Talk:OpenVPN

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Missing details

There are some things that I think would have been extremely helpful to add in this article, primarily relating to iptables. For example, in Routing_the_LAN_of_a_client_to_the_server it might have been useful to say, "do something like iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth1 -j SNAT --to 10.4.4.30" rather than "Use the iptables NAT feature to masquerade the IP packets."

I think more handholding would help this article a lot--it certainly would have helped me figure this out much faster. If no one disagrees, I'd like to add several sections on appropriate iptables rules to add. Buhman 17:11, 9 April 2012 (EDT)

No objections, all constructive contributions are welcome, just remember that an article shouldn't be just a list of instructions: "handholding" is fine as long as it also explains why something needs to be done, so in your example above the existent sentence should be kept and your iptables line should be presented just as an example. -- Kynikos 08:46, 10 April 2012 (EDT)
To be honest, I think this article, the way it is now, uses way too much handholding. (I liked it more the way it was [1] ). It have things like: "Edit /root/easy-rsa/vars and at a minimum set the KEY_COUNTRY, KEY_PROVINCE, KEY_CITY, KEY_ORG, and KEY_EMAIL parameters (do not leave any of these parameters blank)", instead of just "Edit /root/easy-rsa/vars according to your preferences"
Maybe the solution could be the path Beginners' Guide and Installation Guide took; One, super handholding-type guide, and the other as a checklist-type guide... hmm, maybe I'll write such article Chrisl (talk) 18:48, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I have some time to work on this again (vacation), hopefully I'll get at least some more stuff done. If someone wants to add iptables instructions please go ahead. There is some preliminary stuff that Kynikos uncovered :) Too much, too little handholding, it's hard too say, and it looks like opinions differ. Maybe let me be verbose and then try to tighten it up and remove unwanted verbosity? jhernberg 21:50, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

In any case, the article still needs a lot more information about the various ways that openvpn can be configured, and any help would be very much appreciated...:) jhernberg 21:55, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, I have created the checklist-type article, is here: OpenVPN Checklist Guide Right now, it has lots of things of the old openvpn article, but shorter. The idea is that it have links like "click here to see more details" pointing to the section of a full article explaining something, to avoid repetition. I must add that I think this way is more KISS. Chrisl (talk) 04:55, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Personally and at the moment I don't have much time nor interest in updating this article. But I also think it could really benefit from having sections written on IPv6, L2 bridging and possibly a related article describing how to use iptables and other firewall software with VPN. I really hope that someone can step up to the plate and write the missing sections and to correct whatever I got wrong! Jhernberg (talk) 14:33, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

A piece of missing information that I consider particularly useful is the configuration of credentials for the user, so that he/she doesn't have to type them every time the VPN is started. I found out how to do that in an external site, but I'm wondering: is there is a reason that information is not in the guide, or can I just happily add it? --Bruno.unna (talk) 10:53, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Yes, there is a reason: it's an optional feature. The diy server config example in this article does not use --auth-user-pass-verify scripts, so the client must not provide user/pass. Vpn providers like yours use auth directives as a resource efficient method to permit/deny access to their service. --Indigo (talk) 18:02, 26 August 2016 (UTC)
Plus, having a username/password when using the ovpn profiles seems superfluous... after all, we are already using strong keys. I don't see what benefit the username/password provides for security. If anything, it complicates the entire setup. Just my 2 cents Graysky (talk) 18:25, 26 August 2016 (UTC)

Link to upstream document instead of duplicating

This page is already a little long. OpenVPN has lots of good document here. It is better give some entry point and link to the upstream document instead of duplicate info here. After all, it is Arch Wiki, not OpenVPN wiki. -- Fengchao (talk) 03:38, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

IPv6

If someone could add this section, it would be very much appreciated. Jhernberg (talk) 01:05, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

Connecting to vpn server from Android

I recommend using OpenVPN for Android by Arne Schwabe which give allot of detail that can help troubleshooting. The ovpn file with embedded keys & certificates need to be used, See a proper example in the the link bellow. The reduced privileges won't work on android and also "key-direction 1" should be added. Server side configs are the same as in the wiki. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6902100/archlinux/openvpn/client-empty.ovpn --Dhead (talk) 22:51, 5 March 2013 (UTC

IPv4 forwarding

I'd like to suggest adding a section on IP packet forwarding info to this page. If you follow the instructions for setting up forwarding using iptables and ufw only, it still won't work without forwarding packets.

Traditionally, this has been a simple process of:

# sysctl net.ipv4.ip_forward=1

(or editing /etc/sysctl.d/30-ipforward.conf for a more permanent change)

But there is a bug right now where systemd-networkd overrides net.ipv4.ip_forward. This might be good to point out for people trying to setup OpenVPN on Arch.

