Meet OpenVPN

Connecting road warriors with a full-blown open-source VPN solution.
OpenVPN Server Install

Installing OpenVPN is easy to do. On the Linux server side, you must install one or two RPMs. On SME these RPMs are lzo.xxx.rpm and openvpn-2.0_beta17-1.i386.rpm. Most systems already include lzo. Your kernel should include TUN devices, most kernels do. If you run openvpn from /usr/sbin/openvpn, you should find a TUN device. With the settings we are going to use, it has a P2P connection.

The config file on my box is saved at /etc/openvpn/server.conf, but yours may be stored somewhere else. My server configuration file looks like the output shown below; see the man page to see what all the items reference. they mean):


###OpenVPN server config routing TUN setup########
port 1194
dev tun
tls-server
mode server
dh dh1024.pem
ca ca.crt
cert SERVER.crt
key SERVER.key
duplicate-cn
ifconfig 192.168.100.1 192.168.100.2
ifconfig-pool 192.168.100.5 192.168.100.200 # IP range clients
mtu-test
tun-mtu 1500
tun-mtu-extra 32
mssfix 1450
#keep tunnel open by ping
push "ping 10"
push "ping-restart 60"
ping 10
ping-restart 120
#route to be established on the server
route-up "route delete -net 192.168.100.0/24"
route-up "route add -net 192.168.100.0/24 tun0"
#route to push to clients
push "route 172.16.1.0 255.255.255.0" #route to company network
push "dhcp-option DOMAIN hansceess.net"  #push the DNS domain suffix
push "dhcp-option DNS 172.16.1.7"  #push DNS entries to client
push "route 192.168.100.1" # add route to protected network
comp-lzo
status-version 2
status openvpn-status.log
verb 5
####################### end server config ##############

Client Install

On the Windows client side, you should download the Windows installer and run it. The normal installer is available on the OpenVPN Web site, while and the GUI version can be found here. I recommend using the latter: it gives you a tray-icon with which you can start the OpenVPN service. In the Network connections window under Settings, you should find a tap win32 adapter. You also should see that adapter in your routing table when you type route print in a DOSBox.

After the setup has installed everything, you should adjust the config settings in D:/Program Files/OpenVPN/config/*.ovpn to those you want. You might want to tune your personal firewall as well, if it sees the interface at all--mine didn't. My adjusted settings file looks like this:


####################client.ovpn######
port 1194 #udp by default
dev tun
##remote is the openvpn-server
remote 65.66.45.x
tls-client
ca ca.crt
cert CLIENT.crt
key CLIENT.key
mtu-test
tun-mtu 1500
tun-mtu-extra 32
mssfix 1450
pull
#ip-win32 ipapi|manual|dynamic|netsh (see man page, use 
#when ip address on interface does not appear, but dhcp server 
#is visible in ipconfig /all)
#ip-win32 ipapi
comp-lzo
verb 4
##############################end########

The OpenVPN process on the client is a Windows service you can start with a script or with the GUI, if you want. The TAP device (in tun-modus) can be tcpdumped, as can any interface, which makes it nice when troubleshooting. The rest of the configuration comes from the server.

Making RSA Keys

You can make keys for OpenVPN in the same way as you would make them for OpenSSL. But for those who like comfort, OpenVPN has an easy RSA set of scripts to help you out. You first must edit some variables in the vars file for the keys: names for server/clients keys, your company name, e-mail and so on. Next, run ./build-ca to build your root private key. Then, run ./build-key server to build the server key pair. Build the client key(s) with ./build-key client. In this client step, you can add a passphrase in the keys for key-authentication, as discussed above. Finally, you must run ./build-dh to generate the Diffie-Hellmann .pem file that the server needs. This file holds a large prime number and another parameter (see this article for details). Using these numbers, the server can generate new keys quickly, which it does every hour by default for standing connections.

You also need to copy the server keys, root certificate and *.pem file to /openvpn. The client needs the client keys and the root certificate. These should be transported over a secure medium, such as winscp.

There is one thing left to do: get the firewall iptables rules on the server. The rules I added were:


#  internet interface eth1 let OpenVPN udp port in
    /sbin/iptables --append INPUT -p udp --dport 1194 -m state --state     NEW -i eth1 -j ACCEPT
#block anything into the server from tun interface
	/sbin/iptables --append INPUT -i tun0 -j DROP 
#tun0 debugging
    #/sbin/iptables --append INPUT -i tun0 -j LOG --log-prefix     tun0-input 
	#/sbin/iptables --append OUTPUT -o tun0 -j LOG --log-prefix tun0-output 
	#/sbin/iptables --append FORWARD -i tun0 -j LOG --log-prefix Forward-ComingFrom-Tunnel 
	#/sbin/iptables --append FORWARD -o tun0 -j LOG --log-prefix Forward-OutTo-Tunnel

