So I'm having issues starting openvpn client in Fedora 34.

This is what I'm getting on the terminal

[root@mybox ~]# systemctl start openvpn-client@default
Job for openvpn-client@default.service failed because the control process exited with error code.
See "systemctl status openvpn-client@default.service" and "journalctl -xeu openvpn-client@default.service" for details.
[root@mybox ~]# systemctl status openvpn-client@default
× openvpn-client@default.service - OpenVPN tunnel for default
     Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/openvpn-client@.service; disabled; vendor preset: disabled)
     Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Mon 2021-08-09 18:35:01 AEST; 1s ago
       Docs: man:openvpn(8)
    Process: 3970 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/openvpn --suppress-timestamps --nobind --config default.conf (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)
   Main PID: 3970 (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)
        CPU: 23ms

Aug 09 18:35:01 mybox systemd[1]: Starting OpenVPN tunnel for default...
Aug 09 18:35:01 mybox openvpn[3970]: Options error: In [CMD-LINE]:1: Error opening configuration file: default.conf
Aug 09 18:35:01 mybox openvpn[3970]: Use --help for more information.
Aug 09 18:35:01 mybox systemd[1]: openvpn-client@default.service: Main process exited, code=exited, status=1/FAILURE
Aug 09 18:35:01 mybox systemd[1]: openvpn-client@default.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.
Aug 09 18:35:01 mybox systemd[1]: Failed to start OpenVPN tunnel for default.
[root@mybox ~]#

my config files are located in

root@mybox client]# ls -al
total 12
drwxr-x---. 1 root openvpn   60 Aug  9 03:47 .
drwxr-xr-x. 1 root root      60 Aug  9 03:47 ..
-rw-r--r--. 1 root openvpn 1818 Dec  8  2020 ca.crt
-rw-------. 1 root openvpn   23 Dec  8  2020 .credentials
-rw-r--r--. 1 root openvpn  535 Aug  9 03:55 default.conf
[root@mybox client]# pwd

These are the contents of default.conf

[root@mybox client]# cat default.conf 
remote usa.my-vpn-server-here.com 1194 udp
remote usa.my-vpn-server-here.com 443 tcp-client

comp-lzo adaptive
ca /etc/openvpn/client/ca.crt
dev tun
script-security 2
cipher AES-256-CBC
mute 10

route-delay 5
redirect-gateway def1
resolv-retry infinite
remote-cert-tls server

auth-user-pass /etc/openvpn/client/.credentials

This is the systemd service.

I added " --verbose 9 --log /var/log/openvpn.log" in the hope I will be getting something in the log. BUT /var/log/openvpn.log doesn't exists even after running "systemctl start". I also run "systemctl daemon-reload" after editing the service file.

Description=OpenVPN tunnel for %I
After=syslog.target network-online.target

ExecStart=/usr/sbin/openvpn --suppress-timestamps --nobind --config %i.conf
DeviceAllow=/dev/null rw
DeviceAllow=/dev/net/tun rw


If I were to manually start openvpn using the value in "ExecStart", I do not get any error.

[root@mybox client]# /usr/sbin/openvpn --suppress-timestamps --nobind --config default.conf --verb 9 --log /var/log/openvpn.log
WARNING: Compression for receiving enabled. Compression has been used in the past to break encryption. Sent packets are not compressed unless "allow-compression yes" is also set.
^C[root@mybox client]# /usr/sbin/openvpn --suppress-timestamps --nobind --config default.conf
WARNING: Compression for receiving enabled. Compression has been used in the past to break encryption. Sent packets are not compressed unless "allow-compression yes" is also set.
DEPRECATED OPTION: --cipher set to 'AES-256-CBC' but missing in --data-ciphers (AES-256-GCM:AES-128-GCM). Future OpenVPN version will ignore --cipher for cipher negotiations. Add 'AES-256-CBC' to --data-ciphers or change --cipher 'AES-256-CBC' to --data-ciphers-fallback 'AES-256-CBC' to silence this warning.
OpenVPN 2.5.3 x86_64-redhat-linux-gnu [SSL (OpenSSL)] [LZO] [LZ4] [EPOLL] [PKCS11] [MH/PKTINFO] [AEAD] built on Jun 18 2021
library versions: OpenSSL 1.1.1k  FIPS 25 Mar 2021, LZO 2.10
TCP/UDP: Preserving recently used remote address: [AF_INET]
UDP link local: (not bound)
UDP link remote: [AF_INET]
[my-vpn-server-here.com] Peer Connection Initiated with [AF_INET]
WARNING: You have specified redirect-gateway and redirect-private at the same time (or the same option multiple times). This is not well supported and may lead to unexpected results
TUN/TAP device tun0 opened
net_iface_mtu_set: mtu 1500 for tun0
net_iface_up: set tun0 up
net_addr_v4_add: dev tun0
Initialization Sequence Completed

Any ideas what can be wrong? Thanks!


  1. As a test, I copied the fedora config (certificate + .conf + credentials) files to Manjaro live USB. I installed openvpn via pacman and I had no issues starting OpenVPN via systemd.
  2. As a another test, I copied the .service file from Manjaro live USB into my Fedora setup and replaced the Fedora openvpn-client@.service and still cannot start OpenVPN via systemd.
  • 2
    This page -- community.openvpn.net/openvpn/wiki/Openvpn24ManPage -- indicates that the option is called --verb not --verbose. Does that make any difference?
    – Jeff Schaller
    Aug 8, 2021 at 23:14
  • @JeffSchaller Hi Jeff. thanks for picking up my mistake. But still not working. I was the one who added "--verbose 9" in the hopes I'll get more feedback. OpenVPN wasn't starting even before I made the change.
    – mrjayviper
    Aug 9, 2021 at 1:12
  • 1
    You have auth-user-pass twice in your config - try removing the first one, without the path.
    – Panki
    Aug 9, 2021 at 8:18
  • @Panki I made the change and still the same.
    – mrjayviper
    Aug 9, 2021 at 8:42
  • @JeffSchaller I removed "--verbose 9 --log" (basically what I added to the .service file) and reran the commands. I have also edited the original post to show the original errors.
    – mrjayviper
    Aug 9, 2021 at 8:43

1 Answer 1


In my situation, the problem was fixed by running fixfiles -R /etc/openvpn restore. I copied the files from somewhere else and maybe something (SELinux?) messed it up along the way.

It's my first time running Fedora.

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