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Enclave is designed to be installed directly onto every client, server, cloud instance, virtual machine and container in your organisation. That way, Enclave can apply Zero Trust Network Access principles and controls between systems, fully enforce policy and provide end-to-end encryption.

However, in some situations, you can’t or might not want to install Enclave on all devices or systems:

  • On domain controllers where two or more network interfaces can be problematic
  • On networks where the physical infrastructure is not allowed to be changed
  • On embedded systems, like firewalls, webcams or printers which prohibit external software
  • When accessing legacy systems which are too old to run, or are incompatible, with the agent
  • When accessing cloud native services like AWS RDS, which don't run third party software
  • With large numbers of devices in a single subnet, like a single AWS VPC

In these cases, you can set up an Enclave Gateway to provide access to devices and systems which don't, or can't, run Enclave.

An Enclave Gateway allows you to route traffic from systems running Enclave to systems and devices not running Enclave (like RDS databases, webcams, printers and IoT sensors) in subnets the Enclave Gateway can reach.

Enclave Gateway


Before you begin this guide, you’ll need an Enclave account set up with at least two devices enrolled. Read our getting started guide if you need help with this.


In order to enable an enrolled system to act as an Enclave Gateway, Enclave must be installed onto a Linux operating system.

An Enclave Gateway is just a normal installation of Enclave which has been set as "Allowed to act as a Gateway" in the Portal. The following steps will show you how to configure an Enclave Gateway and configure Policies which will allow other Enclave systems to use it.

Step 1: Install and enrol

To get started, download and install Enclave onto the System which you want to use as an Enclave Gateway, provide an enrolment key and join it to your account. We support a variety of Linux distros.

Step 2: Enable the gateway

Once enrolled, you’ll need to "Allow the system to act as a Gateway" in the Portal. To do this, log into the Enclave Portal and open the Systems page. Find your enrolled system in the list and click on it to open the details pane.

Next, edit the system using the edit pen icon (Edit Pencil Icon), find the “Allow this system to act as a gateway” section and switch the toggle to enable this system to act as a Gateway.

Edit Button

Once enabled, Enclave will automatically configure that system to act as a gateway.


When a system is enabled to act as a gateway the Enclave agent running on that system will automatically enable IP forwarding in the Linux kernel and create an iptables chain named ENCLAVE to hold the relevant source NAT rules.

Step 3: Configure subnets

An Enclave Gateway can act as a route to one or more subnets for other Enclave peers. It might provide access to a single subnet, for example to its local network, or the Enclave Gateway may be running in AWS or Azure and provide access to a number of subnets. You may even decide to route all traffic for the entire Internet via your Enclave Gateway by configuring it to advertise a default route (

Enclave needs to know which subnets can be accessed via the new gateway. For convenience, Enclave will auto-discover all local ethernet or wireless network interfaces on the new gateway with IPv4 unicast addresses and automatically show them in the Portal (where the adapters are up and their assigned IP addresses are not broadcast, multicast or auto-configured addresses).

In the example below, Enclave has discovered there is a network interface with an IP address in the subnet on this system. That means this system can be used as a gateway to access other devices not running Enclave in that subnet.

Gateway Enabled

It’s important to note that on this screen the administrator is defining all of the possible subnets available via this gateway, but not actually determining which systems can (or cannot) route traffic to those subnets. Controlling which Systems can reach which subnets behind specific Enclave Gateways is done later by creating one or more Gateway Access Policies. Use the (Remove Subnet) button to remove any unwanted subnets from the gateway's configuration.

In some scenarios, you may want an Enclave Gateway to forward traffic towards a subnet it can reach but is not directly connected to (like In these situations, use the "Add subnet" link to manually define additional subnets that this gateway is capabe of routing traffic into.

Step 4: Create an access policy

Now you have one or more configured Enclave Gateways, create one or more Gateway Access Policies to determine which of your enrolled systems can route traffic to which subnets.

