OpenVPN on IPFire

OpenVPN is a VPN service that allows remote networks or wireless clients, such as laptops, to connect to IPFire. This functionality is also available with the implementation of IPsec, but OpenVPN takes a different approach, based on SSL tunnels.

Using OpenVPN instead of IPSec is a matter of preference, though there are a few very good reasons to choose one over the other.


  • Easier to set up and configure
  • Less likely to be blocked by intermediate routers
  • Much better for site-to-site connections (where an entire network is connected to another network)
  • Ability to do Ethernet-layer tunneling (not possible with IPSec)
  • More stable, and troubleshooting is generally simpler.
  • Standard for OpenSource projects


  • More widely used in industry
  • Available with proprietary routers (most proprietary routers do not support OpenVPN)
  • Arguably more secure, since OpenVPN users can (and sometimes do) set their passwords empty, allowing a connection without a passphrase.
  • Formally standardized via IETF RFC 3193
  • De Facto standard for Microsoft products.

See this article for some additional in-depth information about the two.


This documentation is divided into four areas. At first, everything worth knowing about is the configuration, for advanced users there are tips and tricks under extensions. Smartphones are often not so easy to configure, but there is help available in this wiki.

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Older Revisions • May 12 at 12:39 am • Jon