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Revision as of 17:03, 4 December 2019 by NicolasDandrimont (talk | contribs) (For admins: Migrate to easyrsa 3.x)
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The Software Heritage server and the VMs running on it are severely firewalled. To get onto their network unrestricted, a VPN based on OpenVPN is available.

The setup is client-server, with per-client certificates.

OpenVPN client configuration

Raw OpenVPN

Sample configuration file, e.g., /etc/openvpn/softwareheritage.conf:

remote louvre.softwareheritage.org
ns-cert-type server 
dev tun
proto udp 
port 1194 
log /var/log/openvpn.log
ca /etc/openvpn/keys/softwareheritage-ca.crt
cert /etc/openvpn/keys/softwareheritage.crt
key /etc/openvpn/keys/softwareheritage.key
user nobody
group nogroup

# If you are using resolvconf, add this:
# Make sure you add louvre to /etc/hosts to avoid issues in using the vpn-provided DNS server.
script-security 2
up /etc/openvpn/update-resolv-conf
down /etc/openvpn/update-resolv-conf

# If you want the connection to persist when your network fails, add this:
ping-restart 10

In addition to the above configuration file, you will need to install the following 3 files under /etc/openvpn/keys:

  • softwareheritage-ca.crt: public certificate for the Software Heritage certification authority (CA)
  • softwareheritage.crt: public, client-specific certificate (see below)
  • softwareheritage.key: private, client-specific key (see below)

Network Manager GUI

You need network-manager-openvpn and network-manager-openvpn-gnome for the configuration gui.

Nm openvpn base.png Nm openvpn routes.png Nm openvpn advanced general.png Nm openvpn advanced security.png Nm openvpn advanced tls auth.png

Obtaining a client certificate

For users

Ask an admin to produce a pair of client-specific certificate/key for you.

Please ensure there is a way to send you the certificate and the key securely (e.g., GPG).

For admins

On louvre:

root@louvre:~# cd /etc/openvpn/keys
root@louvre:/etc/openvpn/keys# ./easyrsa build-client-full USERNAME nopass

At the end of the process certificate and key will be in /etc/openvpn/keys/pki/issued/USERNAME.crt and /etc/openvpn/keys/pki/private/USERNAME.key. Send them to USERNAME (securely).

Add the DNS entry for the new host to hiera and do a puppet run on pergamon.

Revoking a client certificate

On louvre:

root@louvre:~# cd /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/
root@louvre:/etc/openvpn/easy-rsa# . vars 
root@louvre:/etc/openvpn/easy-rsa# ./revoke-full USERNAME

OpenVPN re-reads the CRL at each connection, so once the cert is revoked, there's nothing more to do. You can restart openvpn to make sure the client is disconnected.

/etc/hosts entries

Once the Vpn is setup on your machine, you can access Software Heritage hosts via their private IP addresses; see Network configuration.

OpenVPN now pushes the address of our DNS server (, pergamon).

You might want to add louvre.softwareheritage.org in your /etc/hosts to avoid a bootstrap problem if the "on-vpn" DNS server is in your resolv.conf.