Setting up a WireGuard VPN server on CentOS

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Tags: wireguard centos archlinux


I’m tired of OpenVPN quirks and configuration issues across my devices. Additionally, I’ve been planning to try out WireGuard for some time now, after hearing praises from some different people along my way.

I set up a new CentOS box to act as the VPN server, and the client in my guide is, as usual, running Arch Linux.

The section headers below tells you whether the work is on the CentOS server (server) or the Arch Linux client (client).


This host is running CentOS

The installation steps are based on and may have been updated since time of writing this post.

Add the EPEL (Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux) RPM repo and install WireGuard and utilities

# curl -Lo /etc/yum.repos.d/wireguard.repo
# yum install epel-release
# yum install wireguard-dkms wireguard-tools

Create an empty server config file with proper permissions

# mkdir /etc/wireguard && cd /etc/wireguard
# bash -c 'umask 077; touch wg0-server.conf'

Configure the wireguard network interface. Here we are using the output of wg genkey directly. The PrivateKey option in the wg-quick configuration file also accepts a file path to a file containing the private key, if that should be more desirable.

# ip link add dev wg0-server type wireguard
# ip addr add dev wg0-server
# ip addr add dev wg0-server fd00:7::1/48
# wg set wg0-server listen-port 34777 private-key <(wg genkey)

Save configuration to a file

# wg-quick save wg0-server

Take note of the public key of the server. All of the clients will need it in order to establish a wireguard connection to this server.

# wg
interface: wg0-server
  public key: a0ap6Ze3Ug9OXNhd+w6xAj4gawL2b//uZsVab1ToJAg=
  private key: (hidden)
  listening port: 34777


This example client host is running Arch Linux. If you are running CentOS on your client too, repeat the installation steps as described in the previous step instead.

Install wireguard packages.

# pacman -S linux-headers wireguard-dkms wireguard-utils

Create a folder only accessible by root and generate a private key

# mkdir /etc/wireguard/
# chmod 0600 /etc/wireguard
# wg genkey > /etc/wireguard/private.key

The contents of private.key will now look something like this:

# cat /etc/wireguard/private.key

This is a private key, hence, a secret that should not be shared with anyone. In contrast to the public key which is not considered secret and can even be sent over an unencrypted channel.

The public key has to be registered on the server in a later step. Take note of how to extract it:

# wg pubkey < /etc/wireguard/private.key

Create a wg-quick configuration file which makes it easier to bring up and down one or more WireGuard interfaces

# tee /etc/wireguard/wg0.conf
Address =, fd00:7::2/48
PrivateKey = oMGknnGRL0MO9gmLRNNG8H+2yGHSroo2r6U95WfchHQ=

PublicKey = a0ap6Ze3Ug9OXNhd+w6xAj4gawL2b//uZsVab1ToJAg=
AllowedIPs =, ::/0
Endpoint = 2001:db8:600d:deed::7:34777
Endpoint =
PersistentKeepalive = 15

Server firewall configuration

If you’re not running firewalld, this step may be skipped.

Create a new firewalld service definition for WireGuard

# tee /etc/firewalld/services/wireguard.xml
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  <description>WireGuard (wg) custom installation</description>
  <port protocol="udp" port="34777"/>

Enable the custom WireGuard service in firewalld

# firewall-cmd --add-service=wireguard --zone=public --permanent

Enable masquerading

# firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-masquerade --permanent

Reload firewalld and take a look at the zone configuration

# firewall-cmd --reload
# firewall-cmd --list-all
public (active)
  target: default
  icmp-block-inversion: no
  interfaces: eno1
  services: ssh dhcpv6-client wireguard
  masquerade: yes
  rich rules:

Enable IPv4 forwarding, and, if applicable, IPv6 forwarding as well.

# sysctl -w net.ipv4.ip_forward=1
# sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding=1

Make sysctl settings persistent across reboots

# tee -a /etc/sysctl.d/99-sysctl.conf
sysctl -w net.ipv4.ip_forward=1
sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding=1

Start the wireguard client process on the server

# systemctl start wg-quick@wg0-server.service

Letting VPN clients connect to each other (optional)

Add wireguard interface to the internal firewalld zone

# firewall-cmd --add-interface=wg0-server --zone=internal --permanent

Enable masquerading

# firewall-cmd --zone=internal --add-masquerade --permanent

Enable the services you’d like to be available on this network using firewall-cmd --zone=internal --add-service [name]. Remember to add the flag --permanent when it works. So easy to forget.

Server - Allow client to connect

Now, back in the server configuration file, add the client public key and the IP’s it should be allowed to register with on the server. Copy the public key from the client and paste it into the server configuration, like below.

PublicKey = BwVtKNSF50L973aQ/YT+s/3lmlLjcbhkwp4uELqwEVU=
AllowedIPs =
AllowedIPs = fd00:7::2/128

Restart the server. No errors should be thrown.

# systemctl restart wireguard@wg0-server

Client - Attempt to connect to server

Attempt to connect to the server

# wg-quick up wg0

See if you are able to send and receive traffic, and at the same time check your IP address

$ curl -i -4

Complete configuration


# cat /etc/wireguard/wg0-server.conf
Address =, fd00:7::1/48
ListenPort = 34777
PrivateKey = 0GKvQPZ4oT236J+PrWo5/OO67nwSxJ+/p7N+hBw3WHU=

PublicKey = BwVtKNSF50L973aQ/YT+s/3lmlLjcbhkwp4uELqwEVU=
AllowedIPs =
AllowedIPs = fd00:7::2/128


# cat /etc/wireguard/private.key
# cat /etc/wireguard/wg0.conf
Address =, fd00:7::2/48
PrivateKey = oMGknnGRL0MO9gmLRNNG8H+2yGHSroo2r6U95WfchHQ=
# Ability to specify DNS servers to be picked up by resolvconf
#DNS =, fd00:7::1

# This is the public key of the server
PublicKey = a0ap6Ze3Ug9OXNhd+w6xAj4gawL2b//uZsVab1ToJAg=
AllowedIPs =, ::/0
# These are example public addresses to reach the server
Endpoint = 2001:db8:600d:deed::7:34777
Endpoint =
PersistentKeepalive = 15


If you have any comments or feedback, please send me an e-mail. (stig at stigok dotcom).

Did you find any typos, incorrect information, or have something to add? Then please propose a change to this post.

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