OpenVPN on FreeNAS 8.2

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So I’ve been playing around with FreeNAS 8.2.  Decided it would be handy to have OpenVPN running on the fileserver so my wife and I can get to our files if we are away from home.  There are a couple of tricks that I discovered along the way to get this to work right.

***Make sure to read the comments as there are sample configs and a bunch of other useful stuff down there!!!***

If you find this super useful, I wouldn’t turn down paypal donations.

First the easy stuff.  We don’t have a static public IP, so I needed to set up a DynDNS account.  Once I did that, I configured the Dynamic DNS service on the FreeNAS box with my DynDNS account info.  Then started the service.

Next I needed to forward port 1194 on my gateway to the FreeNAS box.  So now I have a domain name to use and a port that forwards to my file server.

FreeNAS 8.2 has OpenVPN built in.  The config files that we need to be concerned with are:


The thing about /conf/base/etc/local/etc/openvpn is that you need to create it.  Inorder to do that, you need to make the filesystem writeable.

mount -uw /
mkdir /conf/base/etc/local/openvpn

There is a really good tutorial on setting up OpenVPN here.  It goes through all the steps of generating your certificates, setting up your config files and the like. But pay no attention to the Adding routes to the OpenVPN server over at The push route and route entries you enter below will handle that.

When you get to the point of configuring the /conf/base/etc/local/etc/openvpn/openvpn.conf file you’ll need to make a bit of a tweak from the norm to get things to work.  Here’s an excerpt of what was needed. You can find my full server and client configs in the comments below.

# Push routes to the client to allow it
# to reach other private subnets behind
# the server. Remember that these
# private subnets will also need
# to know to route the OpenVPN client
# address pool (
# back to the OpenVPN server.
push "route"

The “special” part is the route line. route (freeNAS-IP) subnet-mask
You’ll have to change the push “route” to match your network ip ranges too.

If you don’t make that entry, you’ll get an error like this in your server log:

OpenVPN ROUTE: OpenVPN needs a gateway parameter for a –route option and no default was specified by either –route-gateway or –ifconfig options
OpenVPN ROUTE: failed to parse/resolve route for host/network

Now add this to the end of /conf/base/etc/rc.conf


If you make your config changes directly to /etc/rc.conf or /usr/local/etc/openvpn they will get blown away on restarts. So, now you should be able to restart your FreeNAS box. Then:

/usr/local/etc/rc.d/openvpn status

to see if OpenVPN is running.

I think that’s pretty much it. Let me know if you have any questions.