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I have an Ubuntu desktop (say orc) that runs a simple OpenVPN client. The OpenVPN server is called legolas.

I want all HTTP traffic coming from legolas to be forwarded to a machine, let's call it gimli, on the same local network as orc. I want orc to be the mediator between gimli and legolas. gimli is NOT running an OpenVPN server.

I've trid using FireStarter to configure orc as a pseudo-gateway, with the tun0 device acting as the local interface and eth0 as the internet device, but to no avail. legolas can ping gimli but cannot get any HTTP requests through.

Any idea how I should proceed?

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You want traffic to be forwarded - how ?

Can these machines talk to each other now ? Are they routed, or NAT-ed ?
Is the OpenVPN setup between orc and legolas a routable tunnel, or peer-to-peer ?

If these 3 machines should be able to comm8unicate directly regardless of the VPN, then proper routing is all you need.

If not - and I suspect this is the case - then you have to NAT something to be carried over the tunnel, and decoded on the other end.

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