OpenVPN Access Server On Ubuntu Quick Start

2

Install ‘openvpn-as’ package

3

Set password for bootstrapped user: ‘passwd openvpn’

4

Set up in browser: https://[youripaddress]:943/admin (browser setup found here)

Setting up and deploying the OpenVPN Access Server Repository on Ubuntu

Beginning with Access Server 2.7.5, you can install Access Server software packages and the related Connect Client software through our official OpenVPN Access Server software repository. We recommend using the repository as it is a standardized and reliable method for delivering new versions and upgrading existing deployments. It provides you with more security, an industry-standard delivery method, easier upgrades, added flexibility, and an improved user experience. Here’s your quick start guide to rapidly deploy a VPN remote access solution for your business.

Built on the popular OpenVPN open source software, Access Server maintains compatibility with it. Thus, your deployed VPN solution is compatible with all OpenVPN client software developed for multiple platforms and devices.

OpenVPN Access Server pairs perfectly with your Linux distro of Ubuntu, also built on open source software fundamentals.

Deployment to each new client device is easy. Once your server is up and running, you’ll have the ability to connect to your VPN through Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and all supported platforms. Simply import the required settings from Access Server.

Read an overview of OpenVPN Access Server.

Using OpenVPN Access Server on Ubuntu

Every business today needs resilient cyber security plans to address hackers head on. The Global Risks Report 2018 ranked cybersecurity as the third most likely risk for businesses. “[Cybersecurity] attacks against businesses have almost doubled in five years, and incidents that would once have been considered extraordinary are becoming more and more commonplace.”

Many businesses might picture a cyber criminal as a shadowy figure, stealing data on the dark web. However, the statistics show that it’s often their own employees. Internal human error can be a business’s greatest cyber security risk:

  • 25% of employees reuse the same password for all logins
  • 23% of employees click on links without verifying their legitimacy
  • 2/3rds of cyber breaches are caused by employee negligence or malice

Businesses need to include internal security measures as part of their strategies. Deploying OpenVPN Access Server on Ubuntu provides an economical, isolated, and secure private network for your employees, whether in the office or remotely.

Configuring Access Server as your Ubuntu VPN can provide your business with the ability to accomplish many secure use cases such as:

  1. Remote monitoring of worldwide locations
  2. Secure access for transactions through the cloud
  3. Secure access to private enterprise networks on the cloud or on premises
  4. End to end encryption
  5. Blocking unauthorized access
  6. Improving mobile workforce productivity
  7. Extending your Unified Threat Management to remote employees
  8. Providing a secure layer for accessing internal, unprotected applications

Keep your employees work secure through OpenVPN Access Server, which keeps your company safe.

We provide you with next gen secure and scalable communication services. Our award-winning open source protocol is the industry standard for virtual private networks. Put our legacy to work for your business security.

Setting up OpenVPN Access Server on Ubuntu

OpenVPN Access Server fits seamlessly with Ubuntu. The repository provides you with the following three components: the popular OpenVPN open-source software; a user-friendly and intuitive admin web interface; and Connect Clients for Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, and Linux. Once set up, deploying VPN clients is simple.

Follow this high level overview to set up OpenVPN Server and OpenVPN Access Server Admin Web UI. More details, if necessary, can be found with the links in the Further Resources section below. Detailed instructions are included in the OpenVPN Documentation section and Installing OpenVPN Access Server on a Linux system, specifically.

1) Get Updates

Begin by logging on to your Linux system on the console or via SSH with root privileges.

Update the cached packages list to the newest in the Ubuntu repository.

apt update

Then, upgrade any of these available package updates by getting them from the repo and installing them:

apt upgrade

2) Install OpenVPN Access Server via repository

Copy and paste these commands and execute them with root privileges. They will add the repository to your system.

apt update && apt -y install ca-certificates wget net-tools gnupg
wget -qO - https://as-repository.openvpn.net/as-repo-public.gpg | apt-key add -
echo "deb http://as-repository.openvpn.net/as/debian bionic main">/etc/apt/sources.list.d/openvpn-as-repo.list
apt update && apt -y install openvpn-as

4) Configure Settings

The Access Server Admin Web Interface provides an intuitive tool to manage settings for OpenVPN Access Server. Within the configuration menu, you can manage licenses, TLS settings, network settings, VPN settings, advanced VPN settings, web server, client settings, and failover.

Helpful tips for configuration settings:

The following may be helpful configuration settings:

  1. To reach OpenVPN Access Server via the internet, set the Hostname or IP address to one facing the public internet.
  2. The default subnet for OpenVPN Access Server’s internal DHCP system is 172.27.224.0/20. This may be changed to a subnet that better fits your network.
  3. The routing section provides the option to push certain routes to networks accessed via the server to remote clients.
  4. Forwarding client internet traffic through the OpenVPN Access Server is a toggleable option.
  5. Settings can be changed per client from within user permissions.

5) Connect Client

To access a connect client via web browser, use the address below by replacing “openvpnasip” with the IP allocated to your openvpn-as instance:

https://openvpnasip:943

Users have two options:

  1. Connect to the VPN: the user connects directly to the VPN through their web browser.
  2. Login to the Connect Client: they can download their user configuration files (client.ovpn) and use them to connect to the VPN with other OpenVPN Clients.

Helpful Linux and Ubuntu Tips

  • Successfully running the Linux commands here require that they are executed with root privileges logged in as a root user or sudo up
  • Make sure the time and date on the Ubuntu server are correct as Access Server generates certificates with both a start and expiration date. It can also affect the use of multi-factor systems such as Google Authenticator. If needed, install a Network Time Protocol (NTP) client program on the server to correctly and automatically sync the time.
  • Cloud-based virtual machines are susceptible to time drift
  • To install an NTP client on Ubuntu use the command: apt-get install ntp
  • For configuring an Access Server without internet access, it requires contacting the OpenVPN team for an offline activation procedure
  • If you experience slowness with the web interface or attempting license key activation, check that DNS resolution is working as expected (e.g.: pinging www.google.com should resolve this to an IP address)