#OpenVPN Forward chain: if you have a Tun-device, the forward chain 
#screens traffic from networks/hosts outside the tunnel, going to 
#internal networks and back. we want this traffic to go through, 
#default but first we might want to block some things: remember, the 
#other side of the tunnel is not safe by default: he could be routing 
#so we should log syns at least coming in
	/sbin/iptables --append FORWARD -i tun0 -m state --state NEW --jump LOG --log-prefix Tunnel_into_intranet
#you should know the networks allowed in and out through the tunnel
#let client network in.
	/sbin/iptables --append FORWARD -i tun0 --source 192.168.0.0/16 -j ACCEPT 
#let company network out
	/sbin/iptables --append FORWARD -o tun0 --source 172.16.0.0/16
 -j ACCEPT
##troubleshoot: let all through
#	/sbin/iptables --append FORWARD -i tun0 -j ACCEPT
#	/sbin/iptables --append FORWARD -o tun0 -j ACCEPT
#you might want to allow some, but not all
#	/sbin/iptables --append FORWARD -i tun0 -p tcp --dport 25 -j ACCEPT
##drop the rest
	/sbin/iptables --append FORWARD -i tun0 -j DROP
	/sbin/iptables --append FORWARD -o tun+ -j DROP

______________________

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Latest OpenVPN release has many new features

Mark Colred's picture

The latest 2.1.4 release just came out about 1 week ago and has support for many new features. IP version 6 support is now available as part of the TUN driver. Random port binding is also now avalable using the --lport 0 parameter. We upgraded last week and had no issues.

I use open VPN from ibVPN I

Anelly's picture

I use open VPN from ibVPN
I think open VPN is faster and more secure then PPTP.

OpenVPN-AS

marky's picture

Any possible thing to login on default administrator account password for open vpn web base instead of using our root user and password?
because I encounter a problem in during log-in on web based admin access on openvpn https://15.15.20.1:943/admin when it required to type username and password and that would be my root as my username and {password} as my password in root but it keeps saying "Invalid Login" for some couple of times i keep re-typing my correct root password but it still keep saying "Invalid Login", and i try to uninstall the openvpn rpm package and reinstalled it back to my linux server....after rpm package installed and trying to login in web base admin and typing root as user and {password} for my root password but still got the same problem?

Questions:

1. Is their a default administrator account andd password for openvpn to use for web admin login?
2. How to add username and password account in open vpn?

A comparison of advantages of

KeepNetOpen's picture

A comparison of advantages of OpenVPN to L2TP over IPSec would be a great article. I use VyprVPN and they just rolled out L2TP as a third protocol.
https://www.goldenfrog.com/vyprvpn/vpn-service-provider

L2TP seems to have some of the advantages of OpenVPN, but you can use it on more devices, like your iPhone.

Open VPN

SuperVPN's picture

Open VPN is great free software which allow you incredible 2048 bits encryption. I tried many vpn software's but this one is the best so far.

I need help

Joe Graham's picture

I can't get by client software to connect on the local LAN. I have stopped iptables (just in case there was port blocking) and restarted the network service, but still no luck. I can't get to the web login either (port 7505). Here is the log file from my failed login attempt (I'll post later)

