A few weeks ago I configured a road warrior VPN setup. The remote end is on a VPS running OpenBSD and OpenIKED, the VPN is an IKEv2 VPN using x509 authentication, and the local end is StrongSwan. I also configured an IKEv2 VPN between my VPSs. Here are the notes for how to do so.

In all cases, to use x509 authentication, you will need to generate a bunch of certificates and keys:

  • a CA certificate
  • a key/certificate pair for each client

Fortunately, OpenIKED provides the ikectl utility to help you do so. Before going any further, you might find it useful to edit /etc/ssl/ikeca.cnf to set some reasonable defaults for your certificates.

Begin by creating and installing a CA certificate:

# ikectl ca vpn create
# ikectl ca vpn install

For simplicity, I am going to assume that the you are managing your CA on the same host as one of the hosts that you want to configure for the VPN. If not, see the bit about exporting certificates at the beginning of the section on persistent host-host VPNs.

Create and install a key/certificate pair for your server. Suppose for example your first server is called server1.example.org:

# ikectl ca vpn certificate server1.example.org create
# ikectl ca vpn certificate server1.example.org install

Persistent host-host VPNs

For each other server that you want to use, you need to also create a key/certificate pair on the same host as the CA certificate, and then copy them over to the other server. Assuming the other server is called server2.example.org:

# ikectl ca vpn certificate server2.example.org create
# ikectl ca vpn certificate server2.example.org export

This last command will produce a tarball server2.example.org.tgz. Copy it over to server2.example.org and install it:

# tar -C /etc/iked -xzpvf server2.example.org.tgz

Next, it is time to configure iked. To do so, you will need to find some information about the certificates you just generated. On the host with the CA, run

$ cat /etc/ssl/vpn/index.txt
V       210825142056Z           01      unknown /C=US/ST=Pennsylvania/L=Pittsburgh/CN=server1.example.org/emailAddress=rak@example.org
V       210825142208Z           02      unknown /C=US/ST=Pennsylvania/L=Pittsburgh/CN=server2.example.org/emailAddress=rak@example.org

Pick one of the two hosts to play the “active” role (in this case, server1.example.org). Using the information you gleaned from index.txt, add the following to /etc/iked.conf, filling in the srcid and dstid fields appropriately.

ikev2 'server1_server2_active' active esp from server1.example.org to server2.example.org \
	local server1.example.org peer server2.example.org \
	srcid '/C=US/ST=Pennsylvania/L=Pittsburgh/CN=server1.example.org/emailAddress=rak@example.org' \
	dstid '/C=US/ST=Pennsylvania/L=Pittsburgh/CN=server2.example.org/emailAddress=rak@example.org'

On the other host, add the following to /etc/iked.conf

ikev2 'server2_server1_passive' passive esp from server2.example.org to server1.example.org \
	local server2.example.org peer server1.example.org \
	srcid '/C=US/ST=Pennsylvania/L=Pittsburgh/CN=server2.example.org/emailAddress=rak@example.org' \
	dstid '/C=US/ST=Pennsylvania/L=Pittsburgh/CN=server1.example.org/emailAddress=rak@example.org'

Note that the names 'server1_server2_active' and 'server2_server1_passive' in the two stanzas do not matter and can be omitted. Reload iked on both hosts:

# ikectl reload

If everything worked out, you should see the negotiated security associations (SAs) in the output of

# ikectl show sa

On OpenBSD, you should also see some output on success or errors in the file /var/log/daemon.

For a road warrior

Add the following to /etc/iked.conf on the remote end:

ikev2 'responder_x509' passive esp \
	from to \
	local server1.example.org peer any \
	srcid server1.example.org \
	config address \
	config name-server \
	tag "ROADW"

Configure or omit the address range and the name-server configurations to suit your needs. See iked.conf(5) for details. Reload iked:

# ikectl reload

If you are on OpenBSD and want the remote end to have an IP address, add the following to /etc/hostname.vether0, again configuring the address to suit your needs:


Put the interface up:

# ifconfig vether0 up

Now create a client certificate for authentication. In my case, my road-warrior client was client.example.org:

# ikectl ca vpn certificate client.example.org create
# ikectl ca vpn certificate client.example.org export

Copy client.example.org.tgz to client and run

# tar -C /etc/ipsec.d/ -xzf client.example.org.tgz -- \
	./private/client.example.org.key \
	./certs/client.example.org.crt ./ca/ca.crt

Install StrongSwan and add the following to /etc/ipsec.conf, configuring appropriately:

ca example.org

conn server1

Add the following to /etc/ipsec.secrets:

# space is important
server1.example.org : RSA client.example.org.key

Restart StrongSwan, put the connection up, and check its status:

# ipsec restart
# ipsec up server1
# ipsec status

That should be it.