OpenVPN client (Gw2Gw)¶
In this page appears the list of the Connect Switchboard's connections as OpenVPN clients to remote OpenVPN servers. For every connection, the list reports the status, the name, additional options, a remark, and the available actions.
The status is closed when the connection is disabled, established when the connection is enabled, and connecting… while the connection is being established. When authentication fails, Authentication failed appears as status.
To create a new OpenVPN client connection, click on thebutton and configure the necessary options.
Multiple OpenVPN client connections can be configured and running at the same time.
Configure a new tunnel
There are two types of settings that can be configured for each tunnel configuration: The basic one includes mandatory options for the tunnel to be established, while the advanced one is optional and normally should be changed only if the OpenVPN server has a non-standard setup.
- Tunnel name
A label to identify the connection.
- Connect to
The remote OpenVPN server’s FQDN, port, and protocol in the form
The port and protocol are optional and, if not specified, fall back to their default values, which are 1194 and UDP respectively when not specified. The protocol must be written in lowercase letters.
- Upload certificate file
The server certificate needed for the tunnel connection. Click onto search for the file.
If the server is configured to use PSK authentication (password/username), the server’s host CA certificate must be uploaded to the Connect Switchboard. If the remote server is another Endian appliance, it can be downloaded from.
Otherwise, to use certificate-based authentication, the server’s PKCS#12 file must be uploaded. If the remote server is another Endian appliance, it can be downloaded by first going underand then click on the corresponding icon in the action column of the certificate selected for the tunnel.
Depending on the uploaded certificate file, either of the next two options appears
- PKCS#12 challenge password
Insert here the Challenge password, if one was supplied to the CA before or during the creation of the certificate. This is only needed when uploading a PKCS#12 certificate.
- Username, Password
If the server is configured to use PSK authentication (password/username) or certificate plus password authentication, provide here the username and password of the account on the OpenVPN server.
A comment on the connection.
If the tunnel requires also PSK besides the certificate, enter them here.
The username needed to authenticate to the remote OpenVPN server.
The password associated to the username.
In the Advanced settings box, additional options can be modified, though the values should be modified only if the server side has been configured with non-standard values. The default values for these options are those of other typical Endian appliances.
- Fallback VPN servers
One or more (one per line) fallback OpenVPN servers in the same format used for the primary server, i.e.,
myvpn.example.com:port:protocol. The port and protocol values default to 1194 and udp respectively when omitted. If the connection to the main server fails, one of these fallback servers will take over.
The protocol must be written in lowercase letters.
- Device type
The device used by the server, which is either TAP or TUN.
- Connection type
This drop-down menu is not available if TUN has been selected as Device type, because in this case the connection type is always routed. Available options are routed (i.e., the client acts as a gateway to the remote LAN) or bridged (i.e., the client firewall appears as part of the remote LAN). the next two options
- Bridge to
This field is only available if TAP has been selected as Device type and the connection type is bridged. From this drop-down menu, select the zone to which this client connection should be bridged.
This option is not available if the Connection type is Bridged. When this checkbox is ticked, The Connect Switchboard will be hidden behind the OpenVPN servers’ IP address and not directly reachable from incoming connections to the OpenVPN server.
- Block DHCP responses coming from tunnel
Tick this checkbox to avoid receiving DHCP responses from the LAN at the other side of the VPN tunnel that conflict with a local DHCP server.
- Use LZO compression
Compress the traffic passing through the tunnel, enabled by default.
- Disable channel encryption
When this option is ticked, the whole VPN traffic through this instance will NOT be encrypted, i.e., it will be in plain text. Moreover, the previous two options will disappear.
It is strongly suggested to not disable encryption on the OpenVPN server, as the whole traffic will not be encrypted and could be read in case the communication is intercepted.
- Accept weak server certificate
This option allows to establish the tunnel to an OpenVPN server whose certificate has been signed with a weak cipher like MD5.
This option should remain disabled and certificates generated using MD5 should not be used anymore, because they are highly insecure. This option is meant as a temporary workaround and it is strongly suggested to regenerate all certificates if they are using MD5 ciphers.
How to use a VPN client behind a HTTP proxy.
If the Connect Switchboard can access the Internet only through an upstream HTTP proxy, it can still be used as an OpenVPN client in a Gateway-to-Gateway setup, providing the following two requirements are satisfied.
The TCP protocol must be selected on both sides of the VPN tunnel (Server and Client).
The account information for the HTTP upstream proxy must be provided in the specific section of the OpenVPN configuration (see the next options right below this box).
The protocol used by the server: UDP (default) or TCP. Set to TCP only if an HTTP proxy should be used: In this case, the next options show up.
HTTP proxy configuration
- HTTP proxy
The HTTP proxy host, e.g.,
proxy.example.com:port, with the port defaulting to 8080 if not entered.
- Proxy username, Proxy password
The proxy account information: The username and the password.
- NTLM proxy authentication
Tick the checkbox to use NTLM authentication on the proxy.
- Forge proxy user-agent
A forged user agent string can be used in some cases to disguise the Connect Switchboard as a regular web browser, i.e., to contact the proxy as a browser. This operation may prove useful if the proxy accepts connections only for some type of browsers.
Select the cipher used to encrypt the OpenVPN traffic with the server. The default value is Auto, which means, that the cipher used by the client will be the same configured on the server.
Once the connection has been configured, a new box at the bottom of the page will appear, called TLS authentication, that can be used to upload a TLS key file to be used for the connection. These options are available.
- Upload a TLS key
Click on theto choose the key file to upload, searchable on the local workstation.
This value is set to 0 on servers and to 1 on clients. A third option of omit can be used, to use the same key for both traffic directions.
The omit value reduces the encryption security; for more information check the openvpn(8) manpage on a Linux box, especially section Data Channel Encryption Options, and the various options involved,
--tls-direction, and similar.