Streamline Your OpenVPN Setup with Ansible: A Step-by-Step Guide

May 6, 2023·

3 min read

Streamline Your OpenVPN Setup with Ansible: A Step-by-Step Guide

OpenVPN is an open-source virtual private network (VPN) software that allows you to securely connect to a remote network over the internet. Setting up OpenVPN can be a tedious and time-consuming task if done manually, but thankfully, automation tools like Ansible can simplify the process. In this blog, we will discuss how to use an Ansible role to automate the setup of OpenVPN.

What is Ansible?

Ansible is an open-source automation tool that allows you to automate various IT tasks such as configuration management, application deployment, and infrastructure provisioning. It uses a simple YAML-based syntax that allows you to define the state of your infrastructure as code, which can then be easily version-controlled and deployed across multiple environments.

What is an Ansible role?

An Ansible role is a collection of tasks, templates, files, and variables that can be reused across multiple projects. It allows you to encapsulate complex configuration logic into a single, reusable component that can be easily shared and managed.

Setting up OpenVPN using Ansible

To set up OpenVPN using Ansible, we will use an existing Ansible role created by me. This role automates the installation and configuration of OpenVPN on your server and provides you with a simple interface for managing your VPN clients.

Here are the steps to set up OpenVPN using Ansible:

Please refer to the README file for instructions on how to set it up, and visit the GitHub repository for further information.

  • Install Ansible: First, you need to install Ansible on your local machine. You can follow the official documentation to install Ansible on your machine.

  • Clone the OpenVPN role from the GitHub repository using the below command:

      git clone
  • Create an inventory file: Next, create an inventory file that contains the IP address or hostname of your target server. You can create a file named "inventory.yml" with the following content:

            ansible_host: your_server_ip_address_or_hostname

    Replace "your_server" with a name of your choice and "your_server_ip_address_or_hostname" with the actual IP address or hostname of your server.

  • Create a playbook: Now, create a playbook that defines the tasks to be executed on your target server. Create a file named "openvpn.yml" with the following content:

      - name: OpenVPN setup
        hosts: server
        become: true
          - role: openvpn

    This playbook will configure OpenVPN on your target server using the role which is cloned by you earlier.

  • To create a VPN file: Add names to the clientlist to generate VPN files.

  • To remove VPN access: Add names to the revokelist to generate VPN files.

  • Run the playbook: Finally, run the playbook using the following command:

      ansible-playbook -i inventory.yml openvpn.yml

    This command will execute the "openvpn.yml" playbook on your target server, installing and configuring OpenVPN in the process.

  • After running the playbook, you should have a fully functional OpenVPN server that you can connect to using the client configuration files generated by the role.


Automating the setup of OpenVPN using an Ansible role can save you a lot of time and effort. It allows you to easily and consistently deploy OpenVPN across multiple servers, reducing the risk of configuration errors and improving your overall security posture. I hope this blog has provided you with a good understanding of how to use Ansible to set up OpenVPN.