Setting up OpenVPN from Strongvpn.com for
an IRLP node CentOS 4.8 IRLP 7.06 ISO


After spending hours searching the web for information relating to how to set up a vpn on an IRLP node and not finding
out too much, I decided to document my experience.  I hope some of this information may be of use to someone else out there.
  I am not that Linux savvy, but I can manage my way around my node (I think)   :-)





These were my steps to setup setup OpenVPN on my IRLP Node computer

I needed a work around to run 2 IRLP nodes at my home and my ISP (Verizon Fios) only provides 1 public IP address.

I subscribed to a service called OpenVPN which gives the computer it is running on a Virtual IP address somewhere else in the world.
I chose NY, USA.  (Nearest to my home)            http://strongvpn.com  ($85.00 yearly)

The company has a forum for posting help requests.  The following is a modified version of what I did.

The original is located here:  http://strongvpn.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=169


Once you subscribe and have an account setup I had to do the following:
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OpenVPN will supply you with the proper configuration files.
It will be emailed to you and will also be available via their website's control panel.

Your config files will be in your control panel area.
https://secure.reliablehosting.com/services/intranet/
Sign in using your email address and password.

Go to :VPN Accounts Summary |  View Greeting  |  Download the Zip file
Save this Zip file, It has the configuration information that the OpenVPN program needs and you'll need to transfer it into a folder in a later step.

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On your IRLP Node-
login in as root

yum -y install openvpn
You may need to install epel repository firstly. (I Did)
***I needed to install the epel repository for this to work on my system as my first attempt resulted in a failure to download the openvpn source via yum***

I downloaded and installed : epel-release-4-10.noarch.rpm

wget http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/4/i386/epel-release-4-10.noarch.rpm

Once I downloaded and installed the epel-release I was able to successfully
install openvpn by typing     
yum -y install openvpn

This creates an openvpn directory within the /etc directory.        

Install openvpn configuration with following commands:
As root
cd /etc/openvpn
wget http://zip_file_link
unzip zip_file
I needed to (Because of my limited Linux knowledge) download and extract the zip file onto my windows computer and then
use the Winscp method to move the extracted zip file into the /etc/openvpn directory.
I'm not familiar with how Linux Uncompresses .zip files.

--  Next  --

mv ovpnXXX.ovpn ovpnXXX.conf

Replace XXX with actual numbers of filenames in the commands above and zip_file_link with the actual link you have in your account details.
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If you switch to another server you need to delete unzipped files in /etc/openvpn directory and unzip there new ones.
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Some users may experience DNS resolution troubles. In this case they need to change the OpenVPN nameservers in /etc/resolve.conf
These values are different from server to server and may be retrieved from openvpn connection log or syslog. If you unsure how to do that, try to set google's     nameservers in
/etc/resolv.conf, they are 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4

   (I didn't have any issues in my setup, just providing some additional info if needed)

From the IRLP.net webpage
NODE STATUS SHOWING DOWN
Internet DNS (Domain Name Service) is now required to find the status page and report your status correctly.
Test it from the command prompt with 'ping www.irlp.net' (ctrl-C to exit) If you get an "unknown host" error, you have this problem.

To fix, edit the file /etc/resolv.conf.   (You can also enter 'setup' from the command line and select Network Configuration.   Make sure the IP addresses  behind the word "nameserver" are the IP addresses of your service provider's nameservers. Some routers (linksys for one) automatically populate   nameservers data.

You need at least one working nameserver listed.

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If you have trouble after the install, try running...
/etc/init.d/openvpn stop
cd /etc/openvpn
openvpn --config ovpnXXX.conf

Replace XXX with actual numbers in filenames as you did earlier
--------------------------------------------------------
Command line
service openvpn stop
service openvpn start
service openvpn status

After starting the OpenVPN service , (service openvpn start) I tried :
telnet www.irlp.net 10000 and it showed my my correct Virtual IP address.


Now I'm off to figure how to have the computer automatically start the vpn service upon startup.

--- Update ---

I added this toward the top  of my rc.irlp file and it seems to work...

echo -n "Starting the OpenVPN Connection... "
  /etc/init.d/./openvpn start
sleep 5

I think you may also be able to use /etc/init.d/openvpn start



      This is a work in progress....   Stay tuned for any updates.

  Good luck
  Bob W2YMM

W2YMM
long island ny
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