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My server runs CentOS 6.2. It has two network cards (eth0 and eth1). In my server I have installed CoovaChilli access controller software, that manages the LAN under it. This management is done through a tunnel that is created by CoovaChilli, and all clients from LAN connect to that tunnel.

Now the problem is that I would like to create a VPN between that server and another remote client (or server). I need some help on doing this, taking in account that I'm new to the topic. I tried to follow VPN HOWTO tutorial, but it is old and some things I think are deprecated. Searching on Internet, I found that there are many ways to create a VPN - I mention just a few: IPSec, OpenVPN, CIPE - and this confused me a little bit.

My VPN will be created between my server that runs CentOS and another remote server that runs Linux also.

What I need: some guidelines on how to achieve that working VPN.

N.B. Any links on this topic are welcome!

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Don't use CIPE. It was deprecated a long time ago, as it isn't actually cryptographically secure. IPSEC is current, but it's a giant pain to get running.

Use OpenVPN, especially if it's computer-to-computer (if some of the clients are, say, phones, then use IPSEC/PPTP, as OpenVPN clients aren't easily available on such devices). Here's the HOWTO:

http://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/documentation/howto.html

The RPM for OpenVPN is in RPMForge. The HOWTO to set up that repository is: http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories/RPMForge So, once you have the repo set up, you can simply run yum install openvpn.

If you're just setting up a single client, then look at the OpenVPN mini-howto on configuring static keys:

http://openvpn.net/index.php/open-source/documentation/miscellaneous/78-static-key-mini-howto.html

The more typical (and flexible) configuration for OpenVPN is to set up your own mini Certificate Authority. The server validates clients (and clients validate the server, to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks) using certificates signed by this little CA. OpenVPN includes a number of scripts to get this set up. But, from your scenario, you can probably get by with the static key/pre-shared secret configuration.

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I suggest pptp

  • It's easy to install on CentOS (binary for CentOS 6.2 right here)

  • Clients are universally available (all OSs, phones, etc.)

  • It's not too hard to setup. See a simple tutorial for CentOS 6 here

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I'm running a 32 bit platform, so your binary isn't good for me. –  artaxerxe May 10 '12 at 11:59
    
Look here, as mentioned in the tutorial link ckhan included. –  sr_ May 10 '12 at 12:01
    
I can't understand what does localip and remoteip signify. They are specified in the /etc/pptpd.conf file. Can you explain me what they represent(from the above tutorial link)? On my server, I have a static IP (the WAN) set to aaa.aaa.aaa.aaa, let's say. The LAN is set to bbb.bbb.bbb.0, that means that the server LAN IP is bbb.bbb.bbb.1 - the gateway where all clients from my LAN points to. The remote machine that I need to create a VPN with has a static IP, let's say ccc.ccc.ccc.ccc. –  artaxerxe May 11 '12 at 5:23
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The way I have it, I use localip bbb.bbb.bbb.2 (remember VPN works by giving each machine a 2nd ip address - this is the servers endpoint) and remoteip bbb.bbb.bbb.200-205 (these are the addresses that your client will get when they connect, making them on the bbb network) –  ckhan May 11 '12 at 7:13
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