Wanted: Novice Guides

Paul Pietkiewicz pawel.pietkiewicz at gmail.com
Wed Feb 15 16:49:55 CET 2017

I think it would be brilliant to see an guide setting up a server on a
OpenWRT router, and then setting up a Mac laptop as a roaming client that
could connect to the network as required. Unfortunately I do not have much
time to help with this, but I believe that this would be a very common use


On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 6:53 AM, Daniel Kahn Gillmor <dkg at fifthhorseman.net>

> Hi all--
> On Wed 2017-02-15 09:05:29 -0500, Jason A. Donenfeld wrote:
> > As WireGuard gets more and more popular, I have more people contacting
> > me about novice guides and blog entries and step by step things. If
> > anybody would be up for writing these or assisting with it, it would
> > be much appreciated. Probably better to tackle this before horribly
> > written guides with bad advice fill the void instead.
> Agreed about wanting better-written guides to pre-empt terrible ones :)
> A good "novice guide" usually has the following pattern:
>  a) Present the specific goal of the guide at a high level (if you think
>     want X, this is the guide for you) -- the goal should not be
>     "install WireGuard", which is meaningless to a novice, but something
>     like one of the following:
>   * have two machines establish a secure connection between each other
>     across the public Internet
>   * give my laptop an IP address on my home network no matter where I am
>   * allow co-workers to access office resources from the road
>   * run a "virtual office" offering secure connections between the
>     computers of multiple co-workers who are scattered and have no
>     central physical location
>   * operate a public-facing encrypted Internet proxy service
>     (a.k.a. "VPN provider")
>  b) Present frequently-confused *non* use cases (if you think you want
>     these other things, this is not your guide)
>  c) Document assumed platform details (if your examples are only known to
>     work on Ubuntu 16.10, say so!)
>  d) Document steps to take to achieve the goal (these should be very
>     simple.  If it's more than 5 steps, the tools or the platform should
>     probably be improved)
>  e) Diagnostics, troubleshooting and debugging (again, should be
>     relatively minimal, but should include at least how to check that
>     things are working, what you might see if they're not working, and
>     recovery from common failure modes)
>  f) Outbound links to learn more (this should include suggestions about
>     where to file bug reports, and how to follow up on this mailing list)
> choosing (a) and (c) carefully are kind of critical for even knowing
> where to begin if you want to write such a guide for novices.
> Those of us who are not novices understand that tools like WireGuard can
> be used on a lot of different platforms (c) to perform a lot of
> different tasks (a), but how those tasks are carried out might have more
> to do with policy details (where do you get the peer's public keys from?
> how do you verify that they're the right public keys?  How do peers find
> each other if there are no stable public IP addresses?  How do you
> allocate IP addresses for the wg interfaces?  Which traffic should each
> peer route over which wg interfaces?) than with WireGuard itself.
> The fact that the WireGuard-specific instructions for any such guide are
> likely to be minimal is one of the strengths of WireGuard, i think.  But
> that also means that any novice guide is going to be at least as much
> about non-WireGuard details as it is about WireGuard itself.
> Jason, what kinds of novice guides are people asking for?  What kinds of
> guides are people on this list interested in writing?
>     --dkg
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