Cloudflare were already running global internet infrastructure as part of their regular business when they set up Warp. Offering a VPN service on top did not significantly change the costs of the network already existing under their business model.
Cloudflare runs BoringTun which is their own implementation of the WireGuard protocol coded in Rust. WireGuard is a modern and also secure VPN protocol. It eschews compatibility with existing services in favour of providing cutting edge security. This how-to takes you through creating Cloudflare Warp credentials and setting up the service on your OpenBSD machine. You do not need to provide any personal information (email, for example) to be able to set up and use Cloudflare Warp.
There is currently no official version of Cloudflare Warp for OpenBSD, though you should download the official 188.8.131.52 App if you want to use Warp on your Mac, Phone or PC. We will use an unofficial CLI in this how-to. A typical use case would be to add Cloudflare Warp to an existing self-hosted VPN providing additional privacy, security and speed.
You don't need existing Cloudflare Warp credentials to follow this guide. This is because we will set some up in the first step of our how-to. We are going to use the wgcf repo to create the Warp credentials. This is an unofficial, cross-platform CLI for Cloudflare Warp . Warp uses the Wireguard VPN protocol, as mentioned above. OpenBSD 6.8 comes with in-built kernel support for WireGuard. So you will need to be using OpenBSD 6.8 to follow this how-to guide. Once we have credentials, we will configure the new interface then update kernel parameters and firewall settings. You need no expert knowledge of Wireguard, just some familiarity with using bash scripts and comfort with using with git. With the introduction out of the way let's get on to how to set up Cloudflare Warp on OpenBSD.
Let's start by creating a new directory to keep the files we generate. Then we change into that directory. At the command line type:
Next we clone the repo:
There is currently no pre-compiled OpenBSD version of wgcf on the repo. But, despite this, it is still easy to get going. First we need to install go (assuming you do not already have it installed): Simples! With that done let’s move on to the next step and generate some credentials so that we can use the Cloudflare Warp service.
Now we will register as a Warp user and generate credentials with the commands below. You will need to accept the Terms of Service, when prompted, to be able to complete this step. You should now have a
wgcf-profile.conffile. This contains the credentials which we will use in the next step.
With OpenBSD 6.8 came a much easier way to configure WireGuard as well as improved performance over the previous user space implementation. You put the configuration in a hostname file (like for other interfaces) and that is pretty much all you need to do. If you have other WireGuard interfaces which you want to update to use kernel support see this top guide from Thomas Ward's guide on Securely Tunnelling Traffic with WireGuard on OpenBSD . Here I will give you a configuration file without much explanation so take a look at the guide or the OpenBSD wg man page if you are keen to learn more. OK, let's get going. Create a
hostname.wg0file and add the following to it (we will run a script in the next step to fill in the credentials so no need to make any substitutions. Just type it in as it is):
Note we are creating an interface called
wg0. Change the file extension if you need to call it something else. Also tweak it if you want to enable IPv6. And, of course, you can change the description if you are not into Star Trek!
Next we run a script to take the parameters we generated and place them in our configuration file. Paste following code into a new file and name it
Once the file is created run the script:
Now we move the interface specific config file to its correct location and secure it:
Next we need to remember to bring the interface up. Type the command below into the terminal. Note this is a one-off. It will automatically come up next time we reboot. Finally, to check the interface is up use
If successful you will see something like:
flags=8051<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,NOARP,MULTICAST> mtu 1280returned.
This last step varies depending on your setup. I assume you are running a self-hosted VPN with a cloud provider. We have remote devices (e.g. mobile phones, tables and laptops) connecting over an already established WireGuard connection, wg1. You should, of course, feel free to adjust to suite your own use case. Let me know if you would find a blog post on setting up a self-hosted OpenBSD cloud VPN useful. We want our packets sent out over Cloudflare Warp to be NAT'ed out. For that to happen we need to allow packet forwarding and also set up pf firewall rules.
Next we need to update the firewall rules. On a default setup you will edit the
/etc/pf.conffile. Add this line above any filtering rules:
Then add this line near the bottom: This takes incoming traffic from our remote devices (that is, on interface wg1) and routes the traffic to our Cloudflare Warp interface. The traffic will be NAT'ed out by the previous rule. Don't forget to load the new pf rules:
From one of your remote devices, try checking your IP address by going to https://icanhazip.com/ . Or, search for ‘IP Address’ on DuckDuckGo instead if you prefer. If Cloudflare Warp is working, the IP will be different to your OpenBSD machine's IP address. For a further test go to www.cloudflare.com/ssl/encrypted-sni/ on one of your devices connected to your VPN. You should have a green check mark next to Secure DNS once the test has run. You might need another way to test the connection if you have a different use case to the one assumed. Clean up the
warpdirectory we created earlier once you are happy everything is working.
The first three will commands show diagnostics which you can use in order to get some clues what the issue is. The last two can be used together to restart the interface after fixing something in the config. With everything set up, it is finally time to sit back and enjoy fast and private internet access over your devices.
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