I have a computer that I use as a file server. It is correctly configured (finally!) to connect to KeepSolid VPN servers at boot, via an OpenVPN systemd service. At first, I could only connect by issuing an openvpn --daemon command, as I was having trouble making the VPN client connect at boot. I resolved that by looking at another thread and learned I had not properly configured the service. But now I have that all taken care of. Now I am just missing full access from a remote client.


  • connect via internal IP while on LAN (e.g. ssh user@
  • connect via FQDN while on LAN (e.g. ssh user@XXXX.zapto.org, my free DDNS service)
  • connect via either of those while away from LAN if I first shutdown OpenVPN service (e.g. systemctl stop openvpn@keepsolid)


  • connect via FQDN while away from LAN

In case it wasn't already clear, I really am not an expert on networking. I tried some suggestions that were marked as "ANSWERED" on similar posts with my problem, including opening external connections for SSH by using sudo ufw allow ssh, as suggested here. I get this now

sudo ufw status
Status: active

To                         Action      From
--                         ------      ----
22/tcp                     ALLOW       Anywhere
22/tcp (v6)                ALLOW       Anywhere (v6)

I even tried to fiddle with the IP tables and routing tables, following the instructions here. Although I didn't understand the spells I was casting, I didn't see any errors in the output from the commands, and doing these steps did not seem to stop me from being able to access the machine locally. I can at least say that there were no pre-existing ip rules dealing with netfilter masks.

Thanks in advance! Also, I've read enough forums and help pages to know that it may be helpful to see certain outputs. Below are the ones that seem relevant. I love tinkering with my machine and learning more about how it works. Thank you to anyone helping me overcome this latest hurdle.

Here is the output of ifconfig

enp0s25: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST>  mtu 1500
        inet  netmask  broadcast
        inet6 fe80::21d:9ff:fe95:5343  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x20<link>
        ether 00:1d:09:95:53:43  txqueuelen 1000  (Ethernet)
        RX packets 3701  bytes 1113971 (1.1 MB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 5440  bytes 2390198 (2.3 MB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0
        device interrupt 20  memory 0xfdfc0000-fdfe0000

lo: flags=73<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING>  mtu 65536
        inet  netmask
        inet6 ::1  prefixlen 128  scopeid 0x10<host>
        loop  txqueuelen 1000  (Local Loopback)
        RX packets 1341  bytes 391348 (391.3 KB)
        RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
        TX packets 1341  bytes 391348 (391.3 KB)
        TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

        inet  netmask  destination
        inet6 fe80::16c9:9b04:376d:3412  prefixlen 64  scopeid 0x20<link>
        unspec 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00  txqueuelen 100                     
            RX packets 2562  bytes 606632 (606.6 KB)
            RX errors 0  dropped 0  overruns 0  frame 0
            TX packets 3647  bytes 1979619 (1.9 MB)
            TX errors 0  dropped 0 overruns 0  carrier 0  collisions 0

This is the output of systemd service

 systemctl status openvpn@keepsolid.ovpn.service
● openvpn@keepsolid.ovpn.service - OpenVPN connection to keepsolid.ovpn
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/openvpn@.service; indirect; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Tue 2019-11-05 21:43:11 EST; 12min ago
     Docs: man:openvpn(8)
 Main PID: 1616 (openvpn)
   Status: "Initialization Sequence Completed"
    Tasks: 1 (limit: 4915)
   CGroup: /system.slice/system-openvpn.slice/openvpn@keepsolid.ovpn.service
           └─1616 /usr/sbin/openvpn --daemon ovpn-keepsolid.ovpn --status /run/openvpn/keepsolid.ov

Nov 05 21:43:07 inspiron530 systemd[1]: Starting OpenVPN connection to keepsolid.ovpn...
Nov 05 21:43:11 inspiron530 ovpn-keepsolid.ovpn[1616]: UDP link local: (not bound)
Nov 05 21:43:11 inspiron530 ovpn-keepsolid.ovpn[1616]: UDP link remote: [AF_INET]
Nov 05 21:43:12 inspiron530 ovpn-keepsolid.ovpn[1616]: [openvpn2.vpnunlimitedapp.com] Peer Connecti
Nov 05 21:43:11 inspiron530 systemd[1]: Started OpenVPN connection to keepsolid.ovpn.
Nov 05 21:43:19 inspiron530 ovpn-keepsolid.ovpn[1616]: TUN/TAP device tun0 opened
Nov 05 21:43:19 inspiron530 ovpn-keepsolid.ovpn[1616]: do_ifconfig, tt->did_ifconfig_ipv6_setup=0
Nov 05 21:43:19 inspiron530 ovpn-keepsolid.ovpn[1616]: /sbin/ip link set dev tun0 up mtu 1500
Nov 05 21:43:19 inspiron530 ovpn-keepsolid.ovpn[1616]: /sbin/ip addr add dev tun0 local
Nov 05 21:43:19 inspiron530 ovpn-keepsolid.ovpn[1616]: Initialization Sequence Completed


This is my attempt at adding an ASCII representation of how my machines connect to the Internet

Machine 1-------
                |----- Router ---- Cable Modem ----- WORLD
Machine 2-------

Both machines are connected via Ethernet. Machine 1 is my server, and I have configured it to connect to a KeepSolid VPN server. when that configuration is active, I can no longer connect to Machine 1 via Machine 2.

This question is specifically about SSH connections, but upon further inspection, I also cannot ....

  • login to a Webmin GUI via port 10000
  • connect to a deluge-webui via port 8112
  • directly connect to a plex server on port 32400

For what it's worth, I could do all of those things (except SSH) when I was connecting to VPN by issuing an openvpn --config --daemon command. The problem seems to have gotten worse after I created the OpenVPN systemd service. In both cases - daemon or service - the VPN connects to the correct server and my new public IP is changed to the one I expect it to. So I think that I have somehow erred in setting up the systemd service


We need to known more details about your network design.
Try to post a ascii representation of how your computer connects to Internet.
One think that can be causing the trouble is your Internet router not forwarding the connection to your machine.

  • I could not do that as a comment, so I edited the original post for more clarification Nov 6 '19 at 14:54

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