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How to set up OpenVPN 3 Linux

This tutorial will show you how to set up OpenVPN 3 Linux using SmartyDNS.

If you don’t have a SmartyDNS account, you can try our services for free for 3 days.

To set up SmartyDNS easily we recommend to use the SmartyDNS app.

Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Open the terminal by hitting CTRL + ALT + T

    To become a root user, run

    sudo su 

    and type your password.

  2. Ensure that your apt supports the https transport:

    apt install apt-transport-https -y
  3. Install the OpenVPN repository key used by the OpenVPN 3 Linux packages:

    wget https://swupdate.openvpn.net/repos/openvpn-repo-pkg-key.pub
    apt-key add openvpn-repo-pkg-key.pub
  4. Now you need to install the proper repository. Replace $DISTRO with the release name depending on your Debian/Ubuntu distribution. In my case it is “focal”:

    wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openvpn3.list https://swupdate.openvpn.net/community/openvpn3/repos/openvpn3-$DISTRO.list

    then run:

    apt update
  5. Install the OpenVPN 3 package:

    apt install openvpn3 -y
  6. Download the OpenVPN configuration files:

    wget -O /etc/openvpn3/SmartyDNS-OpenVPN-Configs.zip 'https://billing.smartydns.com/dl.php?type=d&id=2'
  7. Unzip the OpenVPN configuration files:

    unzip /etc/openvpn3/SmartyDNS-OpenVPN-Configs.zip
  8. Go to /etc/resolv.conf by running

    nano /etc/resolv.conf 

    and add this line:


    at the top.

    Hit CTRL + o to save the changes and CTRL + x to exit the file.

Connect to VPN

  1. To connect to a VPN server, we need to know the name of its corresponding configuration file. For example, Chicago TCP configuration file name is US-Chicago-SmartyDNS-TCP.ovpn.

    To connect to Chicago TCP, run:

    openvpn3 session-start --config US-Chicago-SmartyDNS-TCP.ovpn
  2. Type the VPN username and password.

    To find your VPN username and password, sign in to your account on our website, go to Setup -> VPN Username & Password. If you don’t have a SmartyDNS account, you can try our services for free for 3 days.

    After providing the correct credentials you will get the Connected message.

    To check if your IP address was changed, run:

    curl ifconfig.so
  3. To display any active VPN connection, run:

    openvpn3 sessions-list
  4. To close the Chicago TCP VPN connection run:

    openvpn3 session-manage --config US-Chicago-SmartyDNS-TCP.ovpn --disconnect
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