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An open source, self-hosted implementation of the Tailscale control server.
Join our Discord server for a chat.
Note: Always select the same GitHub tag as the released version you use
to ensure you have the correct example configuration and documentation.
main branch might contain unreleased changes.
What is Tailscale
Everything in Tailscale is Open Source, except the GUI clients for proprietary OS (Windows and macOS/iOS), and the control server.
The control server works as an exchange point of Wireguard public keys for the nodes in the Tailscale network. It assigns the IP addresses of the clients, creates the boundaries between each user, enables sharing machines between users, and exposes the advertised routes of your nodes.
A Tailscale network (tailnet) is private network which Tailscale assigns to a user in terms of private users or an organisation.
Headscale aims to implement a self-hosted, open source alternative to the Tailscale control server. Headscale's goal is to provide self-hosters and hobbyists with an open-source server they can use for their projects and labs. It implements a narrow scope, a single Tailnet, suitable for a personal use, or a small open-source organisation.
If you like
headscale and find it useful, there is a sponsorship and donation
buttons available in the repo.
- Full "base" support of Tailscale's features
- Configurable DNS
- Node registration
- Single-Sign-On (via Open ID Connect)
- Pre authenticated key
- Taildrop (File Sharing)
- Access control lists
- Support for multiple IP ranges in the tailnet
- Dual stack (IPv4 and IPv6)
- Routing advertising (including exit nodes)
- Ephemeral nodes
- Embedded DERP server
Client OS support
Please note that we do not support nor encourage the use of reverse proxies and container to run Headscale.
Please have a look at the
- Fosdem 2023 (video): Headscale: How we are using integration testing to reimplement Tailscale
- presented by Juan Font Alonso and Kristoffer Dalby
- This project is not associated with Tailscale Inc.
- The purpose of Headscale is maintaining a working, self-hosted Tailscale control panel.
Headscale is "Open Source, acknowledged contribution", this means that any contribution will have to be discussed with the Maintainers before being submitted.
This model has been chosen to reduce the risk of burnout by limiting the maintenance overhead of reviewing and validating third-party code.
Headscale is open to code contributions for bug fixes without discussion.
If you find mistakes in the documentation, please submit a fix to the documentation.
We recommend using Nix to setup a development environment. This can
be done with
nix develop, which will install the tools and give you a shell.
This guarantees that you will have the same dev env as
To ensure we have some consistency with a growing number of contributions, this project has adopted linting and style/formatting rules:
The Go code is linted with
golines (width 88) and
Please configure your editor to run the tools while developing and make sure to
make lint and
make fmt before committing any code.
The rest (Markdown, YAML, etc) is formatted with
Check out the
Makefile to see the specific configuration.
Install development tools
- Protobuf tools
Install and activate:
Testing and building
Some parts of the project require the generation of Go code from Protobuf
(if changes are made in
proto/) and it must be (re-)generated with:
Note: Please check in changes from
gen/ in a separate commit to make it easier to review.
To run the tests:
To build the program: