Can I run Access Server on a Raspberry Pi?
Yes — beginning with OpenVPN Access Server version 2.9, you can install Access Server on Raspberry Pi using arm64 with Ubuntu Server. To install, click Get OpenVPN, then click Ubuntu, and select Ubuntu 20 [arm64]. For detailed steps, refer to Installing OpenVPN Access Server on Rapberry Pi.
Previous to version 2.9, we didn’t support Access Server installations on Raspberry Pi because of the low performance of previous models. The onboard network interface was connected through a shared USB2 port, which resulted in poor network speeds. On a Raspberry Pi model 2, you might get 10Mbps of encrypted data transfer, which isn’t sufficient for the VPN workload expected for a business-grade VPN.
However, since the release of Raspberry Pi model 4, which has a faster CPU and network connections, we can recommend that you use Access Server on this model for modest deployments. The model 4’s network port is now capable of reaching gigabit speeds and the ARM64 CPU provides a higher performance platform. ARM64 is becoming more widespread and is also available on the Amazon AWS Graviton instance.
Even though the Raspberry Pi 4 is an inexpensive device, it is capable of approximately 70Mbps of encrypted data transfer per CPU core. With its quad-core CPU then, in theory, four tunnels of 70Mbps are possible. And theoretically, with future improvements we should be able to achieve even higher speeds.
For simple use cases, the current performance of Access Server on Raspberry Pi 4 devices is adequate. We believe that more technology enthusiasts will try out Access Server now that it is available for Raspberry Pi.
- If you are looking to run Access Server on a small format, inexpensive, and energy frugal system other than Raspberry Pi, you may want to consider an Intel NUC system. The Intel NUC has an Intel desktop CPU like the i3, i5, i7, and so on, and has plenty of processing power for heavier workloads.
- Another x86/64 alternative to the Raspberry Pi is the MinnowBoard. There are dozens of projects out there with boards for development and tinkering that run on x86/x64 and that are reasonably inexpensive.