Setup OpenVPN

OpenVPN was surprisingly easy to setup on in my lab environment. My setup included a CentOS 7 server running the latest version of OpenVPN server and a Windows 7 client running the latest OpenVPN client. I also have a Netgear router which I configured with a static route.

Before we begin you will need certificates
1. A computer to run OpenVPN (I used CentOS 7)
2. OpenVPN server will need a certificate
3. OpenVPN client will need a certificate
4. A home router which can be configured with static routes
5. A way to generate certificates for your vpn server and clients

Download the openVPN source code and compile it into an RPM

rpmbuild -tb /root/openvpn-2.3.8.tar.gz
rpm -ivh /root/rpmbuild/RPMS/x86_64/openvpn-2.3.8-1.x86_64.rpm

OpenVPN Server Configuration

Copy the sample server.conf file to /etc/openvpn/server.conf
Here is a list of settings I configured from the defaults server.conf file to get my OpenVPN server working.

# Which TCP/UDP port should OpenVPN listen on?
# If you want to run multiple OpenVPN instances
# on the same machine, use a different port
# number for each one. You will need to
# open up this port on your firewall.
port 1194

# TCP or UDP server?
proto udp

# "dev tun" will create a routed IP tunnel,
# "dev tap" will create an ethernet tunnel.
# Use "dev tap0" if you are ethernet bridging
# and have precreated a tap0 virtual interface
# and bridged it with your ethernet interface.
# If you want to control access policies
# over the VPN, you must create firewall
# rules for the the TUN/TAP interface.
# On non-Windows systems, you can give
# an explicit unit number, such as tun0.
# On Windows, use "dev-node" for this.
# On most systems, the VPN will not function
# unless you partially or fully disable
# the firewall for the TUN/TAP interface.

dev tun

# SSL/TLS root certificate (ca), certificate
# (cert), and private key (key). Each client
# and the server must have their own cert and
# key file. The server and all clients will
# use the same ca file.
# See the "easy-rsa" directory for a series
# of scripts for generating RSA certificates
# and private keys. Remember to use
# a unique Common Name for the server
# and each of the client certificates.
# Any X509 key management system can be used.
# OpenVPN can also use a PKCS #12 formatted key file
# (see "pkcs12" directive in man page).
ca lab-ca.pem
cert vpnserver.pem
key vpnserver-key-nopass.pem # This file should be kept secret

# Diffie hellman parameters.
# Generate your own with:
# openssl dhparam -out dh1024.pem 1024
# Substitute 2048 for 1024 if you are using
# 2048 bit keys.
dh dh1024.pem

# Configure server mode and supply a VPN subnet
# for OpenVPN to draw client addresses from.
# The server will take for itself,
# the rest will be made available to clients.
# Each client will be able to reach the server
# on Comment this line out if you are
# ethernet bridging. See the man page for more info.

# Push routes to the client to allow it
# to reach other private subnets behind
# the server. Remember that these
# private subnets will also need
# to know to route the OpenVPN client
# address pool (
# back to the OpenVPN server.
push "route"

# Certain Windows-specific network settings
# can be pushed to clients, such as DNS
# or WINS server addresses. CAVEAT:
push "dhcp-option DNS"

# The keepalive directive causes ping-like
# messages to be sent back and forth over
# the link so that each side knows when
# the other side has gone down.
# Ping every 10 seconds, assume that remote
# peer is down if no ping received during
# a 120 second time period.
keepalive 10 120

# Select a cryptographic cipher.
# This config item must be copied to
# the client config file as well.
cipher AES-128-CBC # AES

OpenVPN client Configuration
Download the OpenVPN client from here.
OpenVPN client configuration is saved here on Windows:
C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config\client.ovpn

Here is a list of OpenVPN client settings I configured to get my OpenVPN client connected.

# Specify that we are a client and that we
# will be pulling certain config file directives
# from the server.

# Use the same setting as you are using on
# the server.
# On most systems, the VPN will not function
# unless you partially or fully disable
# the firewall for the TUN/TAP interface.
;dev tap
dev tun

# Are we connecting to a TCP or
# UDP server? Use the same setting as
# on the server.
;proto tcp
proto udp

# The hostname/IP and port of the server.
# You can have multiple remote entries
# to load balance between the servers.
# put my public IP here
remote 71.XX.XX.XXX 1194

# SSL/TLS parms.
# See the server config file for more
# description. It's best to use
# a separate .crt/.key file pair
# for each client. A single ca
# file can be used for all clients.
ca lab-ca.pem
cert usercert.pem
key key-pass.pem

# Select a cryptographic cipher.
# If the cipher option is used on the server
# then you must also specify it here.
cipher AES-128-CBC

Generate Certificates:
I generated my certificates using a Microsoft 2012 Certificate Authority. I generated one for certificate for the VPN server and another for the VPN client. I exported them from Microsoft CA in PFX format and used this Guide to convert them to PEM format.

My openVPN server certificate properties:
Subject Alternative Name=vpn
Subject Alternative
Subject Alternative Name=test02

My openVPN user certificate properties:
CN=user OU=WAU OU=US DC=lab DC=net

On the OpenVPN server copy the PEM files to /etc/openvpn/
On the OpenVPN Windows client copy the PEM files to C:\Program Files\OpenVPN\config\

Router Configuration
Configure your home router with a static route to the OpeVPN server on your home network
VPN client subnet:
OpenVPN Server:
2015-11-29 19_45_08-NETGEAR Router WNDR3400v2

Start the OpenVPN service on the OpenVPN server

systemctl start openvpn

Test Client Connection
On Windows 7 I noticied it was required to run the OpenVPN as administrator
Program Manager_2015-11-30_19-53-49

If you where successfully connected you should see “client is now connected”


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