Before actually starting to configure tinc and editing files, make sure you have read this entire section so you know what to expect. Then, make it clear to yourself how you want to organize your VPN: What are the nodes (computers running tinc)? What IP addresses/subnets do they have? What is the network mask of the entire VPN? Do you need special firewall rules? Do you have to set up masquerading or forwarding rules? Do you want to run tinc in router mode or switch mode? These questions can only be answered by yourself, you will not find the answers in this documentation. Make sure you have an adequate understanding of networks in general. A good resource on networking is the Linux Network Administrators Guide.
If you have everything clearly pictured in your mind, proceed in the following order: First, generate the configuration files (tinc.conf, your host configuration file, tinc-up and perhaps tinc-down). Then generate the keypairs. Finally, distribute the host configuration files. These steps are described in the subsections below.