Gateway Access Policies use Tags in exactly the same way as Direct Access Policies, but only on the sender side of the policy. Each policy enables connectivity between tagged systems and destination subnets via one or more selected gateways. Traffic can flow from Senders to destination IP addresses (subject to policy-based access controls), but devices on the routed subnets cannot initiate connectivity back to the sender systems.

In practise, this means that if you use Enclave together with Enclave Gateways to route traffic to webcams or printers (for example), any tagged Enlave systems will be able to send traffic to those devices, but those devices won’t be able to send unsolicited traffic back to the Systems inside your Enclave network.

To create a Gateway Access Policy select one or more Tags on the Senders side of the policy and select one or more subnets on the Gateway / Subnet side of the policy.

Once a policy is created, Enclave automatically configures the routing table for appropriate sender systems according to Tag membership and Trust Requirements.

Gateway Access Policy


Subnets can be large. In some situations, you may not want to provide access to an entire subnet and instead prefer to allow partial access to a smaller set of IP addresses, devices or systems in each subnet. In such cases, see the Subnet Filtering section below.

Subnet filtering

With at least one subnet attached to a Gateway Access Policy it is possible to enable and configure Subnet Filtering on that policy.

Subnet Filtering allows administrators to avoid providing full access to entire subnets and instead restrict Senders access to a limited set of IP addresses.

For example, you may have an Enclave Gateway which provides access to but only want to allow systems on the Senders side of the policy to access two servers in that subnet: and By adding a Subnet Filter to the policy you can restrict access to the wider subnet and provide only the required access.

In the example below the policy grants the users tag access to the subnet advertised by the Enclave Gateway named Menlo Park Office. Having then enabled subnet filtering, a rule has been added which restricts Senders access to only two IP addresses, to, two domain controllers in the Menlo Park Office.

Subnet Filtering

Gateways as the default route

Enclave Gateways can also route all non-Enclave traffic through specific systems on your network.

Normally Enclave doesn’t interact with traffic destined for the public Internet, instead defaulting to a split-tunnel overlay network and only routing traffic between systems running Enclave.

However there may be times when you do want Enclave to route your public Internet traffic. For example, to ensure a predictable and static IP address is used to access to trusted SaaS services such as Office 365 or Salesforce.

To setup an Enclave Gateway as a default route on your network you should:

  1. Enrol a Linux system to act as your Enclave Gateway

  2. In the Portal, allow that enrolled system to act as an Gateway

  3. Manually add the subnet to that system in the Portal

  4. Create a Gateway Access Policy which includes the Gateway system

Once setup, all public Internet traffic for systems on the Senders side of the policy will be routed via that Enclave Gateway.

Failover and redundancy

It’s possible to have several Enclave Gateways all advertising the same logical subnets to the same set of Senders. In such cases Enclave will automatically pick one of the available Enclave Gateways for each logical subnet.

When multiple gateways are available, the active gateway which Enclave will use is whichever gateway a connection can be established with first.

For example, an administrator might allow two systems in the Menlo Park Office to act as Gateways which both advertise access to the subnets and

If a sender system in the policy loses its connection to one of the Enclave Gateways in the Menlo Park office, connectivity will automatically failover to the alternative Enclave Gateway.

In this way, by running multiple Enclave Gateways to provide access to the same group of logical subnets, Enclave will automatically enable multi-path failover and increase redundancy.

Trust requirements

Gateway Access Policies obey trust requirements and ACLs the same was as a regular Direct Access Policies, so you can easilly apply Zero Trust requirements to the Senders connecting into your subnets, like multi-factor authentication.

DNS name resolution

In many circumstances, you may prefer to use DNS names to access devices behind an Enclave Gateway rather than the local IP address of those devices. In most situations, devices on the LAN will already have a hostname, and one or more DNS names assigned and we want to ensure parties reaching the LAN via the Enclave Gateway are able to resolve device IP addresses using the existing DNS names.

Consider a developer working from home who needs access to the company database server in the office. The office network is and the database server on that network has the IP address The database server's hostname is dbserver1 and it's joined to a domain called, so it's fully qualified domain name is

Enclave Gateway

To provide access via a Gateway, there must be an Enclave system in the office network that is "Allowed to act as a Gateway" (set by an Administrator in the Enclave Portal). Once enabled, and with a Gateway Access Policy has in place which shares access to the subnet (or a part of it) to the developer working from home, Enclave will be able to resolve on the developer's system without any further configuration.

