OpenVPN/Checklist guide

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< OpenVPN(Redirected from OpenVPN Checklist Guide)

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


Install the packages openvpn and easy-rsa.

Prepare data

# easyrsa clean-all

Generate the certificates

  • Create a seed for the CA creation
# dd if=/dev/urandom of=pki/.rnd bs=256 count=1
  • Create the "certificate authority" key
# easyrsa build-ca nopass
  • Create certificate and private key for the server
# easyrsa build-server-full <server-name> nopass
  • Create the Diffie-Hellman pem file for the server.
# easyrsa gen-dh
  • Create a certificate for each client.
# easyrsa build-client-full <client-name> nopass

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

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

Setting up the server

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

ca /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/pki/ca.crt
cert /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/pki/issued/<server-name>.crt
key /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/pki/private/<server-name>.key
dh /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/pki/<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-server@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-client@a-client-conf-file.service)

Read Daemon for more information.


If the openvpn server can be started manually as root but not using systemd, you can try fixing the permissions:

# chown -R openvpn:network /etc/openvpn/*