Sign up ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

I have a .ovpn file with my VPN config - it works fine when I do

sudo openvpn --config ~jrg/Documents/vpn-config.ovpn 

in the terminal, but I'd like to use Network Manager. How can I do this?

share|improve this question

6 Answers 6

up vote 27 down vote accepted

First, install the OpenVPN Network Manager plugin:

sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn-gnome

Open Network Manager, select the VPN tab, then click "Import". Navigate to your .ovpn file (~jrg/Documents/vpn-config.ovpn). If it doesn't automatically find your certificates/keys (the paths of which are found in the .ovpn file), you can select them here, or make any other small changes.

openvpn dialog

One other thing that may save you some headache down the road is to click IPv4 Settings, then change the method to "Automatic (VPN) Addresses Only". When kept at the default, this will cause ALL internet traffic to go over the VPN, regardless of your .ovpn settings. Here you can also set the DNS server and search domains to use while connected.

openvpn dialog

share|improve this answer
It doesn't show the certificates and such when I click "Import". – James Sep 13 '12 at 22:35
I updated my answer to be a little more thorough. If the options just aren't showing up, than you either have a misconfigured .ovpn and aren't actually using them, or you need to change the "Type" drop-down box. – reverendj1 Sep 14 '12 at 14:34
there's no "Import..." button in my case (using debian jessie...) :( – knocte Jun 7 '13 at 13:33
I too cannot find any "import" buttons. Only a "create" option.. :( – Thomas Ahle Aug 18 '13 at 21:06
Open VPN AS ver 2.0.12 does not produce a .ovpn files that contains the locations of certs, it contains them itself. Therefore if will not find them and you can not find the location. You have to copy n paste like in the other answer. – jowan sebastian Mar 12 at 10:29

It's late to answer, but I found a solution (and it is a PAIN)...

  1. Create a folder in your home directory called .OpenVPN (with the dot in front of it so it is hidden) then open that folder and create one called FrootVPN (no dot needed). This makes management of different VPN providers easier.
  2. Copy/Paste froot.ovpn to the /home/YOU/.OpenVPN/FrootVPN folder.
  3. Open the froot.ovpn file with a text editor.
  4. Copy everything between the ca /ca tags.
  5. Paste the contents to a new file and save it as ca.crt within the /home/YOU/.OpenVPN/FrootVPN folder.
  6. Click on the Network Manager icon and go to VPN CONNECTIONS > CONFIGURE VPN...
  7. Click on ADD and select OpenVPN. Click CREATE.
  8. Call it FrootVPN 1194 and use for the Gateway. Type will be PASSWORD. Enter your FrootVPN username and password. On CA Certificate, click the folder icon and browse to the ca.crt file you created.
  9. Click the Advanced button and change "Use custom gateway port:" to 1194. Click OK.
  10. Change the Method on both the IPv4 and IPv6 tabs to Automatic (VPN) addresses only.
  11. Click SAVE.

Now for the PAIN part: you will have to create 15 more FrootVPN connections since they use ports 1194-1209. Repeat Steps 7-11 above for port 1195 then again for 1196 and so on until you finish with port 1209 making sure the name in Step 8 matches the port in Step 9. I know... it sucks!

Now you can connect to FrootVPN by clicking on the Network Manager icon and going to VPN Connections. Work through the list of FrootVPN connections until you find one you can connect to.

Frankly, I wish Network Manager supported .ovpn files directly. We should be able to IMPORT the .ovpn file, Network Manager gets all the correct settings from the .ovpn file, does the correct range of gateway ports and other settings specified by the VPN provider, and saves it all as ONE connection. The .crt files should not be needed if everything is in the .ovpn file.

share|improve this answer
this totally sucks, anyone know if there is an offical bug report anywhere ? – jowan sebastian Mar 26 at 6:46
I know. It DOES totally suck. I wish there was a simple GUI that opens them like Windows has. – Buford T. Justice Jun 3 at 22:31

In Unity 14.04, all I had to do was go to edit connections, Click "add" by using the drop down list to select import a saved VPN configuration, and then select my "filename.ovpn" file, and voila. Done.

share|improve this answer
This looks promising, but it barely uses my .ovpn at all, it just pulls out the gateway. None of the certificates are present. :\ – Doc Sep 15 at 1:37

I answered this with a way to use Network Manager as the OP asked, but there is a MUCH BETTER WAY! All you have to do is download and install a program called gopenvpn which is available via Ubuntu Software Center. Save your .ovpn files to /etc/openvpn as admin. Open gopenvpn which should be listed under Applications > Internet and click on the .ovpn file to connect to by right-clicking on the gopenvpn icon you will see on your task bar. Easy as pie which is the way anything on a computer should be :)

Also you can bypass usernames and password by making .txt files in /etc/openvpn using this format:


Then in each of your .ovpn files (for example VPNBook .ovpn files), change the line that says this:



auth-user-pass VPNBook.txt
share|improve this answer

My own experience of successful VPN connection establishing on Ubuntu 14.04

Our admin gave me 3 files to install them into openVPN for Windows 7: *.ovpn, *.crt, *.key

1) Execute the following commands in your Ubuntu terminal:

sudo apt-get install openvpn network-manager-openvpn network-manager-openvpn-gnome

sudo apt-get install network-manager-vpnc

sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart

2) Open "Network Connections" window (VPN Connections -> Configure VPN)

3) Press "ADD" button, click on drop-down menu and pick "Import a saved VPN configuration", press Create button.

4) In "Select File to import" choose your "*.ovpn" file.

5) In "Editing ...your *.ovpn file name..." window enter your username and password for vpn. Make sure that a *.crt file appeared in CA Certificate field.

6) Open "IPv4 Settings" panel and choose "Automatic (VPN) addresses only".

7) Open "VPN" panel again and click "Advanced" button.

8) Open "TLS Authentication" panel and make sure your "*.key" appeared in "Key File" field. Press Ok button.

9) Press "Save" button in "Editing ...your *.ovpn file name..." window.

10) Your VPN connection should appear in "Network Connections" window.

That's all, I hope it helps. Good luck!

share|improve this answer

When you aren't given an user certificate, you must select the 'Password' type in the authentication drop down. Then in advanced, in 'TLS Authentication' add the TLS .key file and set the direction accordingly (1 or 0, that should be set in the .ovpn file).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.