Importing profiles from OpenVPN Access Server (OpenVPNAS) on Linux has been a challenge for quite a few users. OpenVPN Access Server (OpenVPNAS) gives us a single configuration file and does not split this out which is good for usage on mobile devices and many clients but not on the gnome based GUI.

The reason behind this is that on gnome-based environments the ability to import a single file, from the GUI, does not work with the regular import functionality. There are a few tips and tricks that I have used to get this done. The easiest by far is to make sure you’re using a newer version.

Make sure the version is 1.8.4 or greater for Network Manager and that you have the openvpn package installed, as well as ​network-manager-openvpn package installed. I will walk through how to do this on a Debian based operating system.

 sudo apt-get install openvpn network-manager-openvpn

From here we will need to run the actual import operations. Importing into network manager from the OpenVPN Access server on Ubuntu or other Debian based operating systems is relatively straightforward. There is a need to use the command line as well as a few cli operations.

You will first need to download your openvpn config profile. You should check with you VPN provider or IT team for the location of your VPN server and login credentials.

Once you have your VPN profile downloaded you will do the following easy step:

sudo nmcli connection import type openvpn file profile.ovpn

After this is done you should see the option to connect to your VPN server on the network connection drop-down in gnome, or other gnome-based GUI.

For any other usage of the nmcli commands you should be able to use tab completion like so:

$ sudo nmcli [TAB]
agent       connection  device      general     help        monitor     networking  radio       
$ sudo nmcli connection [TAB]
add      clone    delete   down     edit     export   help     import   load     modify   monitor  reload   show     up       
$ sudo nmcli connection edit [TAB]
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