Advanced Client Installation

This document tells you how to install the netclient on machines that will be a part of your Netmaker network, as well as non-compatible systems.

These steps should be run after the Netmaker server has been created and a network has been designated within Netmaker.

Introduction to Netclient

At its heart, the netclient is a simple CLI for managing access to various WireGuard-based networks. It manages WireGuard on the host system, so that you don’t have to. Why is this necessary?

If you are setting up a WireGuard-based virtual network, you must configure each machine with very specific settings, so that every machine can reach it, and it can reach every other machine. Any changes to the settings of any one of these machines can break those connections. Any machine that is added, removed, or modified on the network requires reconfiguring of every peer in the network. This can be very time consuming.

The netmaker server holds configuration details about every machine in your network and how other machines should connect to it.

The netclient agent connects to the server, pushing and pulling information when the network (or its local configuration) changes.

The netclient agent then configures WireGuard (and other network properties) locally, so that the network stays intact.

Note on MTU Settings

IPv6 requires a minimum MTU of 1280. A lot of router configurations expect a standard MTU setting. You can adjust the MTU to whatever fits your needs, but setting the MTU below the standardized 1280 may cause wireguard to have issues when setting up interfaces with some systems like “Windows” for example.

Notes on Windows

If running the netclient on windows, you must download the netclient.exe binary and run it from Powershell as an Administrator.

Windows will by default have firewall rules that prevent inbound connections. If you wish to allow inbound connections from particular peers, use the following command:

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="Allow from <peer private addr>" dir=in action=allow protocol=ANY remoteip=<peer private addr>

If you want to allow all peers access, but do not want to configure firewall rules for all peers, you can configure access for one peer, and set it as a Relay Server(Professional Edition Feature) from Netmaker GUI. In order to achieve this, netmaker pro edition is required.

Running netclient commands

If running the netclient manually (“netclient install”, “netclient join”, “netclient pull”) it should be run from outside of the installed directory, which will be either:

  • C:/Program Files/netclient

  • C:/ProgramData/netclient

It is better to call it from a different directory.

High CPU Utilization

With some versions of WireGuard on Windows, high CPU utilization has been found with the netclient. This is typically due to interaction with the WireGuard GUI component (app). If you’re experiencing high CPU utilization, close the WireGuard app. WireGuard will still be running, but the CPU usage should go back down to normal.

Changing network profile to private

By default the netmaker network profile is added as a public network. This is the default behavior on Windows. For changing it to private, please run Powershell command,

  • Set-NetConnectionProfile -InterfaceAlias ‘netmaker’ -NetworkCategory ‘Private’

Issue after Windows sleep/hibernate

Sometimes the netclient does not work after the Windows wake up from sleep/hibernate. The root cause is not identified. Restarting netclient service can fix the issue.

Irregular netclient restart on Windows 2016 server

There is one issue reported on Windows 2016 server. The netclient restarted irregularly. The root cause is not identified. But as the feedback from the client, the issue can be fixed by disabling ISATAP adapter and 6to4 feature.

  • Set-Net6to4configuration -state disabled

  • Set-Netisatapconfiguration -state disabled

  • Set-NetTeredoConfiguration -type disabled

Event id 0 in Windows Event logs

netclient service is delegated to Winsw on Windows. An issue is reported that the stop/start/restart events in Event logs show event id as 0 always. It does not impact any netclient functions.

Notes on OpenWRT

Deploying on OpenWRT depends a lot on the version of OpenWRT and the hardware being used.

  1. Ensure you download the appropriate binary for your architecture. replace ${VERSION} with the version you want to download










  1. run netclient install (note: all netclient commands must be run as root) will install the netclient binary to /usr/bin/netclient and service file to /etc/init.d/netclient

  2. to start/stop the netclient daemon run

/sbin/rc-service netclient start/stop
  1. run other netclient commands (join, list, connect, disconnect, pull etc ) as required

Modes and System Compatibility

Note: If you would like to connect non-Linux/Unix machines to your network such as phones and Windows desktops, please see the documentation on Remote Access Clients(previously External Clients)

The netclient can be run in a few “modes”. System compatibility depends on which modes you intend to use. These modes can be mixed and matched across a network, meaning all machines do not have to run with the same “mode.”


In its simplest form, the netclient can be treated as just a simple, manual, CLI tool, which a user can call to configure the machine. The cli can be compiled from source code to run on most systems, and has already been compiled for x86 and ARM architectures.

As a CLI, the netclient should function on any Linux or Unix based system that has the wireguard utility (callable with wg) installed.


The netclient is intended to be run as a system daemon. This allows it to automatically retrieve and send updates. To do this, the netclient can install itself as a systemd service, or launchd/windows service for Mac or Windows.