As of now, someone setting up OpevVPN could only find this out from from a small link to enable packet forwarding and then catching the bug note on that page. Setting up OpenVPN was a frustrating experience since this was buried; I was stuck on this for several hours, and finally found the solution.

Thought this might be helpful for others out there. Respectfully, Jr000 (talk) 00:13, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

OpenVPN#Routing_all_client_traffic_through_the_server already says "Now you need to enable packet forwarding on the server.", with a link to Internet_sharing#Enable_packet_forwarding which contains the instructions and the note you mentioned. There is no point in duplicating the instructions, because sooner or later one version would inevitably become outdated/inaccurate. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 09:36, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

OpenVPN in a container

This is a good solution instead of messing around with iptables: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Obl8_dozh0& —This unsigned comment is by Hendry (talk) 03:39, 6 August 2015‎. Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

Nameserver Order

In case VPN provided name servers are appended at the end of /etc/resolv.conf while using networkmanager-openvpn, make sure you don't configure your primary network connection by systemd (using dhcpcd.service for example). It is caused by openresolv configuration option interface_order because one set of nameservers is provided by network interface (for example eth0) and second set of nameservers is provided by NetworkManager interface (yes, that is not a typo, all interfaces configured by NetworkManager are presented to openresolv as one "NetworkManager" interface). You can check which nameservers are provided to openresolv by running

$ resolvconf -l

To solve this issue, either disable systemd interface configuration (systemctl disable dhcpcd for example) or change interface order in /etc/resolvconf.conf (interface_order="lo lo[0-9]* NetworkManager" for example). Kenny (talk) 15:06, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

Interesting point. Yet, it is always difficult to mix different network managers. For a mixed conf not to fail one should probably configure, eg NetworkManager and dhcpcd, to exclude the respective other interface first. Anyhow, as I understand your point, the same ordering issue could arise from any combination of network manager tools, and openvpn is just one application triggering openresolv where it may matter. What do you think about adding your input to Resolv.conf#Using_openresolv instead? It could then be crosslinked better (from OpenVPN#DNS and other articles where it may matter). --Indigo (talk) 19:21, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
If OpenVPN needs some special ordering of the name servers, isn't the script (openvpn-update-resolv-confAUR) to blame here? If openresolv does not support ordering, the script should not use it in the first place... -- Lahwaacz (talk) 19:45, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
Well, openresolv supports different types of ordering (resolvconf.conf(5)), which is another reason the issue applies more to resolv.conf#Using_openresolv (ordering for the links). The typical approach for openvpn usually is that the server should (not all do, that would be an openvpn troubleshooting matter) push DNS with a low metric. The metric alone is enough to ensure they are ordered first. --Indigo (talk) 21:17, 11 March 2016 (UTC)

Proposed restructuring

Currently, the article on OpenVPN and those surrounding it are a mess at best. There's OpenVPN itself, of which the first line says "This article describes a basic installation and configuration of OpenVPN, suitable for private and small business use.", yet it lists none of the basic configuration, but only far more extended stuff. To get it running in it's most basic state, you have to go to Easy-rsa and OpenVPN Checklist Guide, and still haven't found anything useful in the main article. Besides that, there's OpenVPN in Linux containers and OpenVPN Bridge.

Thus I propose a rewrite of all of those: The OpenVPN article should contain the basic configuration to get a simple client-server-setup running, and an additional page called "OpenVPN/Tips and tricks", which contains the advanced configurations currently found in OpenVPN, OpenVPN in Linux containers and OpenVPN Bridge. Easy-rsa and OpenVPN Checklist Guide could then be deleted, as they are merged into OpenVPN.

The version I propose to take the place of the current OpenVPN article is User:Dustball/OpenVPN.

Dustball (talk) 14:28, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

Gotta disagree with your assessment that the article is "a mass at best." It could be compartmentalized as you propose, but all key data are here and linked. As to your draft of a bare-bones article, I recommend simply linking the already streamlined easy-rsa article rather than duplicating any content. Have you drafted the other broken out pages you alluded to in your post as well? Graysky (talk) 14:52, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
In an article stating it describes basic installation and configuration, those parts shouldn't be linked. The other part isn't written yet, I intend to do so tomorrow and link it here again. Dustball (talk) 14:54, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
We need a primary article that links all sub-articles pertaining to this software if the compartmentalization is to be a success. Looking forward to seeing your proposed changes for the rest of them as well. Graysky (talk) 14:58, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

What is for running a server and what is for runnign clients?

