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QuickTun is probably the simplest VPN tunnel software ever, yet it's very secure. It relies on the NaCl encryption library by D. J. Bernstein.

QuickTun uses the curve25519xsalsa20poly1305 crypto-box functionality of the NaCl library for secure public-key encryption.

And that's about all QuickTun does; encrypting and sending data. No fancy features which would only lead to bloating the binary. In fact, QuickTun itself has only a few hundred lines of pure C code, making it dead simple to maintain, analyze, debug and fix.

Installing QuickTun on Debian/Ubuntu Linux

A precompiled package is available in the UCIS.nl apt repository:

echo "deb http://apt.ucis.nl/ current ucis" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get update
apt-get install quicktun

If you prefer to compile QuickTun yourself, or if your platform is not covered in our repository, you can follow the steps below (Installing QuickTun on Linux), and either manually copy the files (from out/ and debian/static/etc/) to their destination, or install the generated debian package (dpkg -i out/quicktun*.deb).

The tunnel can then be configured in the /etc/network/interfaces file:

auto tun0
iface tun0 inet static
       qt_tun_mode 1
       qt_private_key <LOCAL-SECRET-KEY>
       qt_public_key <REMOTE-PUBLIC-KEY>

See below for supported configuration options. Please note that all options are written in lower case and are prefixed with qt_. The interface name is taken from the 'iface' entry.

Installing QuickTun on Linux

Building QuickTun is very simple. Just run the following commands:

wget http://oss.ucis.nl/quicktun/src/quicktun.tgz -O- | tar -xvz
cd quicktun*

This command will first download and build the NaCl cryptography engine - this will take some time. When done, the out/ directory will contain a few binaries:

  • libquicktun.raw - dynamically loadable library which implements the 'raw' unencrypted quicktun protocol
  • quicktun.combined - the one you'll probably want to use, has all supported protocols and can be used 'stand alone'
  • quicktun.debian - a binary targeting Debian based systems, for optimal integration with Debian's network configuration files
  • quicktun.keypair - can be used to generate a public/secret key pair
  • quicktun.nacl0 - stand alone binary implementing the nacl0 protocol (NaCl encryption without nonce)
  • quicktun.nacltai - stand alone binary implementing the nacltai protocol (NaCl encryption with nonce)
  • quicktun.raw - stand alone binary implementing the 'raw' unencrypted protocol
  • quicktun-*.tgz - compressed tarball containing the sourcecode and build scripts, for distribution
  • quicktun-*.deb - a Debian binary package, only generated on Debian based systems

You'll most likely want to use the out/quicktun.combined and out/quicktun.keypair executables. You may want to copy them to /usr/sbin.

Configuring QuickTun on Linux (non Debian/Ubuntu)

QuickTun configuration is usually stored in a shell script like this:

export REMOTE_ADDRESS=ipaddress-of-remote-end
export LOCAL_ADDRESS=ipaddress-of-local-end
export PRIVATE_KEY=private-key-of-local-end
export PUBLIC_KEY=public-key-of-remote-end

Make sure that the script is not publicly readable: chmod 700 will do! To start the VPN tunnel, simply run the shellscript. You can also run the script using some service supervisor.

QuickTun configuration options

  • INTERFACE - interface name (non-debian systems only)
  • TUN_MODE - whether QuickTun should operate in tun (IP) or tap (Ethernet) mode, optional, defaults to tap mode
  • REMOTE_ADDRESS - IP address or hostname of the remote end (use for a floating/dynamic remote endpoint)
  • LOCAL_ADDRESS - IP address or hostname of the local end, optional
  • LOCAL_PORT - local UDP port, optional, defaults to 2998
  • REMOTE_PORT - remote UDP port, optional, defaults to LOCAL_PORT
  • REMOTE_FLOAT - allows the remote address and port to change when properly encrypted packets are received
  • nacl0 and nacltai (encrypted) protocols only:
    • PRIVATE_KEY - local secret key in hexadecimal form (not needed for raw protocol)
    • PUBLIC_KEY - remote public key in hexadecimal form (not needed for raw protocol)
  • nacltai (encrypted) protocol only:
    • TIME_WINDOW - allowed time window for first received packet in seconds (positive number allows packets from history)
  • Combined binary only (quicktun.debian and quicktun.combined executables, Debian based systems):
    • PROTOCOL - the protocol to use, one of "raw", "nacl0" and "nacltai"

QuickTun on Windows

A pure C# implementation of QuickTun and the required cryptography code is included in the Virtual Network Environment. This code can run on both, Windows and Linux systems, and provide full VPN functionality, in addition to many other features. The DNRouter software uses this library to provide QuickTun support.

A stand-alone tunnel application is also available on http://oss.ucis.nl/vne/quicktun/. Download all files, rename example.xml to quicktun.xml and edit it according to your needs. Then run UCIS.QuickTun.exe. Note that you will have to create/install a tun/tap device before running the software. You can do this either by installing OpenVPN or tinc, or by downloading all files from http://oss.ucis.nl/vne/tuntapwin/ and running addtap.bat.

The configuration file has the following elements:

  • <tunnel> - the document root element
      • <tuntap> - this element defines the tun/tap interface to connect to the host
        • @ifname - this attribute specifies the interface name (it works for both Windows and Linux!)
        • @type - either "tap" or "tun", on Windows only tap is supported
        • @dhcpserver - (windows only, optional) enables automatic host IP configuration, this specifies the address of the virtual DHCP server
        • @hostip - (windows only, optional) specifies the IP address to configure on the host (requires @dhcpserver to be set)
        • @netmask - (windows only, optional) the network mask for host IP configuration (requires @dhcpserver and @hostip to be set)
      • <quicktun> - defines the QuickTun VPN tunnel
        • @local - (optional) specifies the local tunnel in IP:PORT format, eg
        • @remote - (optional) specifies the remote tunnel in IP:PORT format, eg
          • Note that at least one of local and remote must be specified!
        • @protocol - specifies the QuickTun cryptographic protocol to use (currently supported are "raw", "nacl0" and "nacltai")
        • <secretkey> - (nacl0 and nacltai protocols only) this element contains the secret key of the local end (eg <secretkey>THE_KEY_GOES_HERE_IN_HEXADECIMAL</secretkey>)
        • <publickey> - (nacl0 and nacltai protocols only) this element contains the public key of the remote end

Note that <xxx> indicates an XML element. @xxx indicates an attribute to the XML element. See also the example configuration file.

QuickTun Linux kernel module

Matthias is working on a Linux kernel module providing QuickTun functionality: http://git.universe-factory.net/modquicktun/


Third party packages