Connecting via VPN on Ubuntu: Quick Reference & useful commands

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These are some useful commands and also some useful tips that may come in handy when you need to do remote work via a VPN on Ubuntu (it should mostly work for other Linux-based operation systems as well).

Connecting to a remote VPN server using OpenVPN

You probably have been given (by your network administrator, for instance) a .ovpn file named something like this: myusername@myvpnserveraddress.ovpn (replace the values with you own).

Change into the directory where your .ovpn file is and type:

$ sudo ovpn my_username@my_vpn_server_address.ovpn

You'll probably be asked for a username and a password at this step (and maybe your password for using sudo). Again, you have probably been supplied with them by your network administrator. You should see something like this:

Sat Mar  1 16:04:00 2014 OpenVPN 2.2.1 i686-linux-gnu [SSL] [LZO2] [POLL] [PKCS11] [eurephia] [MH] [PF_INET6] [IPv6 payload 20110424-2 (2.2RC2)] built on Feb 13 2013
Enter Auth Username: my_username
Enter Auth Password:

Give both and you'll see a bunch of information on your screen. If it's successful, you will probably have a success message at the end, like this:

Sat Mar  1 16:04:26 2014 Initialization Sequence Completed

Now don't close this tab!. Open other tabs on your terminal or open a new terminal altogether to start doing whatever you need to do. If you close this tab the connection is closed.

Resolve an address supplying a custom DNS server

Use dig, the address for your DNS server (mine is, you should replace it with your own) and supply the address you want resolved.

$ dig @ your-address-here 

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