I've got an OpenVPN AS running and I am trying to setup SSL certs (running ubuntu) from letsencrypt.

I've managed to get my certificates from letsencrypt (using letsencrypt standalone) and I was hoping to make a symlink to the certificates in the OpenVPN ssl configuration. However when I looked in /usr/local/openvpn_as/etc/web-ssl it varies from that is in my /live/domain/cert.pem etc...

Does anyone know how I can get my openvpn as instance serving letsencrypt certificates?

EDIT: ls -l of directories

openvpnas@openvpnas2:/usr/local/openvpn_as/etc/web-ssl$ ls -l
total 16
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1111 Mar 10 13:30 ca.crt
-rw------- 1 root root 1708 Mar 10 13:30 ca.key
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1078 Mar 10 13:30 server.crt
-rw------- 1 root root 1704 Mar 10 13:30 server.key

root@openvpnas2:/etc/letsencrypt/live/my.domain# ls -l
total 0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 37 Mar 10 19:03 cert.pem -> ../../archive    /my.domain/cert1.pem
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 38 Mar 10 19:03 chain.pem -> ../../archive/my.domain/chain1.pem
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 42 Mar 10 19:03 fullchain.pem -> ../../archive/my.domain/fullchain1.pem
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 40 Mar 10 19:03 privkey.pem -> ../../archive/domain/privkey1.pem
  • I've no idea what the difference between your two directories is (perhaps you should paste the contents of an ls -l for both of the directories), but you probably just want to symlink the certificates themselves, not the entire directory. – Mark Henderson Mar 10 '16 at 22:09

In order to use letsencrypt certificates on the openvpnas you need to have the following symlinks:

/usr/local/openvpn_as/etc/web-ssl/ca.crt -> /etc/letsencrypt/live/my.domain/fullchain.pem
/usr/local/openvpn_as/etc/web-ssl/server.crt -> /etc/letsencrypt/live/my.domain/cert.pem
/usr/local/openvpn_as/etc/web-ssl/server.key -> /etc/letsencrypt/live/my.domain/privkey.pem

Please do not use a public CA for OpenVPN. There is no need to trust an external party with your VPN network traffic.

Just create your own CA, with e.g. easy-rsa.

  • Plus, with a 90-day-lifetime, you'd be switching client certificates all the time. Automate that! – Hank Nov 15 '16 at 8:14
  • 1
    I'm not really familiar with OpenVPN AS specifically, but the paths in the question containing web-ssl makes me think this is not about the server and client certs for openvpn itself. – Håkan Lindqvist Dec 3 '16 at 12:11
  • 1
    How does using a public CA constitute "trusting an external party with your VPN network traffic"? They just sign the certificate. – Sven Slootweg Jul 10 '17 at 14:29
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    Also, it seems there is confusion between VPN network traffic and OpenVPN Access Server. Don't we want to have a public CA signed certificate protect OpenVPN Access Server? This is standard web traffic and should be encrypted. – Peter P. Jan 24 at 21:41

I just found this great script that makes it completely painless.

Running this script in crontab will keep you renewed for ever.


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