If running the netclient on non-systemd linux, it is recommended to manually configure the netclient as a daemon using whatever method is acceptable on the chosen operating system.

Private DNS Management

To manage private DNS, the netclient relies on systemd-resolved (resolvectl). Absent this, it cannot set private DNS for the machine.

A user may choose to manually set a private DNS nameserver of <netmaker server>:53. However, beware, as netmaker sets split dns, and the system must be configured properly. Otherwise, this nameserver may break your local DNS.


To obtain the netclient, go to the GitHub releases:

For netclient cli: Linux/Unix with WireGuard installed (wg command available)

For netclient daemon: Systemd Linux + WireGuard

For Private DNS management: Resolvectl (systemd-resolved)


The CLI has information about all commands and variables. This section shows the “help” output for these commands as well as some additional reference.

CLI Reference

sudo netclient --help

   Netclient CLI - Netmaker's netclient agent and CLI. Used to perform interactions with Netmaker server and set local WireGuard config.

   netclient [command]

   completion  Generate the autocompletion script for the specified shell
   connect     connect to a netmaker network
   daemon      netclient daemon
   disconnect  disconnet from a network
   help        Help about any command
   install     install netclient binary and daemon
   join        join a network
   leave       leave a network
   list        display list of netmaker networks
   pull        get the latest host configuration
   push        push host config to server
   register    register to a Netmaker instance
   server      server commands [list, switch, leave]
   uninstall   uninstall netclient
   use         use a specific version of netclient
   version     Displays version information

   -h, --help            help for netclient
   -v, --verbosity int   set logging verbosity 0-4

Use "netclient [command] --help" for more information about a command.

sudo netclient join --help

join a netmaker network using:

token: netclient join -t <token> // join using token
server: netclient join -s <server> // join a specific server via SSO if Oauth configured
net: netclient join -s <server> -n <net> // attempt to join specified network via auth
all-networks: netclient join -s <server> -A // attempt to register to all allowed networks on given server via auth
user: netclient join -s <server> -u <user_name> // attempt to join/register via basic auth

   netclient join - Join a Netmaker network.

   netclient join [flags]

   -A, --all-networks         attempts to join/register to all available networks to user
   -e, --endpoint-ip string   sets endpoint on host
   -h, --help                 help for join
   -m, --mtu string           sets MTU on host
   -o, --name string          sets host name
   -n, --net string           network to attempt to join/register to
   -p, --port int             sets wg listen port
   -s, --server string        server for attempting SSO/Auth registration
   -i, --static               flag to set host as static
   -t, --token string         enrollment token for joining/registering
   -u, --user string          user name for attempting Basic Auth join/registration

   -v, --verbosity int   set logging verbosity 0-4

sudo netclient push --help

push netclient host configuration using:

   netclient push - Pushes custom host configuration.

   netclient push [flags]

    -e, --endpoint-ip string   sets endpoint on host
    -h, --help                 help for push
    -m, --mtu int              sets MTU on host
    -o, --name string          sets host name
    -p, --port int             sets wg listen port
    -i, --static               flag to set host as static

   -v, --verbosity int   set logging verbosity 0-4


To install netclient and join a network, you need to use netclient install command and get an enrollment key for a particular network from netmaker.

An admin creates an enrollment key in the “Enrollment Keys” section of the UI. Upon creating a key, it can be viewed by clicking onto the key from UI. Some details regarding the key will be visible:

Key: The enrollment key to join and authenticate to a netmaker network

Type: Type of key determines the usage limitation of a particular key. Possible values are: Unlimited, Time Bound, Limited Number of Uses

Expires at: Shows the expiration date of the particular enrollment key

Networks: Shows which netmaker networks can be joined by using the particular enrollment key

Install Command: The CLI command to register with the server using the enrollment key, and join the networks

For first time installations, you can run the Install Command. For additional networks, simply run netclient join -t <enrollment key>.

Managing Netclient

Connect / Disconnect

to disconnect from a network previously joined (without leaving the network):

netclient disconnect <network>

to connect with a network previously disconnected:

netclient connect <network>

Viewing Logs

to view current networks

netclient list

to tail logs

journalctl -u netclient

to get most recent log run

systemctl status netclient

Re-syncing netclient (basic troubleshooting)

If the daemon is not running correctly, try restarting the daemon, or pulling changes directly (don’t do both at once)

systemctl restart netclient

sudo netclient pull

Making Updates

vim /etc/netclient/config/netconfig-<network>

Change any of the variables in this file, and changes will be pushed to the server and processed locally on the next checkin.

For instance, change the private address, endpoint, or name. See above example config file for details

Adding/Removing Networks

netclient join -t <enrollment key>

Set any of the above flags (netclient join –help) to override settings for joining the network.


netclient uninstall