Skip to content


Folders and files

Last commit message
Last commit date

Latest commit


Repository files navigation

inletsctl - create inlets servers on the top cloud platforms

License: MIT Documentation Downloads Arm CI sponsored by Actuated

inletsctl automates the task of creating an exit-server (tunnel server) on public cloud infrastructure. The create command provisions a cheap cloud VM with a public IP and pre-installs inlets for you. You'll then get a connection string that you can use with the inlets client.

Conceptual diagram

Webhook example with Inlets OSS

Case-study with receiving webhooks from


  • Setup L4 TCP and HTTPS tunnels for your local services using inlets-pro with inletsctl create
  • Create tunnels for use with Kubernetes clusters, create the tunnel and use it whenever you need it
  • Port-forward services your local Kubernetes cluster using inletsctl kfwd


Video demo

In the demo we:

  • Create a cloud host on DigitalOcean with a single command
  • Run a local Python HTTP server
  • Connect our inlets-pro client
  • Access the Python HTTP server via the DigitalOcean Public IP
  • Use the CLI to delete the host


inletsctl is the quickest and easiest way to automate tunnels, whilst retaining complete control of your tunnel and data.


  • Provision hosts quickly using cloud-init with inlets pre-installed - inletsctl create
  • Delete hosts by ID or IP address - inletsctl delete
  • Automate port-forwarding from Kubernetes clusters with inletsctl kfwd

How much will this cost?

The inletsctl create command will provision a cloud host with the provider and region of your choice and then start running inlets server. The host is configured with the standard VM image for Ubuntu or Debian Linux and inlets is installed via userdata/cloud-init.

The provision package contains defaults for OS images to use and for cloud host plans and sizing. You'll find all available options on inletsctl create --help

The cost for cloud hosts varies depending on a number of factors such as the region, bandwidth used, and so forth. A rough estimation is that it could cost around 5 USD / month to host a VM on for DigitalOcean, Civo, or Scaleway. The VM is required to provide your public IP. Some hosting providers supply credits and a free-tier such as GCE and AWS.

See the pricing grid on the inlets-operator for a detailed breakdown.

inletsctl does not automatically delete your exit nodes (read cloud hosts), so you'll need to do that in your dashboard or via inletsctl delete when you are done.

Install inletsctl

# Install to local directory (and for Windows users)
curl -sLSf | sh

# Install directly to /usr/local/bin/
curl -sLSf | sudo sh

Windows users are encouraged to use git bash to install the inletsctl binary.

Looking for documentation?

To learn about the various features of inletsctl and how to configure each cloud provisioner, head over to the docs:

Contributing & getting help

Before seeking support, make sure you have read the instructions correctly, and try to run through them a second or third time to see if you have missed anything.

Then, try the troubleshooting guide in the official docs (link above).

Why do we need this tool?

Why is inletsctl a separate binary? This tool is shipped separately, so that the core tunnel binary does not become bloated. The EC2 and AWS SDKs for Golang are very heavy-weight and result in a binary of over 30MB vs the small and nimble inlets-pro binaries.


inletsctl can provision exit-servers to the following providers: DigitalOcean, Scaleway,, Google Cloud, Equinix Metal, AWS EC2, Azure, Linode, Hetzner and Vultr.

An open-source Go package named provision can be extended for each new provider. This code can be used outside of inletsctl by other projects wishing to create hosts and to run some scripts upon start-up via userdata.

type Provisioner interface {
	Provision(BasicHost) (*ProvisionedHost, error)
	Status(id string) (*ProvisionedHost, error)
	Delete(HostDeleteRequest) error


inletsctl is distributed under the MIT license. inlets-pro, which inletsctl uses is licensed under the inlets-pro End User License Agreement (EULA).

A valid static inlets license or a Gumroad subscription is required to create tunnel servers with inletsctl.