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.

  1. Visit https://pkgs.tailscale.com/stable/#static to see the latest stable version for your system architecture, and copy the URL. For instance, I'll be using https://pkgs.tailscale.com/stable/tailscale_1.34.1_arm64.tgz.
  2. Download and extract it to the system:
wget https://pkgs.tailscale.com/stable/tailscale_1.34.1_arm64.tgz
tar xvf tailscale_1.34.1_arm64.tgz
cd tailscale_1.34.1_arm64/
  1. Install the binaries and service files:
sudo install -m 755 tailscale /usr/bin/
sudo install -m 755 tailscaled /usr/sbin/
sudo install -m 644 systemd/tailscaled.defaults /etc/default/tailscaled
sudo install -m 644 systemd/tailscaled.service /usr/lib/systemd/system/
  1. Start the service:
sudo systemctl enable tailscaled
sudo systemctl start tailscaled

From that point, just sudo tailscale up like normal.

Updating Tailscale

Since Tailscale was installed outside of any package manager, it won't get updated automatically. When new versions are released you'll need to update it manually. To do that:

  1. Download and extract the new version.
  2. Install the tailscale and tailscaled binaries as described above (no need to install the service files again).
  3. Restart the service with sudo systemctl restart tailscaled.