gateway (will set iptables forwarding rules) allowedips: "" # additional IP's to add to client localrange: "" # local range if it's a local network. For instance, 192.168.1.0/24 postup: "" # postup command, used by ingress/egress gateways to set iptables postdown: "" # postdown command, used by ingress/egress gateways to set iptables port: 51821 # WG port to use keepalive: 20 # default keepalive with nodes publickey: 8/q9cOg7c9QjnoXygVrY/VNE197VMRadJodkb1ZsujA= # public key of node to show to other nodes privatekey: "" # private key, set only for changing and then will revert to blank in config endpoint: 22.214.171.124 # public endpoint for reaching node postchanges: "false" # if true, will post and config file changes on next checkin and then revert to false ipforwarding: "yes" # set ip forwarding; highly recommended to leave on isstatic: "no" # if yes, daemon will not change pubkey, endpoint, or address udpholepunch: "yes" # run UDP hole punching (will ignore port above, e.g. 51821) network: home # the network (duplicate of node.network) daemon: "yes" # whether or not to manage systemd operatingsystem: "" # not currently in use
To install netmaker, you need a server token for a particular network, unless you’re joining a network that allows manual signup, in which case you can join without a token, but the server will quarantine the machine until the admin approves it.
An admin creates a token in the ACCESS KEYS section of the UI. Upon creating a token, it generates 3 values:
Access Key: The secret key to authenticate as a node in the network
Access Token: The secret key plus information about how to access the server (addresses, ports), all decoded by the netclient to register with the server
Install Command: A short script that will obtain the netclient binary, register with the server, and join the network, all in one
For first time installations, you can run the Install Command. For additional networks, simply run
netclient join -t <access token>. The raw access key will not be needed unless there are special circumstances, mostly troubleshooting incorrect information in the token (you can instead manually specify the server location).
Connect / Disconnect¶
- to disconnect from a network previously joined (without leaving the network):
netclient disconnect -n <net name>
- to connect with a network previously disconnected:
netclient connect -n <net name>
- to view current networks
- to tail logs
journalctl -u netclient
- to get most recent log run
systemctl status netclient
Re-syncing netclient (basic troubleshooting)¶
If the daemon is not running correctly run, try restarting the daemon, or pulling changes directly (don’t do both at once)
systemctl restart netclient
sudo netclient pull
Change any of the variables in this file, and changes will be pushed to the server and processed locally on the next checkin.
For instance, change the private address, endpoint, or name. See above example config file for details
netclient join -t <token>
Set any of the above flags (netclient join –help) to override settings for joining the network. If a key is provided (-k), then a token is unnecessary, but grpc, server, ports, and network must all be provided via flags.