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Running ngrok without agents

ngrok offers different options using launching tunnels without downloading or running the ngrok agent. Each option is best suited for different use-cases:

SSH Reverse Tunnel

Launch ngrok tunnels by using the ssh with reverse tunneling (ssh -R):

  • Pros: This option works well in use-cases where you cannot install and download the ngrok agent, but can run SSH locally.
  • Caveats (vs Agent): SSH Reverse Tunnels cannot run multiple tunnels at the same time and don't provide automatically reconnection in case of network outages.

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Docker Container

This option packages the ngrok agent as a docker container, allowing you to work natively in Docker environments

  • Pros: Great for use in Docker environment and infrastructure (i.e. alongside docker compose)
  • Caveats (vs Agent): Limited compatibility to Docker environments.

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ngrok Agent Libraries

With ngrok agent libraries, you can embed ngrok directly into your application allowing you to programmatically launch and manage ngrok ingress from your code.

  • Pros: Embed ngrok functionality in your code without having to manage another process. Control ngrok tunnels and configuration programmatically
  • Caveats (vs Agent): At this point, we offer libraries only for Go and Rust, although we plan to support additional programming languages in the near future

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