[HOWTO] - Launch a VPN client "On-demand" as a background process

  • Description

    The purpose of this guide is to be able to launch a VPN client configuration file as a background process when we want, not necessarely at boot. So let say I want to download a torrent and would like to connect to a VPN server before starting the download, and stop the process when the download is finished (after seeding 2x minimum...obviously ;) ). In my case, I'm using a ProtonVPN client configuration file that I will modify so I can automatically login the server without a prompt from a terminal. But it could work with any client configuration.


    1. Create a Shared Folder where you're planning to put the OpenVPN client config file ;
    2. Create a temporary SMB/CIFS or FTP to be able to access the share ;
    3. Give a user a proper access permission to write files in the share ;
    4. Place the client config file in the share (protonvpn_is-nl.ovpn in my case), change the extension to ".conf" (it seems to be prefereable for OpenVPN)
    5. Create a text file where you'll put the Username and the password to access the VPN server, I name the file pass.txt :


    6. You will now have the find the server share path where those files are on the server, on OMV 3.X it would be :
    In my case a created a share name protonvpn in the data device so it would look like this :
    7. Open the client config file with a text editor and change the line auth-user-pass to :

    auth-user-pass /srv/dev-disk-by-label-device_label/share_name/pass.txt

    8. Install the OMVEXTRA plugin for OMV 3.X if you haven't done so ;
    9. Install the OpenVPN plugin, we won't be using the plugin from OMV WebUI, but we need it to run a client (By the way, it would be nice to have a "client" tab in the plugin to configure a client from OMV!);
    10. Create a Scheduled Job to start the client on-demand, I set it to lauch yearly, as root, the following command :

    openvpn --config /srv/dev-disk-by-label-device_label/share_name/conf_file.conf --daemon

    11. Create a Scheduled Job to stop the client on-demand, I set it to launch yearly, as root, the following command :

    killall -SIGINT openvpn

    12. Create a Scheduled Job the check the public IP after starting the client, yearly, as root, the following command :

    wget -qO- http://ipecho.net/plain ; echo

    13. You can now delete the SMB/CIFS or FTP share



    You can now use the Schedule Jobs to run/stop the client in the background as you wish! Check the public IP to make sure you are connected to the VPN server!

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