Setting Up Private Internet Access on CentOS 6.4

CentOS Network Connections - Google's DNS serversI am a big fan of Private Internet Access. It gives you anonymous and secure connection to Internet. I personally value my privacy and thus I find such VPN service very valuable.

Under Windows and huge variety of alternate platforms (Android, iOS, Ubuntu, ...) installation is very simple and it hardly ever fails. But some platforms don't come with instructions. Unfortunately one of them is CentOS. Fortunately, setting it all up is not that hard.

First we can do the easy stuff. Download PIA's OpenVPN configuration files and extract it to directory of your choice. I kept them in /home/MyUserName/pia.

Next easy step is setting up DNS resolving. For that we go to System, Preferences, Network Connections. Just click edit on connection you are using and go to IPv4 Settings tab. Change Method to Automatic (DHCP addresses only). Under DNS servers enter (Private Internet Access DNS).

All other commands are to be executed in terminal and most of them require root privileges. It might be best if you just become root for a while:

$ su - root

CentOS repositories are not known for their extensive software collection. But we can always add a repository of our choice:

# wget
# rpm -Uvh epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm

This repository has OpenVPN package that we need:

# yum install openvpn

Next step is getting configuration in place (replace username and password with yours):

# cp /home/MyUserName/pia/ca.crt /etc/openvpn/ca.crt
# cp /home/MyUserName/pia/US\ Midwest.ovpn /etc/openvpn/client.conf
# echo "auth-user-pass /etc/openvpn/login.pia" >> /etc/openvpn/client.conf
# echo "username" > /etc/openvpn/login.pia
# echo "password" >> /etc/openvpn/login.pia

Now we can test our connection (after we restart network in order to activate DNS changes):

# service network restart
# openvpn --config /etc/openvpn/client.conf

Assuming that this last step ended with Initialization Sequence Completed, we just need to verify whether this connection is actually used.
I found quite helpful here. If you see some mid-west town on map, you are golden (assuming that you don't actually live in US mid-west).

Now you can stop test connection via Ctrl+C in order to properly start it. In addition, you can specify it should start on each system startup:

# service openvpn start
# chkconfig openvpn on

And that is all.

6 thoughts to “Setting Up Private Internet Access on CentOS 6.4”

  1. You’re hardcoding google’s DNS servers…so you’re not really using PIA’s DNS servers?

  2. Great guide!!!
    You now also need to copy the .pem file over, so need to also include:

    # cp /home/MyUserName/pia/crl.rsa.2048.pem /home/MyUserName/openvpn/crl.rsa.2048.pem


    1. True – although that file wasn’t needed back in 2013 when guide was written. :) There is a slightly newer guide albeit for slightly different Linux here.

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