Linux OpenVPN Terminal Setup Guide

  1. Install OpenVPN using your package manager if it is not installed already:

    Debian, Ubuntu, Mint:

    sudo apt-get install openvpn

    Fedora, CentOS:

    sudo yum install openvpn


    sudo dnf install openvpn

    Arch, Manjaro:

    sudo pacman -S openvpn


    zypper install openvpn
  2. Download the OpenVPN config files to your home directory and extract the contents to a known location.

    wget -O ""
        creating: ivpn-openvpn-config/
        inflating: ivpn-openvpn-config/Austria.ovpn
        inflating: ivpn-openvpn-config/Australia.ovpn
    cd ivpn-openvpn-config/

    In this case, the configuration files are in the ivpn-openvpn-config/ sub-folder of the user home folder. The full path is /home/user/ivpn-openvpn-config/.

    Note: Unless your Linux user account is called user the full path will likely be different on your computer system.
  3. You can initiate an OpenVPN connection by specifying the configuration file you wish to use. You will need to manually enter your account ID that begins with letters ‘ivpnXXXXXXXX’ or ‘i-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX’ and any password.

    Only your account ID is used for the authentication. The password can be anything, like "ivpn", if your client requires a non-blank password.
    sudo openvpn --config /home/user/ivpn-openvpn-config/Austria.ovpn


    cd /home/user/ivpn-openvpn-config/
    sudo openvpn --config Austria.ovpn
    Note: If you close the Terminal window with an active VPN connection, the VPN will be disconnected. Please keep the Terminal window open. You can also disconnect the VPN by pressing `Ctrl+c` in the Terminal window. You will see a few extra lines as the connection cleans up.
  4. It is possible to create a file to store your credentials, which saves from entering them for each connection. Create a file called pass in a known location. This known location might be the same ivpn-openvpn-config/ from the previous steps. Enter your account ID (starts with ‘ivpn’) on the first line and any password on the second line:

    nano /home/user/ivpn-openvpn-config/pass

    Press Ctrl+x to save the file and exit from the nano editor.

  5. Protect your credentials from other users on your computer system:

    chmod 400 home/user/ivpn-openvpn-config/pass
  6. Update the .ovpn files to point to your credential file. A single file can be edited manually:

    nano /home/user/ivpn-openvpn-config/Austria.ovpn

    Change the auth-user-pass line to auth-user-pass /home/user/ivpn-openvpn-config/pass. Press Ctrl+x to save the file and exit from the nano editor.

    All of the .ovpn files can be changed at the same time:

    cd /home/user/ivpn-openvpn-config/
    sed -i 's:auth-user-pass:auth-user-pass /home/user/ivpn-openvpn-config/pass:' *.ovpn
  7. After connecting to one of our OpenVPN servers, the internal DNS server for the VPN connection can be automatically added to the /etc/resolv.conf file if you have either the resolvconf or openresolv package installed. When the VPN connection is established, the resolvconf package will create a temporary backup of your computer system’s /etc/resolv.conf file and replace the contents with our internal DNS server. This is automatic on most distributions, but some Debian-based distros have trouble with the extra DNS.

    A temporary fix is to edit the /etc/resolv.conf file to make sure the only DNS server present is ours. First, find the VPN server IP address:

    ip a | grep tun
    tun0: <POINTOPOINT...
        inet 10.x.y.z/22 ...

    The corresponding DNS server for this 10.x.y.z IP address is 10.x.y.1. You could also use our global internal IP address: Comment out all non-blank lines and add one for our DNS server:

    sudo nano /etc/resolv.conf
    # a comment is a line that starts with '#'
    #search domain
    nameserver 10.x.y.1

    Press Ctrl+x to save the file and exit from the nano editor.

    You can undo the changes to the /etc/resolv.conf file by editing it with the nano editor and reversing the changes. The file will also be restored to the original state if you reboot your computer system.

  8. A more permanent DNS fix is available via this guide.

  9. If you wish to have the OpenVPN connection establish automatically with the system start, please see the following guides for Ubuntu and Fedora.

  10. Check your external IP to verify that you are connected:


    If you have the jq JSON parser program installed, it looks a little friendlier:

    curl | jq


  1. Most issues can be easily resolved by reviewing the logs. The diagnostic logging for the connection is available in the same Terminal window that you executed the connection command from. Some distributions will write OpenVPN logs to the syslog e.g. /var/log/syslog or /var/log/messages. You can filter VPN connection details with the grep command:

    grep -i vpn /var/log/syslog
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