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inlets
7.9K Stars 535 Forks MIT License 313 Commits 1 Opened issues

Description

Cloud Native Tunnel for APIs

Services available

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inlets is a Cloud Native Tunnel written in Go

Expose your local endpoints to the Internet or to another network, traversing firewalls, proxies, and NAT.

Build Status License: MIT Go Report Card Documentation GitHub All Releases

Follow @inletsdev on Twitter

English | 中文文档

Intro

inlets® combines a reverse proxy and websocket tunnels to expose your internal and development endpoints to the public Internet via an exit-server. An exit-server may be a 5-10 USD VPS or any other computer with an IPv4 IP address. You can also tunnel services without exposing them on the Internet, making inlets a suitable replacement for a VPN.

Why do we need this project? Similar tools such as ngrok or Argo Tunnel from Cloudflare are closed-source, have limits built-in, can work out expensive, and have limited support for arm/arm64. Ngrok is also often banned by corporate firewall policies meaning it can be unusable. Other open-source tunnel tools are designed to only set up a single static tunnel.

With inlets you can set up your own self-hosted tunnel, copy over the static binary and start tunnelling traffic without any arbitrary limits or restrictions. When combined with TLS, inlets can be used with most corporate HTTP proxies.

Conceptual diagram

Conceptual diagram for inlets

Do you use inlets? Sponsor the author

Alex is the primary author and maintainer of inlets, if you use the project, become a sponsor of the project on GitHub.

Sponsor this project

About inlets

inlets uses a websocket to create to create a tunnel between a client and a server. The server is typically a machine with a public IP address, and the client is on a private network with no public address.

inlets is considered production-ready, but you should do some testing before you depend on it, or use inlets PRO which is commercially supported.

Private or public tunnels?

  • A public tunnel is where you expose the private service to users via the server's public IP
  • A private tunnel is where you start a tunnel to a server and only expose it on the server's LAN address

Features

  • Tunnel HTTP or websockets
  • Client announces the tunnelled services to the server
  • Expose multiple sites on same port through the use of DNS entries and a
    Host
    header
  • Upgrade to link encryption using TLS for websockets (
    wss://
    ) with an external add-on, or inlets PRO
  • Shared authentication token for the client and server
  • Automatic reconnects for when the connection drops

Distribution:

  • Binaries and Docker images for multiple architecture - Intel and ARM
  • Kubernetes YAML files and Dockerfile
  • systemd unit file for client/server
  • Native Kubernetes Service and LoadBalancer integration with inlets-operator

Going to production with inlets PRO

The following features / use-cases are covered by inlets PRO:

  • Tunnel L4 TCP traffic such as websockets, databases, reverse proxies, remote desktop and SSH
  • Expose multiple ports from the same client - i.e. 80 and 443
  • Run a reverse proxy or Kubernetes IngressController directly on your host
  • Automated TLS for the control-plane
  • Commercial services & support
  • Documentation, blog posts, tutorials and videos

inlets projects

inlets is a Cloud Native Tunnel and is listed on the Cloud Native Landscape under Service Proxies.

  • inlets PRO - Cloud Native Tunnel - TCP, HTTP & websockets with automated TLS encryption
  • inlets-operator - Public IPs for your private Kubernetes Services and CRD
  • inletsctl - The fastest way to create self-hosted exit-servers
  • inlets - Cloud Native Tunnel for HTTP only - configure TLS separately, not available for inletsctl or inlets-operator

Get inlets

You can install the CLI with a

curl
utility script,
brew
or by downloading the binary from the releases page. Once installed you'll get the
inlets
command.

Install the CLI

Note:

inlets
is made available free-of-charge, but you can support its ongoing development and sign up for updates through GitHub Sponsors 💪

Utility script with

curl
:
# Install to local directory
curl -sLS https://get.inlets.dev | sh

Install to /usr/local/bin/

curl -sLS https://get.inlets.dev | sudo sh

Note: the

brew
distribution is maintained by the brew team, so it may lag a little behind the GitHub release.

Binaries are made available on the releases page for Linux (x86_64, armhf & arm64), Windows (experimental), and for Darwin (MacOS). You will also find SHA checksums available if you want to verify your download.

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

Using inlets

Video demo

Using inlets I was able to set up a public endpoint (with a custom domain name) for my JavaScript & Webpack Create React App.

https://img.youtube.com/vi/jrAqqe8N3q4/hqdefault.jpg

Quickstart tutorial

You can run inlets between any two computers with connectivity, these could be containers, VMs, bare metal or even "loop-back" on your own laptop.

Try the quickstart tutorial now on your local computer.

Documentation & tutorials

inlets and inlets PRO have their own documentation site:

Official docs: docs.inlets.dev

See also: advanced usage of inlets including Docker, Kubernetes, multiple-services, and binding to private IPs

What are people saying about inlets?

Read community tutorials, the launch posts on Hacker News, and send a PR if you have written about inlets or inlets PRO:

You can share about inlets using

@inletsdev
,
#inletsdev
, and
https://inlets.dev
.

Do you use inlets or inlets PRO?

Add an entry to the ADOPTERS.md file with your use-case.

SWAG and merchandise

Head over to the new SWAG store to get your very own branded inlets hoodie, t-shirt and mug.

Inlets SWAG

Support the project by purchasing inlets SWAG or sponsoring on GitHub

Disclaimer

Developers wishing to use inlets within a corporate network are advised to seek approval from their administrators or management before using the tool. By downloading, using, or distributing inlets, you agree to the LICENSE terms & conditions. No warranty or liability is provided.

Development

See CONTRIBUTING.md

Other Kubernetes port-forwarding tooling

  • kubectl port-forward
    - built into the Kubernetes CLI, forwards a single port to the local computer.
  • kubefwd - Kubernetes utility to port-forward multiple services to your local computer.
  • kurun - Run main.go in Kubernetes with one command, also port-forward your app into Kubernetes.

inlets® is a registered trademark of OpenFaaS Ltd. All rights reserved, registered company in the UK: 11076587

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