Bridge your other deployments to

Sometimes you can recreate production on without any issues. Other times you need to be able to incrementally move things over. has private networking by default for apps in the same organization, but you can also easily connect your existing external servers to this private network. This lets you use your private network as a way to incrementally move services over.

Say you have an existing service on AWS or a database with RDS that needs to be accessed over RDS. You can use that AWS instance to pivot traffic from your Fly Machines to those other services. You can also go the other way and access your Fly apps (such as an instance of Ollama) from AWS, your laptop, or any other self-hosted server you have in your arsenal. Or maybe you’re making a tool for a support team, and it needs to hit that one database on prem. private networks use WireGuard internally, and when you connect other computers to that network, you do connect to them over WireGuard. WireGuard is used by many people for many reasons, but the primary use is a “site-to-site” VPN like this. This won’t route all of your traffic through’s gateway servers, but it will give you internal access to your private network from anywhere.

Weaving the networks together

Make sure you have WireGuard installed on your target server. Their install page has more details, but on an Ubuntu server all you need to do is:

sudo apt -y install wireguard

Once that’s done, you’re off to the races!

On your laptop, make the config for the target server with fly wireguard create. You’ll need the following information:

  • The organization you want to join that server to (such as personal, or your company’s name).
  • The region you want to create the peer in: you should choose the closest region to the target computer.
    • If you’re really not sure which region is the closest, here’s a magic command you can try: curl -Iso /dev/null -w '%header{fly-request-id}' | cut -d- -f2.
  • The name you want to use for that computer on your Fly network, such as the hostname.
  • A path to put the generated WireGuard config, such as ~/fly0.conf to drop it as fly0.conf in your home directory.

For example, I’m going to create a peer in my personal organization for my server named phantoon. I live in Ottawa, so the closest datacenter to me is yyz. The command to create my peer will look like this:

fly wireguard create personal yyz phantoon ~/fly0.conf

The fly0.conf file contains all the configuration WireGuard needs to set up a tunnel, namely:

  • The private key for the node
  • The local IPv6 address the node should use
  • The DNS server for your private network
  • Addresses, IP ranges, and public keys for the WireGuard gateway

Copy fly0.conf to /etc/wireguard on the target computer:

scp ~/fly0.conf root@phantoon.local:/etc/wireguard/fly0.conf

Then connect to the computer (likely over SSH) and enable WireGuard to start on boot:

ssh root@phantoon.local
systemctl enable --now wg-quick@fly0.service

This will create an interface named fly0:

$ ip addr show fly0
4: fly0: <POINTOPOINT,NOARP,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1420 qdisc noqueue state UNKNOWN group default qlen 1000
    inet6 fdaa:0:641b:a7b:9285:0:a:1b02/120 scope global
       valid_lft forever preferred_lft forever

Now try to ping the Machines API server _api.internal:

$ ping _api.internal -c 4
PING _api.internal (fdaa:0:641b::3) 56 data bytes
64 bytes from fdaa:0:641b::3: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=10.4 ms
64 bytes from fdaa:0:641b::3: icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=39.2 ms
64 bytes from fdaa:0:641b::3: icmp_seq=3 ttl=64 time=83.7 ms
64 bytes from fdaa:0:641b::3: icmp_seq=4 ttl=64 time=123 ms

This means that you can successfully query any .internal addresses for apps and Machines in your organization. Congrats, you’re in!

Accessing workloads outside of your private network

To access a workload outside of your private network (such as a secret store), use the DNS name peername._peer.internal. For example, to access the node phantoon from your Fly apps, connect to phantoon._peer.internal:

$ ping phantoon._peer.internal
PING phantoon._peer.internal (fdaa:0:641b:a7b:9285:0:a:1b02) 56 data bytes
64 bytes from phantoon._peer.internal (fdaa:0:641b:a7b:9285:0:a:1b02): icmp_seq=1 ttl=62 time=24.4 ms
64 bytes from phantoon._peer.internal (fdaa:0:641b:a7b:9285:0:a:1b02): icmp_seq=2 ttl=62 time=37.6 ms
64 bytes from phantoon._peer.internal (fdaa:0:641b:a7b:9285:0:a:1b02): icmp_seq=3 ttl=62 time=85.4 ms
64 bytes from phantoon._peer.internal (fdaa:0:641b:a7b:9285:0:a:1b02): icmp_seq=4 ttl=62 time=197 ms


Getting ping working should be good enough to get you started, but here’s some optional homework in case you want to see what you can really do with this:

  • Connect your laptop/workstation to your private network with the same flow (you may need to install the GUI WireGuard app if you use Windows or macOS).
  • Expose Prometheus metrics on port 9195 of your app and then grab the current metrics with curl yourapp.internal:9195/metrics on your laptop.
  • Install Postgres on your laptop somehow. Configure your app to connect to that Postgres database on your laptop over WireGuard.
  • Connect a few other computers to your private network. Install a Minecraft server on one of them and play together.

Hint: you may need to allow private network addresses through your firewall. Check the documentation of your firewall tool of choice and allow traffic from fly0 through as if it’s an “internal” interface.