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OpenVPN Settings

OpenVPN is an Open Source, OpenSSL-based, routed VPN. It can be used for site-to-site or remote access VPN setups, and due to its open and robust nature, its use is encouraged wherever possible. There are clients for multiple platforms (Windows, OS X, BSD, Linux, Android, iOS, etc), and it allows much more flexibility in routing than IPsec.

OpenVPN configuration is performed in the pfSense® webGUI under VPN > OpenVPN. For more details and How-To articles, see OpenVPN or for the most thorough and easy-to-follow documentation, see the pfSense Book.

OpenVPN requires the use of a PKI CA/certificate structure setup for configurations using SSL/TLS. The certificates for a PKI setup can be managed as described in the Certificate Management article. Setup the certificates there beforehand.

OpenVPN also has an add-on package for a OpenVPN Client Export Package which automatically creates configuration files and Windows client installers to download.

The interface will change depending on the options chosen. Options which are not relevant to the type of setup being performed are hidden, rather than disabled.


The Server tab is where OpenVPN server processes are managed. These are processes that will listen for incoming connections from a remote peer.

With a remote access (road warrior) setup, the pfSense router is the server. A remote access setup can use SSL/TLS, user authentication, or both.

With a peer-to-peer setup, one site is a server and the other site is a client, it does not matter much which is which, though if one site has a static IP address then it would work best as a server. A peer-to-peer setup can be either SSL/TLS or Shared Key.


The Client tab contains OpenVPN clients which make connections to remote OpenVPN servers. These could be Site-to-Site VPNs, or to VPN providers.

The OpenVPN client is only for peer-to-peer setups, not remote access. As with the server definitions, SSL/TLS or Shared Key may be used.

Client Specific Overrides

When using a SSL/TLS setup, additional client-specific configurations may be managed under this tab. These are distinguished based on the Common Name attribute of the certificate being used to connect, or the username if authentication is enabled.

These overrides may be used to specify per-user IP addresses, routes or iroutes specific to a remote site, and so on.