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hpr1498 :: Personal OpenVPN

John Duarte talks about setting up OpenVPN

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Hosted by John Duarte on 2014-04-30 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
OpenVPN, Centos6, Debian. (Be the first).
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Duration: 00:38:15

Privacy and Security.

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Personal OpenVPN

This guide will walk you through setting up an OpenVPN server as well as a client.

OpenVPN Server Setup

Here is how to install OpenVPN on Centos6. Other RedHat derivatives should be similar.

    rpm -Uvh epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
    yum install openvpn -y

Here is how to install OpenVPN on a Debian server. Other Debian derivatives should be similar.

    apt-get install openvpn

After the server is installed, the server certificate authority and keys must be generated. This will be followed by the client keys, and then the server configuration file.

Copy the easy-rsa scripts into /etc/openvpn

    cp -rf /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/easy-rsa/2.0/* /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa  # on Debian
    cp -rf /usr/share/openvpn/easy-rsa/2.0/* /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa  # on Centos6

Set Environmental variables

    cd /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa
    vim vars

Change the following variables to meet your needs. These are used for your convenience. They will be used as the defaults during the interactive key generation session to set the keys attributes.

    export KEY_COUNTRY="US"
    export KEY_PROVINCE="CA"
    export KEY_CITY="SanFrancisco"
    export KEY_ORG="Fort-Funston"
    export KEY_EMAIL="me@myhost.mydomain"

Source the variables to the current shell

. ./vars

Create certificate authority


Create keys for the server and clients

    ./build-key-server server
    ./build-key client1
    ./build-key client2

Setup the server configuration file

  cd /etc/openvpn
  gunzip /usr/share/doc/openvpn/examples/sample-config-files/server.conf.gz  # on Debian
  vim /etc/openvpn/server.conf

Server settings

    port 1194
    proto udp
    dev tun
    ca     /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys/ca.crt
    cert   /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys/server.crt
    key    /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys/server.key
    dh     /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys/dh2048.pem
    ifconfig-pool-persist ipp.txt
    client-config-dir ccd
    keepalive 10 120
    cipher AES-256-CBC   # AES
    user nobody
    group nogroup
    status openvpn-status.log
    verb 3

Restart VPN Service

    service openvpn restart

If the service fails to start, try starting openVPN manually. The resulting errors will allow you to see what item in the configuration file is incorrect.

    openvpen server.conf

Once you are able to get openVPN to start without error, kill it and restart it using the service command above. You can verify that the vpn is successfully running by looking at the configured interfaces using the following command.


You should now see an entry like the following:

tun0      Link encap:UNSPEC  HWaddr 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00
          inet addr:  P-t-P:  Mask:
          RX packets:622255 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:986993 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:100
          RX bytes:40649523 (38.7 MiB)  TX bytes:1344026670 (1.2 GiB)

OpenVPN Client Setup

The installation of OpenVPN for linux is the same as described above for the server. For Windows, Download and run the OpenVPN installer from the OpenVPN Community Downloads.

NOTE: On Windows, User Account Control (UAC) must be turned off in order to allow OpenVPN to execute the necessary network commands to bring up the VPN. Open Start > Control Panel > User Accounts and Family Safety > User Accounts > Change User Account Control Settings. Set to Never Notify, click OK, and reboot the machine.

Client Configuration file

For linux, the client config file would go in `/etc/openvpn` just like the server config. We will name it `client.conf` to clarify that the device is being configured as an OpenVPN client. On Windows, the keys and client config files go in the `C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenVPN\config`. The config file has to have an `.ovpn` suffix.

    dev tun
    proto udp
    remote 1194
    resolv-retry infinite
    user nobody
    group nogroup
    ca     /etc/openvpn/keys/ca.crt
    # on Windows, the format is:
    # ca "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\OpenVPN\\config\\ca.crt"
    # Windows may also change the file suffix on the crt files to cer.
    # So, If Windows complains that it cannot find the file,
    # examine its properties to verify the suffix.
    # The logs are stored at C:\\Program Files (x86)\\OpenVPN\\log
    cert   /etc/openvpn/keys/client1.crt
    key    /etc/openvpn/keys/client1.key
    ns-cert-type server
    cipher AES-256-CBC
    verb 3

Copy client key and server ca files onto client

    scp  ca.crt  user@client1:.openvpn/
    scp  client1.crt  user@client1:.openvpn/
    scp  client1.key  user@client1:.openvpn/

On the server create the ccd directory to assign static addresses to clients.

    mkdir /etc/openvpn/ccd

For each device, add a file with the CN name of the key. In that file, you will indicate the static address to be used and the server IP For linux, the server IP will be the VPN address of your VPN server. On Windows, the VPN client will set up a local TAP interface that must be used as the server IP. See the OpenVPN docs for available client and TAP server IP pairs.


    cat /etc/openvpn/ccd/linux-client
    cat /etc/openvpn/ccd/windows-client



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