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Beginning OpenVPN 2.0.9

Beginner's Guide
Markus Feilner, Norbert Graf

Build and integrate Virtual Private Networks using OpenVPN
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847197061
Paperback356 pages

About This Book

  • A practical guide to using OpenVPN for building both basic and complex Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
  • Learn how to make use of OpenVPNs modules, high-end-encryption and how to combine it with servers for your individual privacy
  • Advanced management of security certificates
  • Get to know the new features of the forthcoming version 2.1 of OpenVPN

Who This Book Is For

This book is for both experienced and new OpenVPN users. If you are interested in security and privacy in the internet, or want to have your notebook or mobile phone connected safely to the internet, the server in your company, or at home, you will find this book useful. It presumes basic knowledge of Linux, but no knowledge of VPNs is required.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: VPN—Virtual Private Network
Broadband Internet access and VPNs
How does a VPN work?
What are VPNs used for?
Networking concepts—protocols and layers
Tunneling and overhead
VPN concepts—overview
Chapter 2: VPN Security
VPN security
Privacy—encrypting traffic
Reliability and authentication
SSL/TLS security
Chapter 3: OpenVPN
Advantages of OpenVPN
History of OpenVPN
Networking with OpenVPN
OpenVPN compared to IPsec VPN
Sources for help and documentation
The project community
Chapter 4: Installing OpenVPN on Windows and Mac
Obtaining the software
Installing OpenVPN on Windows
Installing OpenVPN on Mac OS X (Tunnelblick)
Chapter 5: Installing OpenVPN on Linux and Unix Systems
Installing OpenVPN on SuSE Linux
Installing OpenVPN on Red Hat Fedora using yum
Installing OpenVPN on Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Installing OpenVPN on RPM-based systems
Installing OpenVPN on Debian and Ubuntu
Installing OpenVPN on FreeBSD
Chapter 6: Advanced OpenVPN Installation
Troubleshooting—advanced installation methods
Installing OpenVPN from source code
Building and distributing .deb packages
Building your own RPM file
Enabling Linux kernel TUN/TAP support
Chapter 7: Configuring an OpenVPN Server—The First Tunnel
OpenVPN on Microsoft Windows
Connecting Windows and Linux
Troubleshooting firewall issues
Chapter 8: Setting Up OpenVPN with X.509 Certificates
Creating certificates
Certificate generation on Windows Server 2008 with easy-rsa
Distributing the files to the VPN partners
Configuring OpenVPN to use certificates
Using easy-rsa on Linux
Chapter 9: The Command openvpn and Its Configuration File
Syntax of openvpn
Using OpenVPN at the command line
Configuring OpenVPN with certificates—simple TLS mode
Overview of OpenVPN parameters
Important Windows-specific options
New in Version 2.1
Chapter 10: Securing OpenVPN Tunnels and Servers
Securing and stabilizing OpenVPN
Linux and Firewalls
Configuring the Windows Firewall for OpenVPN
Chapter 11: Advanced Certificate Management
Certificate management and security
Installing xca
Using xca
Importing a CA certificate
Using TinyCA2 to manage certificates
Other tools worth mentioning
Chapter 12: OpenVPN GUI Tools
OpenVPN server administration: Webmin's OpenVPN plugin
Client GUIs for Linux
Chapter 13: Advanced OpenVPN Configuration
Tunneling a proxy server and protecting the proxy
Scripting OpenVPN—an overview
Using a client configuration directory with per-client configurations
Individual firewall rules for connecting clients
Distributed compilation through VPN tunnels with distcc
Ethernet bridging with OpenVPN
Automatic installation for Windows clients
Clustering and redundancy
Chapter 14: Mobile Security with OpenVPN
Anonymous and uncensored Internet Access
OpenVPN on Windows Mobile
Embedded Linux – Maemo
Chapter 15: Troubleshooting and Monitoring
Testing network connectivity
Checking interfaces, routing, and connectivity on the VPN servers
Debugging with tcpdump and IPTraf
Using OpenVPN protocol and status files for debugging
Scanning servers with Nmap
Monitoring tools

What You Will Learn

  • Install OpenVPN on Windows Server, Vista, and Mac OS X and also on different Linux versions and FreeBSD
  • Learn basic security concepts necessary to understand VPNs and OpenVPN in particular
  • Take a look at encryption matters, symmetric and asymmetric keying, and certificates
  • Connect Windows and Linux systems and safely transfer the necessary encryption keys using WinSCP
  • Learn about OpenVPN, its development, features, resources, advantages, and disadvantages compared to other VPN solutions, especially IPsec
  • Discuss non-standard and advanced methods of installing OpenVPN by compiling the source code provided by the OpenVPN project
  • Create an encryption key for OpenVPN and use it to set up an OpenVPN tunnel between two Windows systems in the same network
  • Create X.509 server and client certificates for use with OpenVPN and learn how to use tools to debug and monitor VPN tunnels
  • Create and administer certificates that have to be transferred to the machines that are supposed to take part in the VPN
  • Configure two different firewall networks that connect to each other through the secure OpenVPN tunnel
  • Install and use XCA and TinyCA2 to generate certificate revocation lists that are used to block unwanted connections by formerly authorized clients
  • Install OpenVPN on Windows Mobile and Smartphones running embedded Linux, like Nokia's Maemo platform
  • Analyze the flow of datagrams between the VPN servers and the connected networks with tools like ifconfig, ping, traceroute, and mtr

In Detail

OpenVPN is a powerful, open source SSL VPN application. It can secure site-to-site connections, WiFi, and enterprise-scale remote connections. While being a full-featured VPN solution, OpenVPN is easy to use and does not suffer from the complexity that characterizes other IPsec VPN implementations. It uses the secure and stable TLS/SSL mechanisms for authentication and encryption. This book is an easy introduction to this popular VPN application. After introducing the basics of security and VPN, it moves on to cover using OpenVPN, from installing it on various platforms, through configuring basic tunnels, to more advanced features, such as using the application with firewalls, routers, proxy servers, and OpenVPN scripting.

This is a practical guide to using OpenVPN for building both basic and complex Virtual Private Networks. It will save you a lot of time and help you build better VPNs that suit your requirements. While providing only necessary theoretical background, the book takes a practical approach, presenting plenty of examples. It starts with an introduction into the theory of VPNs and OpenVPN, followed by a simple installation example on almost every available platform. After a concise and ordered list of OpenVPN's parameters, we dive into connecting several machines in a safe way. The last third of the book deals with professional and high-end scenarios, and also mobile integration. After having read the whole book and followed and understood all the examples, you will be an expert in VPN, Security, and especially in OpenVPN Technology. This book was written for version 2.0.9 of OpenVPN, but all examples have been tested and run smoothly on version 2.1 too.


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