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Setup Keys

Setup key is a pre-authentication key that allows to register new machines in your network. It simply associates a machine with an account on a first run.

The setup key can be provided as a parameter to the netbird up command. This makes it possible to run automated deployments with infrastructure-as-code software like Ansible, Cloudformation or Terraform.

sudo netbird up --setup-key <SETUP KEY>

Types of Setup Keys

There are 2 types of setup keys:

  • One-off key. This type of key can be used only once to authenticate a machine.
  • Reusable key. This type of key can be used multiple times to authenticate machines.

Using Setup Keys

Setup keys are available in the NetBird Management dashboard under the Setup Keys tab

By default, we generate 2 setup keys right after account creation. You can easily add new or revoke keys.

revoking a key

When revoking a key, all machines authenticated with this key will remain connected in the network. The same logic applies when the key expires.


Setup keys are set to expire after 30 days. When expired, the setup key can't be used anymore.