I have set up VPN on my virtual private servers before, but the experience has never been easy.
Recently, I tried again, using Docker approach, and it is amazingly smooth. Done in 5 minutes!
Stop spending a fortune on paid VPN services. You can get one at $5/month on Digital Ocean. For me, I didn’t spend a cent, since I am using existing instance that already runs my stuff (:
First you need a DigitalOcean account.
I have been using Digital Ocean for a long time, and I recommend anyone who requires a dedicated server to use it. Register an account with my referral link, and get FREE $10 (that’s 2 months!) to start with.
Set up a droplet running Ubuntu 14.x, in a geographical location of your liking. I actually have 2 droplets with this VPN setup, 1 in Singapore and 1 in US.
Then install Docker.
Setting Up OpenVPN
We are using the work of kylemanna/docker-openvpn dockerfile.
To setup the docker container (change
vpn.samwize.com to your domain/IP):
OVPN_DATA="ovpn-data" docker run -v $OVPN_DATA:/etc/openvpn --rm kylemanna/openvpn ovpn_genconfig -u udp://vpn.samwize.com docker run -v $OVPN_DATA:/etc/openvpn --rm -it kylemanna/openvpn ovpn_initpki
You will be prompted to enter your EasyRSA passphrase. These are kept in your data volume
Run the docker container:
docker run -v $OVPN_DATA:/etc/openvpn -d -p 1194:1194/udp --cap-add=NET_ADMIN kylemanna/openvpn
Next, generate the ovpn file for your computer to connect to the VPN later.
CLIENTNAME to your computer name (eg.
MacBook-Supreme for me ^^).
docker run -v $OVPN_DATA:/etc/openvpn --rm -it kylemanna/openvpn easyrsa build-client-full CLIENTNAME nopass docker run -v $OVPN_DATA:/etc/openvpn --rm kylemanna/openvpn ovpn_getclient CLIENTNAME > CLIENTNAME.ovpn
Setting up your Client
CLIENTNAME.ovpn is generated on your server.
You need to transfer the file to your computer, eg. via SSH or Cyberduck.
Down a VPN software. For Mac, we can download TunnelBlick.
CLIENTNAME.ovpn file to TunnelBlick in the menu, and you should be good to use!