I 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
Next easy step is setting up DNS resolving. For that we go to
Network Connections. Just click edit on connection you are using and go to
IPv4 Settings tab. Change
Automatic (DHCP addresses only). Under
DNS servers enter
188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206 (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 http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/6/i386/epel-release-6-8.noarch.rpm
# 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
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 whatismyipaddress.com 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”
What happens if the VPN connection drops?
Internet stops working.
You’re hardcoding google’s DNS servers…so you’re not really using PIA’s DNS servers?
That is correct. I have been using them at the time this post was written.
I have updated text.
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
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.