OpenVPN Checklist Guide

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This article summarizes the install process required for OpenVPN. See OpenVPN instead for a walkthrough.


Install the package openvpn from the official repositories.

Prepare data

# source ./vars
  • Clean up any previous keys:
# ./clean-all

Generate the certificates

  • Create the "certificate authority" key
#  ./build-ca
  • Create certificate and private key for the server
#  ./build-key-server <server-name>
  • Create the Diffie-Hellman pem file for the server. Don't enter a challenge password or company name when you set these up.
#  ./build-dh
  • Create a certificate for each client.
# ./build-key <client-name>

All certificates are stored in keys directory. If you mess up, you can start all over by doing a ./clean-all

Copy to each client the ca.crt, and their respective crt and key files.

Setting up the server

  • Create /etc/openvpn/myvpnserver.conf with a content like this:
port <port>
proto tcp
dev tun0

ca /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys/ca.crt
cert /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys/<server-name>.crt
key /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys/<server-name>.key
dh /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/keys/<your pem file>

server <desired base ip>
ifconfig-pool-persist ipp.txt
keepalive 10 120
user nobody
group nobody
status /var/log/openvpn-status.log
verb 3

log-append /var/log/openvpn
status /tmp/vpn.status 10
  • Start and, optionally, enable for autostart on boot, the daemon. (In this example, is openvpn@myvpnserver.service)

Read Daemon for more information.

Setting up the clients

  • Create a .conf file for each client like this:
remote <server> <port>
dev tun0
proto tcp
resolv-retry infinite
verb 2
ca ca.crt
cert <client crt file with full path>
key <client key file with full path>
  • Start the connection with
# openvpn a-client-conf-file.conf &

Optionally, enable for autostart on boot the daemon. (In this example, is openvpn@a-client-conf-file.service)

Read Daemon for more information.