A simple IP tunnel (layer-3 VPN) for linux



Build Status

TiTun (Titanium Tunnel) is a simple, fast and easy to use IP tunnel for linux. It transmits packets via UDP, encrypted and authenticated with a pre-shared key. A distinguishing feature of TiTun is NAT and proxy friendliness: most other VPN software I tried have problem working with my ISP where UDP NAT mapping frequently changes.


The current protocol is not very sound, and TiTun has not been audited/reviewed. It should work well as a obfuscation layer though.

If you need better performance and/or security, wireguard seems very promising.


You can either build TiTun from source or download binarys or deb packages from GitHub releases.

To build TiTun you need the rust toolchain, which can be installed with rustup. You also need libsodium. It may be available from your distro's package manager. Or you can build it yourself.

Get the code and run

$ cargo build --release

And TiTun will available be at target/release/titun.


TiTun can be used to establish a secure IP tunnel between two linux hosts, provided that one of them has a UDP port reachable from the other.

Key generation


$ titun genkey

to generate a key for TiTun. The two hosts must use a same key.

A TiTun key looks like:

key: "T7DEdB4b0nK6F6hE0/+8SzepNiJ+sFz1AXMYagvUI="

i.e. 32 random bytes encoded in base64.


TiTun config files are written in yaml. The following configuration options are supported:

  • bind: Address and port to bind to.
  • peer: Peer address and port.
  • key: Encryption/authentication key.
  • on_up: A shell script that will be run after the tun device is created. Use this to bring the device up and set ip address, MTU, and add routes, etc.
  • on_down: A script that will be run when the tun device is about to be closed.
  • bufsize: Size of buffer when reading from tun device or receiving from socket.
  • max_diff: Maximum timestamp differences allowed, in milliseconds.
  • dev_name: Name of tun device.

At minimum, {bind or peer} and key must be specified.

Here is an example pair of config files:


bind: ""
key: "T7DEdB4b0nK6F6hE0/+8SzepNiJ+sFz1AXMYagvUI="
on_up: |
  ip link set $TUN up mtu 1280
  ip addr add peer dev $TUN


peer: ""
key: "T7DEdB4b0nK6F6hE0/+8SzepNiJ+sFz1AXMYagvUI="
on_up: |
  ip link set $TUN up mtu 1280
  ip addr add peer dev $TUN

Command Line Interface

It's just:

# titun tun -c config.yml

The RUST_LOG environment variable can be used to control logging. See env-logger.


To avoid IP fragmentation, set the MTU of the tun device to path MTU minus 68 bytes. (20 bytes IP header, 8 bytes UDP header, 16 bytes nonce, 16 bytes auth tag, 8 bytes timestamp).


Systemd is fully supported. An example systemd service file is provided in the systemd dir. TiTun will notify systemd about startup completion with systemd-notify.

If you are using the debian package, just put config files, e.g. tunnel.yml, at /etc/titun/, and

# systemctl start titun@tunnel

If you are building from source, copy systemd/titun@.service to /etc/systemd/system/, copy titun to /usr/local/bin, and the rest is the same.


TiTun uses the awesome libsodium library for encryption and authentication. Specifically, it uses crypto_secretbox with the pre-shared key and random nonces. A timestamp is appended to packets before encryption to mitigate replay attack. See src/crypto.rs.


  1. Need to sync time between the two hosts.

  2. No forward secrecy.


I get 700Mbps+ throughput with iperf3 between my Haswell Xeon-E3 desktop computer and a local virtual machine.


I built TiTun primarily for my personal usage, (and to try and learn rust), so it is very limiting. If someone can write a good cross platform library for tun device creation/management, I would happily port TiTun over to make it cross platform.

Issues and pull requests are welcome.


TiTun is heavily influenced by fastd. Fastd doesn't work very reliability when there is NAT though, probably becuase it lacks a keep-alive mechanism?

License: GPL v3+

Copyright 2017 Sopium

TiTun is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

TiTun is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with TiTun.  If not, see <https://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.