I am attempting to connect to a service using OpenVPN.

There are a number of configuration files (.OVPN) that share a single certificate (ca.crt); all are located in the same directory. Canada.ovpn, for example:

dev tun
proto udp
remote ca.#########.com 443
resolv-retry 5
tun-mtu 1500
tun-mtu-extra 32
mssfix 1450
ca ca.crt
route-delay 5 30
script-security 3 system
ping-restart 0
verb 3

When I attempt to connect:

sudo openvpn --config ./configs/canada.ovpn --auth-user-pass ./credentials.txt

I get an error that reads:

Options error: --ca fails with 'ca.crt': No such file or directory Options error: Please correct these errors. Use --help for more information.

It seems that openvpn is having difficultly with the relative path. I changed the relevant line to ca ./ca.crt, but that resulted in the same error.

Configuration files that have an in-line certificate work as expected.

What is the correct way to use a relative path to a certificate in an .OVPN file?

  • Where is the file ca.crt located? One directory up from where canada.ovpn is, as the config and command line suggests? Nov 9, 2014 at 19:39
  • It is also located in the configs directory (i.e. with the *.ovpn files).
    – craibuc
    Nov 9, 2014 at 19:47
  • Ok, good to have that confirmed. Then I believe my answer should have you covered both in terms of what is the current problem and how --cd is likely the road to sanity. Nov 9, 2014 at 19:59

1 Answer 1


It appears that the referenced file does not exist in the current working directory.

Is your intention to reference a file that is also in the same directory as the config (.ovpn) file? If so, based on your command line, it does not appear that these files are actually in ./ but rather in configs/.

As a better approach, I believe you may want to use the --cd option to have openvpn change working directories before opening any files.

  • 1
    That worked. Needed to move the credentials file (cred.txt) to the same directory. Working command: sudo openvpn --cd /etc/certificates/configs --config canada.ovpn --auth-user-pass ./cred.txt
    – craibuc
    Nov 10, 2014 at 13:12

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