This is possible because Enclave runs a local stub resolver which provides name resolution services to all enrolled systems. When the local stub resolver on the developer's laptop doesn't know how to resolve the name, the operating system will fall back to asking it's other configured DNS resolvers, but when a system is connect to an Enclave Gateway it will automatically forward that DNS query to the Gateway.

If the Gateway can successfully resolve a forwarded DNS query into an IP address, it will do and send the answer back. In this example, the developer's system may attempt to resolve to an IP address. The local Enclave stub resolve on the developer's laptop won't know the answer, but as the developer's system is connected to an Enclave Gateway the local stub resolver will forward the query to see if the Gateway can opportunistically resolve it.

As the Enclave Gateway is on the same subnet in the office as the fileserver, it's likely that the Enclave Gateway itself will be able to resolve into a local IP address, That answer is sent back to the developer's laptop, and since the developers laptop is configured to access the subnet via the same gateway, the access is automatic and seamless.

Security behaviour

An Enclave Gateway will only provide an answer for a given DNS query if the Gateway Access Policy that allowed it to be forwarded in the first place allows the querying party to reach the returned IP addresses.

So, for example if a DNS query is forwarded to an Enclave Gateway, and the query yields an answer of and, but Gateway Access Policy only allows to be reached, then the returned result NOT include so as to prevent information disclosure from the Gateway about systems in adjacent networks.

A Gateway may attempt to resolve forwarded DNS queries in one of two ways:

  1. Using static or DHCP assigned nameservers to query the forwarded name verbatim.
  2. Using the /etc/hosts file in to resolve the forwarded name dbserver1


Check that you can ping your new Enclave Gateway from your Sender policy machine, using the Enclave Gateway's Enclave Virtual address (i.e. in the example below). You can find the Enclave Virtual address of your Enclave Gateway by running enclave status on either system once connected by policy.

You should also notice in the output of the enclave status CLI command on the sender-side systems that any routes advertised via your Enclave Gateway are listed under the appropriate peer, as shown below under Gateway for for the Menlo Park Office peer.

Peer: WZL94 (Menlo Park Office)

   Peer state. . . . . : Up
   Certificate . . . . : CN=WZL94 Expires=Never (Perpetual Issue)
   Endpoint. . . . . . : Udp/
   Last activity . . . : 0.75 seconds ago
   Transfer. . . . . . : 3.462 KB received, 4.071 KB sent, link rtt 0.59 ms
   Virtual network . . : (
   Virtual address . . :
   Gateway for . . . . :
   Dns . . . . . . . . :, ubuntu-dev.enclave
   ACLs. . . . . . . . : allow [icmp] from peer -> local, allow [any] from local -> peer

If you can ping the Enclave Gateway (i.e. ping in this example) via Enclave and your local system is showing (or your equivalent subnet) as the Gateway for in CLI output for the correct peer, you should be able to start sending traffic directly to non-Enclave devices that subnet.

Knowing that the Enclave Gateway itself is reachable, try sending some traffic past the Enclave Gateway to a device in the subnet behind it. If the any of the host-based firewalls on the target systems not running Enclave allow it, you may be able to send pings to test end-to-end connectivity.

In the example below, we've successfully sent a ping from a Windows laptop in a coffee shop, via the Enclave Gateway at in the office, out to a printer with an IP address of in the Gateway's local subnet.

C:\> ping

Pinging with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from bytes=32 time=29ms TTL=64
Reply from bytes=32 time=30ms TTL=64
Reply from bytes=32 time=29ms TTL=64
Reply from bytes=32 time=38ms TTL=64

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 29ms, Maximum = 38ms, Average = 31ms


If you find an Enclave Gateway isn't working as expected, please see the Gateway section of our troubleshooting guide.

Having problems? Contact us at or get help and advice in our community support channels.

Last updated Nov 21, 2022