Headscale alternatives and similar tools
Based on the "VPN" category.
Alternatively, view headscale alternatives based on common mentions on social networks and blogs.
Algo VPN9.5 4.8 Headscale VS Algo VPNSet up a personal VPN in the cloud
SoftEther8.7 9.0 L2 Headscale VS SoftEtherCross-platform multi-protocol VPN software. Pull requests are welcome. The stable version is available at https://github.com/SoftEtherVPN/SoftEtherVPN_Stable.
OpenVPN8.6 9.7 L2 Headscale VS OpenVPNOpenVPN is an open source VPN daemon
Nebula8.4 6.5 Headscale VS NebulaA scalable overlay networking tool with a focus on performance, simplicity and security
sshuttle8.2 0.0 L3 Headscale VS sshuttleWrong project! You should head over to http://github.com/sshuttle/sshuttle
Netmaker7.5 9.6 Headscale VS NetmakerNetmaker makes networks with WireGuard. Netmaker automates fast, secure, and distributed virtual networks.
Pritunl7.0 9.7 L2 Headscale VS PritunlEnterprise VPN server
Firezone6.7 9.4 Headscale VS FirezoneOpen-source VPN server and egress firewall for Linux built on WireGuard. Firezone is easy to set up (all dependencies are bundled thanks to Chef Omnibus), secure, performant, and self hostable.
tinc5.7 7.3 L3 Headscale VS tinca VPN daemon
ocserv2.1 7.8 L2 Headscale VS ocservCisco AnyConnect-compatible VPN server
WireGuardVery fast VPN based on elliptic curve and public key crypto. Linux only (2017); other clients in development.
strongSwanComplete IPsec implementation for Linux.
Clean code begins in your IDE with SonarLint
* Code Quality Rankings and insights are calculated and provided by Lumnify.
They vary from L1 to L5 with "L5" being the highest.
Do you think we are missing an alternative of Headscale or a related project?
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
Tailscale is a modern VPN built on top of Wireguard. It works like an overlay network between the computers of your networks - using NAT traversal.
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
headscale has a narrower scope and an instance of
implements a single Tailnet, which is typically what a single organisation, or
home/personal setup would use.
headscale uses terms that maps to Tailscale's control server, consult the
[glossary](./docs/glossary.md) for explainations.
If you like
headscale and find it useful, there is a sponsorship and donation
buttons available in the repo.
If you would like to sponsor features, bugs or prioritisation, reach out to one of the maintainers.
- 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 have a look at the documentation under [
- We have nothing to do with Tailscale, or Tailscale Inc.
- The purpose of Headscale is maintaining a working, self-hosted Tailscale control panel.
To contribute to headscale you would need the lastest version of Go and Buf(Protobuf generator).
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
PRs and suggestions are welcome.
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 Proto code is linted with
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:
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