Thanks in advance for your help

Server log

Joe Graham's picture

2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 MULTI: multi_create_instance called'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Re-using SSL/TLS context'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 LZO compression initialized'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Control Channel MTU parms [ L:1544 D:168 EF:68 EB:0 ET:0 EL:0 ]'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Data Channel MTU parms [ L:1544 D:1350 EF:44 EB:135 ET:0 EL:0 AF:3/1 ]'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Local Options hash (VER=V4): 'bd577cd1''
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Expected Remote Options hash (VER=V4): 'ee93268d''
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 TCP connection established with 192.168.1.104:53098'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Socket Buffers: R=[131072->131072] S=[131072->131072]'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Socket flags: TCP_NODELAY=1 succeeded'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 TCPv4_SERVER link local: [undef]'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 TCPv4_SERVER link remote: 192.168.1.104:53098'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 192.168.1.104:53098 Non-OpenVPN client protocol detected'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 192.168.1.104:53098 SIGTERM[soft,port-share-redirect] received, client-instance exiting'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 TCP/UDP: Closing socket'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] WEB-PP OUT: '2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [pyovpn.web.webbase.MySiteBase] Connection from IPv4Address(TCP, '127.0.0.1', 45843)'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 MULTI: multi_create_instance called'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Re-using SSL/TLS context'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 LZO compression initialized'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Control Channel MTU parms [ L:1544 D:168 EF:68 EB:0 ET:0 EL:0 ]'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Data Channel MTU parms [ L:1544 D:1350 EF:44 EB:135 ET:0 EL:0 AF:3/1 ]'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Local Options hash (VER=V4): 'bd577cd1''
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Expected Remote Options hash (VER=V4): 'ee93268d''
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 TCP connection established with 192.168.1.104:53099'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Socket Buffers: R=[131072->131072] S=[131072->131072]'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 Socket flags: TCP_NODELAY=1 succeeded'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 TCPv4_SERVER link local: [undef]'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 TCPv4_SERVER link remote: 192.168.1.104:53099'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 192.168.1.104:53099 Non-OpenVPN client protocol detected'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 192.168.1.104:53099 SIGTERM[soft,port-share-redirect] received, client-instance exiting'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:40 2009 TCP/UDP: Closing socket'
2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [-] WEB-PP OUT: '2009-12-25 10:59:40-0500 [pyovpn.web.webbase.MySiteBase] Connection from IPv4Address(TCP, '127.0.0.1', 45844)'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 MULTI: multi_create_instance called'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 Re-using SSL/TLS context'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 LZO compression initialized'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 Control Channel MTU parms [ L:1544 D:168 EF:68 EB:0 ET:0 EL:0 ]'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 Data Channel MTU parms [ L:1544 D:1350 EF:44 EB:135 ET:0 EL:0 AF:3/1 ]'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 Local Options hash (VER=V4): 'bd577cd1''
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 Expected Remote Options hash (VER=V4): 'ee93268d''
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 TCP connection established with 192.168.1.104:53100'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 Socket Buffers: R=[131072->131072] S=[131072->131072]'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 Socket flags: TCP_NODELAY=1 succeeded'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 TCPv4_SERVER link local: [undef]'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 TCPv4_SERVER link remote: 192.168.1.104:53100'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 192.168.1.104:53100 Non-OpenVPN client protocol detected'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 192.168.1.104:53100 SIGTERM[soft,port-share-redirect] received, client-instance exiting'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] OVPN-PP 0 OUT: 'Fri Dec 25 10:59:43 2009 TCP/UDP: Closing socket'
2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [-] WEB-PP OUT: '2009-12-25 10:59:43-0500 [pyovpn.web.webbase.MySiteBase] Connection from IPv4Address(TCP, '127.0.0.1', 45845)'
2009-12-25 10:59:48-0500 [-] WEB-PP OUT: '2009-12-25 10:59:48-0500 [pyovpn.web.webbase.MySiteBase] Connection from IPv4Address(TCP, '192.168.1.104', 56876)'
2009-12-25 10:59:48-0500 [-] WEB-PP OUT: '2009-12-25 10:59:48-0500 [pyovpn.web.webbase.MySiteBase] Connection from IPv4Address(TCP, '192.168.1.104', 56877)'
2009-12-25 10:59:51-0500 [-] WEB-PP OUT: '2009-12-25 10:59:51-0500 [pyovpn.web.webbase.MySiteBase] Connection from IPv4Address(TCP, '192.168.1.104', 56878)'

NeoRouter - the zero-config VPN solution

Anonymous's picture

I found a better VPN solution - NeoRouter (www.neorouter.com). It's much simpler to setup than OpenVPN and does better job than OpenVPN. It can create unlimited nodes in a virtual network and it uses P2P technology as well. It support not only Linux, Window, but also router firmwares like OpenWrt and Tomato.

Highly suggest GUI version of OpenVPN

Anonymous's picture

I love OpenVPN, with my VPN provider http://www.strongvpn.com they offered it to me since the regular VPN account they sold me the port was blocked. I installed the non GUI version of OpenVPN and I didn't like the way it would disconnect when I closed the window. The lastest GUI window one is sweet, and makes it easy to reconnect. I went to Openvpn.net and made a donation, please help the developers improve it!

I think anonymous vpn, i

anonymous vpn's picture

I think anonymous vpn, i mean pptp vpn, is simply for regular user then openvpn setup for anonymous surfing.

This article doesn't

smartcgi's picture

This article doesn't describe one problem. Sometimes DHCP is disabled on PC and OpenVPN fails to get IP.

You'll see "Requesting IP address" running constantly on this OpenVPN connection.

Solution was taken from http://av5.com/docs/running_openvpn_client_on_windows_xp.html and shown below:

open "Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Services", make sure that the "DHCP Client Service" is started.

This is Linux Journal

Anonymous's picture

This is Linux Journal, there's no mention of a linux side GUI client or how to set this up on a Linux client side.
Do you expect me to read something and then use a command line?

Linux GUI

Anonymous's picture

haha right. its about setting up a server, reinstall windows and go home to mommy.

openvpn ikey

D. rodic's picture

How do i setup an OpenVPN connection using smartcard (ikey) features?

