Setting up linuxserver/wireguard

Putting your docker stack behind a VPN.

First, I’d like to give a shout to LinuxServer.io for the great work they do in making/maintaining ready-made Docker containers for all kinds of open-/closed-source apps to get a homelab up-and-running.

Starting out

To avoid repeating beating LinuxServer’s README into your skull, here’s a link. Definitely give this a thorough read, as it’s highly informative and built in a “copy-pasta” mindset. We’ll be making modifications, though, so come back once you’ve copied the docker run or docker-compose directives!

linuxserver/wireguard README on Docker Hub

I recommend using docker-compose as it’s the most verbose and straightforward way to document and launch your setup.

Once you’ve copied their docker-compose configuration - make the following changes:

Extending the LinuxServer Docker Compose

version: "3"
services:
  wireguard:
    image: linuxserver/wireguard:latest
    container_name: wireguard
    # the rest of your wireguard configuration
    restart: unless-stopped
  nextcloud:  # just some other service
    # your nextcloud configuration
    network_mode: "service:wireguard"
    depends_on: [ "wireguard", ]
  • Ensure that you’re using docker-compose 3.8+; you can guarantee this by just putting: version: "3" in your docker-compose.yml.
  • On the remaining configurations add two lines:
    1. network_mode: "service:wireguard" – This was added in docker-compose=3.8 and directs traffic to the service’s container.
    2. depends_on: [ "wireguard", ] – This guarantees that the container won’t start until wireguard has.

Now that your docker-compose is pushing traffic through your wireguard container, you need to setup a VPN. There are a host of options out there with wireguard support, e.g.

  1. MullvadVPN
  2. Firefox VPN (backed by MullvadVPN)
  3. Algo, by Trail of Bits
  4. Other more common VPNs, like NordVPN, PrivateInternetAccess, Tunnelbear, etc.
NOTE: Your VPN of choice must have wireguard support. Both Mullvad and Algo (at time of writing) have out-of-the-box support for wireguard with the others working on it.

Modifying your reverse proxy’s routing (if you use that)

Making use of some more of LinuxServer’s pre-builts, let’s take a look at the reverse proxy server – what you might use to remotely access your homelab. If you pull-up the nextcloud.subdomain.conf.sample (pasted below):

# make sure that your dns has a cname set for nextcloud
# assuming this container is called "letsencrypt", edit your nextcloud container's config
# located at /config/www/nextcloud/config/config.php and add the following lines before the ");":
#  'trusted_proxies' => ['letsencrypt'],
#  'overwrite.cli.url' => 'https://nextcloud.your-domain.com/',
#  'overwritehost' => 'nextcloud.your-domain.com',
#  'overwriteprotocol' => 'https',
#
# Also don't forget to add your domain name to the trusted domains array. It should look somewhat like this:
#  array (
#    0 => '192.168.0.1:444', # This line may look different on your setup, don't modify it.
#    1 => 'nextcloud.your-domain.com',
#  ),

server {
    listen 443 ssl;
    listen [::]:443 ssl;

    server_name nextcloud.*;

    include /config/nginx/ssl.conf;

    client_max_body_size 0;

    location / {
        include /config/nginx/proxy.conf;
        resolver 127.0.0.11 valid=30s;
        set $upstream_app nextcloud;
        set $upstream_port 443;
        set $upstream_proto https;
        proxy_pass $upstream_proto://$upstream_app:$upstream_port;

        proxy_max_temp_file_size 2048m;
    }
}

Where you see set $upstream_app nextcloud; – replace nextcloud with wireguard and now you’ll be good to access your Nextcloud server remotely, while also having all it’s traffic pushed through your VPN of choice.


Thanks for reading along and I hope this helped you setup your hosted media and files! 😃

Edited (25 Jul 2020): Fixed formatting and added Firefox VPN.

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John Muchovej
John Muchovej
Researcher & Data Scientist

My interests are in using tools from computer science to advance our understanding of cognition and development. I focus this interest in the domains of social cognition, common sense, and linguistics.