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OpenVPN with IPv6 and OpenBSD on a cheap VPS

One day after the Kongress I finally finished my VPN setup. The problem with most "standard" VPN setups (including mine when I went to Hamburg) is that they are IPv4 only, leaving your IPv6 traffic unencrypted unless you block it completely. OpenVPN finally supports IPv6 over TUN devices as of 2.3.0.

I have a cheap VPS from Netcup. Since they moved to KVM installing any OS is relatively easy, for this machine I chose OpenBSD. The setup should be similar on FreeBSD and DragonFly since they also have PF, although their PF version may be older and the syntax therefore slightly different.

Netcup provide one IPv6 /64, but setting up IPv6 for OpenVPN requires a separate network block for the upstream internet connection and the VPN. One option is buying another /64, but this is relatively expensive (given the whole VPS is less than 10EUR/month) and requires a fax. Instead I used a SiXXS tunnel where IPv6 addresses are free. IPv6 traffic for the VPS itself uses the native IPv6.


  • a Netcup VPS with OpenBSD (5.4 or higher, otherwise OpenVPN is too old) and working networking
  • a client (tested with Debian Wheezy)

SiXXS setup

If you do not already have a SixXS account, sign up and request a tunnel and extra subnet. Let the subnet be routed to the tunnel. Note if you're signing up new, your tunnel may need to be up for a while so you have sufficient ISK to request a subnet.

Set the tunnel to 6in4-static and enter the IPv4 address of your server. Set the MTU to 1480, 6in4 has less overhead than the other methods. On the server, add /etc/hostname.gif0:

tunnel <server IPv4> <PoP IP>
inet6 <Your IPv6> 128
dest <PoP IPv6>
mtu 1480
group egress

Bring it up with

# sh /etc/netstart gif0

your should now be able to ping6 <PoP IPv6>. Note that we did not add a default route to this interface, so normal IPv6 traffic will still use your VPS' native connection (try ping6 sixxs.net).

VPN setup

DNS recursor

To send all DNS requests through the VPN, set up a DNS recursor. To install it

# pkg_add unbound

and make sure the VPN can access the DNS recursor. To do this, look for the access-control: lines in /var/unbound/unbound.conf and add

access-control: allow
access-control: <your SixXS subnet> allow

To have it started, add the following lines to /etc/rc.conf.local:

syslogd_flags="${syslogd_flags} -a /var/unbound/dev/log"
pkg_scripts="${pkg_scripts} unbound"

Then restart syslogd and start unbound

# /etc/rc.d/syslogd restart
# /etc/rc.d/unbound start


Install OpenVPN:

# pkg_add openvpn

Generate keys following the HOWTO. Create /etc/openvpn/tun0.conf:

port 1194
proto tcp # or udp, then change client config accordingly
dev tun0
# generate following the PKI howto
ca ca.crt
cert server.crt
key server.key  # This file should be kept secret
dh dh4096.pem # I use 4096-bit stuff
server # the IPv4 VPN range
server-ipv6 <your SixXS subnet>
push "route-ipv6 2000::/3" # route internet traffic through the VPN
ifconfig-pool-persist ipp.txt
push "redirect-gateway def1 bypass-dhcp"
push "dhcp-option DNS"
keepalive 10 120
tls-auth ta.key 0 # This file is secret
user _openvpn
group _openvpn
status /var/log/openvpn-status.log
log-append  /var/log/openvpn.log
verb 3

Create /etc/hostname.tun0:

!cd /etc/openvpn; /usr/local/sbin/openvpn --config tun0.conf --daemon openvpn/tun0
group vpn

Enable IPv4 and IPv6 forwarding in /etc/sysctl.conf


and for the running system run

# sysctl net.inet.ip.forwarding=1
# sysctl net.inet6.ip6.forwarding=1

Set the following in /etc/pf.conf

set block-policy return
set skip on lo

# NAT for IPv4 VPN
match out on egress from to any nat-to egress:0

# default rules
block in
pass out

# normal traffic rules
block in on egress
# allow SSH
pass in on egress proto tcp from any to (egress) port 22
pass in proto icmp
pass in proto icmp6
pass in on vpn

# OpenVPN
pass in on egress proto { tcp udp } from any to (egress) port 1194
pass in on egress proto tcp from any to (egress) port 443 rdr-to localhost port 1194

# IPv6 routing for VPN
pass in on vpn from <your SixXS IPv6 block> to ! (egress) route-to (gif0 <PoP IPv6>)

Adjust the last line to your SixXS blocks. It makes sure that IPv6 traffic from the VPN is routed out through SixXS. Incoming traffic is not allowed, if you want this add a line like

pass in on gif0 from any to <your IPv6 block> <further limits> route-to (tun0 <Your IPv6>)


Load the firewall configuration with

# pfctl -f /etc/pf.conf

and bring the VPN up with

# sh /etc/netstart tun0

You should now be able to connect to it. The client configuration is nothing special:

dev tun
proto tcp
remote <your server> 1194
resolv-retry infinite
ca ca.crt
cert client.crt
key client.key
ns-cert-type server
tls-auth ta.key 1
verb 3

# Debian/Ubuntu: set name server
script-security 2
up /etc/openvpn/update-resolv-conf
down /etc/openvpn/update-resolv-conf

If your client has OpenVPN 2.3 or higher, IPv6 will be set up correctly now. Try

# ping6 sixxs.net

on the client.

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