tinc(8) tinc VPN control


[-cn ] [--config = DIR ] [--net = NETNAME ] [--pidfile = FILENAME ] [--force ] [--help ] [--version ] [COMMAND ]


This is the control program of tinc, a secure virtual private network (VPN) project. can start and stop tincd(8), and can to alter and inspect the state of a running VPN. It can also be used to change the configuration, or to import or export host configuration files from other nodes.

If is started with a COMMAND this command is immediately executed, after which exits. If no COMMAND is given, will act as a shell; it will display a prompt, and commands can be entered on the prompt. If is compiled with libreadline, history and command completion are available on the prompt. One can also pipe a script containing commands through . In that case, lines starting with a # symbol will be ignored.


-n, -net = NETNAME
Communicate with tincd(8) connected with NETNAME
--pidfile = FILENAME
Use the cookie from FILENAME to authenticate with a running tinc daemon. If unspecified, the default is /var/run/tinc. NETNAME .pid.
Force some commands to work despite warnings.
Display short list of options.
Output version information and exit.


If no netname is specified on the command line with the -n option, the value of this environment variable is used.


init [name ]
Create initial configuration files and RSA and Ed25519 keypairs with default length. If no name for this node is given, it will be asked for.
get variable
Print the current value of configuration variable variable If more than one variable with the same name exists, the value of each of them will be printed on a separate line.
set variable value
Set configuration variable variable to the given value All previously existing configuration variables with the same name are removed. To set a variable for a specific host, use the notation host . variable
add variable value
As above, but without removing any previously existing configuration variables. If the variable already exists with the given value, nothing happens.
del variable [value ]
Remove configuration variables with the same name and value If no value is given, all configuration variables with the same name will be removed.
edit filename
Start an editor for the given configuration file. You do not need to specify the full path to the file.
Export the host configuration file of the local node to standard output.
Export all host configuration files to standard output.
Import host configuration data generated by the export command from standard input. Already existing host configuration files are not overwritten unless the option --force is used.
The same as export followed by import.
The same as export-all followed by import.
invite name
Prepares an invitation for a new node with the given name and prints a short invitation URL that can be used with the join command.
join [URL ]
Join an existing VPN using an invitation URL created using the invite command. If no URL is given, it will be read from standard input.
start [tincd options]
Start tincd(8), optionally with the given extra options.
Stop tincd(8).
restart [tincd options]
Restart tincd(8), optionally with the given extra options.
Partially rereads configuration files. Connections to hosts whose host config files are removed are closed. New outgoing connections specified in tinc.conf5 will be made.
Shows the PID of the currently running tincd(8).
generate-keys [bits]
Generate both RSA and Ed25519 keypairs (see below) and exit.
Generate public/private Ed25519 keypair and exit.
generate-rsa-keys [bits]
Generate public/private RSA keypair and exit. If bits is omitted, the default length will be 2048 bits. When saving keys to existing files, tinc will not delete the old keys; you have to remove them manually.
dump [reachable] nodes
Dump a list of all known nodes in the VPN. If the keyword reachable is used, only lists reachable nodes.
dump edges
Dump a list of all known connections in the VPN.
dump subnets
Dump a list of all known subnets in the VPN.
dump connections
Dump a list of all meta connections with ourself.
dump graph | digraph
Dump a graph of the VPN in dotty(1) format. Nodes are colored according to their reachability: red nodes are unreachable, orange nodes are indirectly reachable, green nodes are directly reachable. Black nodes are either directly or indirectly reachable, but direct reachability has not been tried yet.
dump invitations
Dump a list of outstanding invitations. The filename of the invitation, as well as the name of the node that is being invited is shown for each invitation.
info node | subnet | address
Show information about a particular node, subnet or address. If an address is given, any matching subnet will be shown.
Purges all information remembered about unreachable nodes.
debug N
Sets debug level to N
log [N ]
Capture log messages from a running tinc daemon. An optional debug level can be given that will be applied only for log messages sent to tinc
Forces tincd(8) to try to connect to all uplinks immediately. Usually tincd(8) attempts to do this itself, but increases the time it waits between the attempts each time it failed, and if tincd(8) didn't succeed to connect to an uplink the first time after it started, it defaults to the maximum time of 15 minutes.
disconnect NODE
Closes the meta connection with the given NODE
If is compiled with libcurses support, this will display live traffic statistics for all the known nodes, similar to the UNIX top(1) command. See below for more information.
Dump VPN traffic going through the local tinc node in pcap-savefile5 format to standard output, from where it can be redirected to a file or piped through a program that can parse it directly, such as tcpdump(8).
network [netname ]
If netname is given, switch to that network. Otherwise, display a list of all networks for which configuration files exist.
This will check the configuration files for possible problems, such as unsafe file permissions, missing executable bit on script, unknown and obsolete configuration variables, wrong public and/or private keys, and so on.

When problems are found, this will be printed on a line with WARNING or ERROR in front of it. Most problems must be corrected by the user itself, however in some cases (like file permissions and missing public keys), tinc will ask if it should fix the problem.

sign [filename ]
Sign a file with the local node's private key. If no filename is given, the file is read from standard input. The signed file is written to standard output.
verify name [filename ]
Check the signature of a file against a node's public key. The name of the node must be given, or can be . to check against the local node's public key, or * to allow a signature from any node whose public key is known. If no filename is given, the file is read from standard input. If the verification is succesful, a copy of the input with the signature removed is written to standard output, and the exit code will be zero. If the verification failed, nothing will be written to standard output, and the exit code will be non-zero.


Examples of some commands:
tinc -n vpn dump graph | circo -Txlib
tinc -n vpn pcap | tcpdump -r -
tinc -n vpn top
Examples of changing the configuration using :
tinc -n vpn init foo
tinc -n vpn add Subnet
tinc -n vpn add bar.Address bar.example.com
tinc -n vpn add ConnectTo bar
tinc -n vpn export | gpg --clearsign | mail -s "My config" [email protected]


The top command connects to a running tinc daemon and repeatedly queries its per-node traffic counters. It displays a list of all the known nodes in the left-most column, and the amount of bytes and packets read from and sent to each node in the other columns. By default, the information is updated every second. The behaviour of the top command can be changed using the following keys:

Change the interval between updates. After pressing the s key, enter the desired interval in seconds, followed by enter. Fractional seconds are honored. Intervals lower than 0.1 seconds are not allowed.
Toggle between displaying current traffic rates (in packets and bytes per second) and cumulative traffic (total packets and bytes since the tinc daemon started).
Sort the list of nodes by name.
Sort the list of nodes by incoming amount of bytes.
Sort the list of nodes by incoming amount of packets.
Sort the list of nodes by outgoing amount of bytes.
Sort the list of nodes by outgoing amount of packets.
Sort the list of nodes by sum of incoming and outgoing amount of bytes.
Sort the list of nodes by sum of incoming and outgoing amount of packets.
Show amount of traffic in bytes.
Show amount of traffic in kilobytes.
Show amount of traffic in megabytes.
Show amount of traffic in gigabytes.


If you find any bugs, report them to [email protected].


An Ivo Timmermans An Guus Sliepen Aq [email protected]

And thanks to many others for their contributions to tinc!