Jasper1984 (talk) 23:52, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Not sure what you're asking Graysky (talk) 00:24, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
Very simple, i got confused between what is just for servers and just for clients.. Those are distinct ways of using it, arent they?Jasper1984 (talk) 22:32, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes. There is OpenVPN#Connect to a VPN provided by a third party at the beginning of the article, which attempts to sort the distinction a little. Perhaps, you have ideas to improve that section? --Indigo (talk) 11:58, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
I just notice there are going to be a lot of changes related to this topic with the upcoming 2.4. version in testing, including different server/client configuration dirs and services.[2]
The different service units alone will make it clearer. Ideas how and where to cover the openvpn-client@.service best? --Indigo (talk) 21:29, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
@Jasper1984: Yes, you can certainly think of it as two distinct ways of using OpenVPN. @ Indigo: I would start a subsection at the bottom. We don't know how long 2.4 will remain in testing so I would prefer not to give it great emphasis. Once the package is promoted to core, we can choose to move the section to a more appropriate location. Or simply leave it as is until the wider adoption of 2.4. I have already noticed a couple of consistent 2.4 quirks across two boxes and will add some wiki commentary once I look into possible workarounds. Adamlau (talk) 07:14, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
I think we can close this, content has (thankfully) been updated already.
Please state the quirks you experienced (without workaround is fine too), might be important info for other users rolling package over just now. --Indigo (talk) 14:36, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Run as unprivileged user

Why remove information about a tool that automates multiple manual steps ?

The comment says:


So instead of running OpenVPN as root people end up running yet another script as root which creates the user, sets up the sudoers file etc? That's not going to happen here, users shall follow the annotated guide to fully understand each step.

The "annotated guide" is outdated and incomplete. It talks about init scripts, which no longer exist in default Arch installations and does not even hint at how to customize .netdev files and systemd units for the purpose.

Also, "user shall follow annotated guide to fully understand each step" is wishful thinking at best, arrogance at worst. It's a lot of work and the wiki only describes some of it. Most users will give up half way through instead.

If user Lahwaacz likes to do manually, what a script can do, that's a personal preference. I'd wager most Arch users like to use computers instead. Especially if the procedure needs to be repeated on multiple machines, or for multiple VPN configs.

Wknapik (talk) 21:52, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

You are welcome to improve the documentation if you don't find it adequate. Using "automated scripts" is not the way this wiki explains configuration. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 22:16, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
The linked article explains the ideas, the script adapts them for Arch and automates them, removing pointless, repeated manual labor. You invented a conflict, that doesn't exist.
The OpenVPN#The client profile (generic for Linux, iOS, or Android) section, just below the one you removed does nothing, but explain how to use an "automated script". Why didn't you remove that as well ? After all, the users "shall understand each step", not run some script, isn't that so ? -- Wknapik (talk) 22:43, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out, I've split that into a separate section. You might add your script there. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 23:03, 21 January 2017 (UTC)
Hi, as I wrote in edit summary, I think that new Openvpn#Config generators section can indeed be helpful to host further mentioned scripts. I added a tip to link to the nifty new OpenVPN#openvpn-unroot tool (ok compromise?). The same could be done if someone finds the time to factor the generic information in the OpenVPN#DNS tool subsections back into the section, for example [3].
To the new unroot - one suggestion: Good that you use /etc/sudoers.d. You might inform users about #includedir /etc/sudoers.d and also make them remember to run visudo afterwards, so that config is checked. Nobody wants a fatal error there!!
Other than that, can this item be closed?
--Indigo (talk) 11:36, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
As long, as scripts in Openvpn#Config generators are referenced in the relevant sections above (with a note, or something), that's fine. But if they're just moved to the very bottom of the page, to a section starting with this lovely warning:
Warning: Users are highly recommended to pass through the manual configuration described above before using any 3rd party automation scripts.
they're as good, as removed from the wiki, which I guess is exactly what Lahwaacz would like, for some reason.
As for the sudoers entries - the script already uses visudo, to avoid locking the user out of sudo access in case of errors. Visudo is only bypassed in unit tests.
As far, as I'm concerned, this item can be closed. Thanks Indigo. -- Wknapik (talk) 12:31, 22 January 2017 (UTC)
Don't think the warning was in any way meant to discourage or, worse, discredit, just the opposite.[4] We all use this distro because of Arch Linux#Simplicity (re automation reference), to (try:) understand what the system is doing and make best use of customizing upstream for our individual purpose. A user who does not understand what goes into a config, can't configure it safely. Closing. --Indigo (talk) 14:02, 22 January 2017 (UTC)