Openvpn as a way to secure domain logins over internet

Anonymous's picture

I'm interested in openvpn as a service on a win2k/xp client machine. I would like the vpn to connect before/during the user trying to login to a windows domain account while traveling(their domain login's are not cached).
Is this a capability of openvpn ? Any resouces you can point me at ?
Thanks

Yes, There are many sources

Hank Freid's picture

Yes, There are many sources from where you can use this openvpn, also many certifications available for this at TestKing and VCP-310.

the howto mentioned above: h

Anonymous's picture

the howto mentioned above:
http://sme.swerts-knudsen.dk/index.html?frame=http%3A//sme.swerts-knudse...
does something like that. But I am not sure what you mean exactly. The vpn is a service under windows.

Cool Article

Freak's picture

Thanks for a cool article!
Discussion about OpenVPN @ OpenVPN-Forum.de

Web layout

Anonymous's picture

On my browser and monitor (Firefox, all defaults) the first line of this story is 141 characters.

People read text best at a width of 40-60 characters.

Even if you don't have to horizontal scroll, this layout is ridiculously hard to read.

The article was excellent - w

Anonymous's picture

The article was excellent - why don't you chill with your comment on web settings?

Wow! What's this business

Anonymous's picture

Wow!

What's this business with "why don't you chill with your comment on web settings?"?

Are you referring to the comments about line width? Man, that kind of stuff needs to be fixed--it's just a royal pain trying to read articles like that.

For RoadWarrior there's a goo

Anonymous's picture

For RoadWarrior there's a good option you put in clients. It's the
redirect-gateway option.


# man openvpn
...
--redirect-gateway
Automatically execute routing commands to cause all outgoing
IP traffic to be redirected over the VPN. Currently imple-
mented only on Linux and Windows.
This option performs three steps:
(1) Create a static route for the --remote address which for-
wards to the pre-existing default gateway. This is done so
that (3) will not create a routing loop.
(2) Delete the default gateway route.
(3) Set the new default gateway to be the VPN endpoint address
(derived either from --route-gateway or the second parameter
to --ifconfig when --dev tun is specified).
When the tunnel is torn down, all of the above steps are re-
versed so that the original default route is restored.
...

How well does this scale for multiple road-warriors?

SwedishChef's picture

Thanks for your excellent article. It's always a pleasure to see something that is well documented and complete. However, I have a question about scaling clients that wasn't covered in the article.

I have implemented openVPN for a local organization that has offices in other nearby towns. Each office has access to bandwidth; one via DSL and the other via FTTH (fiber-to-the-home). I configured two separate openVPN servers on the home office router because I couldn't see - from the documentation - whether one openVPN server can monitor two ports; and two separate connections. So I built one server to watch port 5000 and another to watch port 5001 and used shared keys. The other end of both networks is another Linux box that is an openVPN client routing the entire complement of machines in to the home office. Interestingly enough, both client machines are behind a NAT router yet both connect to the VPN well. The openVPN server is the router/firewall (Shorewall) at the central office. Routing to the Internet is accomplished through a separate firewall in both cases.

So I guess my main question is: "How would two (or more) road warriors access your VPN?" I notice that you have a range of IP addresses in the server config file. Does this work for multiple remote clients?

I might add that I have also configured open-VPN in bridging mode for a client who had an IPX network running across a T-1 routed by two Livingston routers. This was all implemented on an old Novel 3x system that the client was reluctant to change but the $700-per-month T-1 costs were killing him. He had a FTTH connection at his main office and connected a DSL connection to his remote office. I installed two Linux boxes running openVPN in bridging mode; one client on the DSL and the one server at the other end on the fiber. The latency was incredible! IPX apparently broadcasts so much packet traffic that the DSL link was buried under it. However, even when we implemented a TCP Novell system as a test, the DSL was not capable of handling the traffic (although DSL in that same town does handle the SMB traffic of the network I described earlier). We ended up using a wireless connection to a location in the remote town that did have FTTH and then simply creating a VLAN to route traffic back to the home office. So the availability of bandwidth for some protocols is critical.

OpenVPN 2.0, which is in beta

Anonymous's picture

OpenVPN 2.0, which is in beta does not require a separate port for each connection such as the 1.x branch did. The article above is specific to 2.0 and only requires port 1194 for multiple remote connections.

Thanks for such a well-writte

Anonymous's picture

Thanks for such a well-written article!

One problem though: in the server config file, you have two route-up lines. The route-up lines are not stackable, i.e. the second will wipe out the first. Why not just use the "route" option?

In my setup a wring route app

hanscees's picture

In my setup a wring route appeared automagically. The first line deltes that.

vpen in ubuntu festy 7.04

krax's picture

hello masters
great deaads have encountered to set a vpn connection to INERNET with UBUNTU desktop ver 7.04 festy but any result was out-come.
plz help me t set up this vpn on debian base genome UBUNTU festy 7.04
Email me at kraxadmin[@]gmail.com
waiting with possible awaite
bon rester
thatnks

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