inlets is a Cloud Native Tunnel written in Go
Expose your local endpoints to the Internet or within a remote network, without touching firewalls.
inlets ® is how you connect services between different networks. You won't have to think about managing firewalls, NAT or VPNs again. Services can be tunnelled securely over a websocket and accessed on a remote network privately, or exposed on the Internet using an exit-server (5-10USD / mo).
Why do we need this project? Similar tools such as ngrok and Argo Tunnel from Cloudflare are closed-source, have limits built-in, can work out expensive, and have limited support for arm/arm64, Docker and Kubernetes. Ngrok's domain 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 used with TLS, inlets can be used with most corporate HTTP proxies.
Conceptual diagram for inlets
Do you use inlets? Sponsor the author
Alex is the maintainer of inlets, if you use the project, become a sponsor on GitHub.
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. For a commercially-supported solution, see inlets PRO, which enables additional use-cases, has more thorough testing and secure defaults.
Private or public tunnels?
- A private tunnel is where you start a tunnel to a server and only expose it on the server's LAN address (this can replace the use-cases where you would use a VPN or Kubernetes federation)
- A public tunnel is where you expose the private service to users via the server's public IP
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Tunnel L7 HTTPS / REST traffic - with automated Let's Encrypt support
- 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 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
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
Install the CLI
inletsis made available free-of-charge, but you can support its ongoing development and sign up for updates through GitHub Sponsors
Utility script with
# Install to local directory curl -sLS https://get.inlets.dev | sh # Install to /usr/local/bin/ curl -sLS https://get.inlets.dev | sudo sh
brewdistribution 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.
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
- Docs: Quickstart tutorial on your laptop
- Docs: Inlets & Kubernetes recipes
- Tutorial: Get a LoadBalancer for your private Kubernetes cluster with inlets-operator
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
Do you use inlets or inlets PRO?
Add an entry to the ADOPTERS.md file with your use-case.
You can become a GitHub Sponsor as an individual user or company.
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.
Other Kubernetes port-forwarding tooling
kubectl port-forward- built into the Kubernetes CLI, forwards a single port to the local computer.
- inlets PRO - exit-server automation, multiple ports, TCP and automatic Let's Encrypt
- 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