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arrowHome arrow Linux arrow Remote Access arrow Connecting to the OpenVPN Wednesday, 23 August 2017  
Remote Access
Connecting to OpenVPN on Linux Print
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 04 December 2013

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. Once you are connected, all web site traffic will be directed through PSU's VPN hardware, and it will appear that you are connected physically to PSU's network. This will allow you to use private MCECS services that require a connection to the PSU network, like remote desktop and VNC. 

This guide is for Ubuntu distributions, and will likely work with other Debian-based linuxes. 

CECS vs CECS Full Tunnel

We offer two configuration options for OpenVPN. The Full Tunnel will send all of your network communication, eg going to, through MCECS.
However the CECS or "Split Tunnel" configuration will only be used to connect to MCECS machines and resources, like the terminal server or print server.


Connecting Using the Command Line Client

The recommended way of connecting to the OpenVPN is using the command line OpenVPN client.

Installing OpenVPN and Downloading the Config Files

Run this in a terminal window:

sudo apt-get install openvpn unzip wget
unzip -d cecs_linux_openvpn 

Connecting to the OpenVPN

Run this in a terminal window:

cd cecs_linux_openvpn
sudo openvpn cecs.ovpn

Leave this terminal window open while you want to be connected to the OpenVPN. To disconnect CTRL+C while focused on the terminal window that holds you OpenVPN connection. If you just close the terminal window without properly disconnecting you might either remain connected, or get the OpenVPN software into a confused state where networking doesn't work properly. If this happens run "sudo killall openvpn" in a terminal window, or reboot your machine.

Connecting to the OpenVPN (full tunnel)

Run this in a terminal window:

cd cecs_linux_openvpn
sudo openvpn cecs_full_tunnel.ovpn


A common issue when using the regular OpenVPN configs (split tunnel) is that your DNS systems DNS server might not allow traffic from the IP address you get assigned when connected to the OpenVPN. An easy work around for this is to configure your system to use fully public DNS servers like Google's. Google's public DNS servers are and

Connecting Using the Network Manager GUI Plugin (deprecated)

This allows you to connect to the OpenVPN using the Network Manager GUI icon. On recent Ubuntu versions though this seems to not always apply DNS setting correctly and lead to not being able to connect to anything over the VPN. Use at your own risk.

Installing OpenVPN and Downloading the Config Files

Run this in a terminal window:

sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn network-manager-openvpn-gnome unzip
unzip -d ~/.config/openvpn

You can also manually download the configs here: OpenVPN Configuration Files 

Configuring the OpenVPN Connection in Network Manager

1. Go to the networking icon in the top right of your desktop panel and hover over "VPN Connections" from the dropdown menu. Select "Configure vpn".

2. Click "add"


3. In the drop down menu choose "Import a saved VPN Configuration"


4. Give the connection a name (it doesn't matter what you choose, as long as you know what it means). 

5. Choose "Password" as the Authentication Type, and enter your MCECS username and password.

6. You may want to make sure the "Connect automatically" checkbox is not checked. 

It should all look something like this:


7. Next click the advanced button and check the LZO option


8. Click on the "IPv4 settings" tab now


9. Click "routes" and check the "use this connection only for resources on this network" box


 10. If you also have an "IPv6 settings" tab, repeat steps 8 and 9 for that tab. 


 After you click 'Save', the VPN configuration will be set up and saved. To connect, go to the networking dropdown menu and select the connection from "VPN Connections".

Last Updated ( Monday, 26 June 2017 )

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