Tailscale golink: Private Shortlinks for your Tailnet

I've shared in the past about how I use custom search engines in Chrome as quick web shortcuts. And I may have mentioned my love for Tailscale a time or two as well. Well I recently learned of a way to combine these two passions: Tailscale golink. The golink announcement post on the Tailscale blog offers a great overview of the service: Using golink, you can create and share simple go/name links for commonly accessed websites, so that anyone in your network can access them no matter the device they’re on — without requiring browser extensions or fiddling with DNS settings.

Tailscale on VMware Photon OS

You might remember that I'm a pretty big fan of Tailscale, which makes it easy to connect your various devices together in a secure tailnet, or private network. Tailscale is super simple to set up on most platforms, but you'll need to install it manually if there isn't a prebuilt package for your system. Here's a condensed list of the steps that I took to manually install Tailscale on VMware's Photon OS, though the same (or similar) steps should also work on just about any other systemd-based system.

Secure Networking Made Simple with Tailscale

Not all that long ago, I shared about a somewhat-complicated WireGuard VPN setup that I had started using to replace my previous OpenVPN solution. I raved about WireGuard's speed, security, and flexible (if complex) Cryptokey Routing, but adding and managing peers with WireGuard is a fairly manual (and tedious) process. And while I thought I was pretty clever for using a WireGuard peer in GCP to maintain a secure tunnel into my home network without having to punch holes through my firewall, routing all my traffic through The Cloud wasn't really optimal1.

Cloud-hosted WireGuard VPN for remote homelab access

For a while now, I've been using an OpenVPN Access Server virtual appliance for remotely accessing my homelab. That's worked fine but it comes with a lot of overhead. It also requires maintaining an SSL certificate and forwarding three ports through my home router, in addition to managing a fairly complex software package and configurations. The free version of the OpenVPN server also only supports a maximum of two simultaneous connections.