I needed a way to access my home private network remotely. I decided to utilize existing Raspberry Pi as a VPN server. I’m going to install Raspbian as choice of operating system.

Raspberry Pi

1. Requirement:

  • Raspberry Pi
  • SD card (min 8Gb)
  • SD Card reader to use with your Notebook/Desktop
  • Another ready to use Linux OS (Notebook, Desktop or …)
  • LAN Cable to connect Raspberry Pi to home network.
  • USB cable + power adapter for Raspberry Pi power connection (Mobile charger!).

2. Partitioning:

At least two partitions required, but choice of more partitions is up to use. I choose the minimum. One FAT filesystem for boot and other one ext4 as Linux root. You can use any disk management too, I use parted:

$ sudo parted /dev/mmcblk0

(parted) mktable MSDOS
(parted) mkpart primary 1 512MB
(parted) mkpart primary 512MB  -1
(parted) set 1 boot on

And now making filesystems:

$ sudo mkfs.vfat -F 16 /dev/mmcblk0p01
$ sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/mmcblk0p2

3. Raspbian

Installing Raspbian which is a Debian port for Raspberry Pi. Considering you already have debootstrap installed on your Linux. Issue the following commands:

$ sudo mkdir /tmp/root
$ sudo mount -t ext4 /dev/mmcblk0p2 /tmp/root
$ sudo debootstrap --foreign --arch armhf stable /tmp/root/  http://mirror.nus.edu.sg/raspbian/raspbian/

4. chroot

I use QEMU user emulator to chroot to ARM environment to continue installation. In order to use QEMU I installed qemu-user-static package in Ubuntu.

$ sudo apt-get install qemu-user-static
$ sudo cp /usr/bin/qemu-arm-static /tmp/root/usr/bin
$ sudo mount -t proc none /tmp/root/proc
$ sudo mount /dev /tmp/root/dev -o bind
$ sudo chroot /tmp/root

5. Second stage

It’s time to run debootstrap second state. I’m in chroot environment from previous step (4).

I have no [email protected]:# ./debootstrap/debootstrap --second-stage

6. Setting up

I’m going to install some more packages and initial setup for new environement. Setup APT sources and install some packages:

I have no [email protected]:# echo "deb http://archive.raspbian.org/raspbian stable main contrib non-free" | tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
I have no [email protected]:# echo "deb-src http://archive.raspbian.org/raspbian stable main contrib non-free" | tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
I have no [email protected]:# wget http://archive.raspbian.org/raspbian.public.key -O- | apt-key add raspbian.public.key
I have no [email protected]:# apt-get update
I have no [email protected]:# apt-get install bash-completion locales openssh-server
I have no [email protected]:# dpkg-reconfigure locales
I have no [email protected]:# service ssh stop

Set root password:

I have no [email protected]:# passwd

Set host name:

I have no [email protected]:# hostname boynux-vpn.localdomain
I have no [email protected]:# echo boynux-vpn | tee /etc/hostname
I have no [email protected]:# echo " boynux-vpn boynux-vpn.localdomain" | tee -a /etc/hosts

Enable eth0 and set to DHCP:

I have no [email protected]:# echo -e "nauto eth0niface eth0 inet dhcp" | tee -a /etc/network/interfaces

Configure fstab:

I have no [email protected]:# blkid -o export  /dev/mmcblk0p1 2>&1 | grep UUID | sed '/.*/s/$/ /boot vfat defaults,noauto 0 1/;' | tee -a /etc/fstab
I have no [email protected]:# blkid -o export  /dev/mmcblk0p2 2>&1 | grep UUID= | sed '/.*/s/$/ / ext4 defaults,noatime 0 1/;' | tee -a /etc/fstab


I have no [email protected]:# exit

6. Installing Kernel & Firmware:

$ git clone --depth 1 https://github.com/raspberrypi/firmware.git
$ sudo mount /dev/mmcblk0p1 /tmp/root/boot
$ sudo cp firmware/boot/* /tmp/root/boot -a
$ sudo cp firmware/modules /tmp/root/lib/ -a
$ echo "dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=ttyAMA0,115200 kgdboc=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait" | sudo tee /tmp/root/boot/cmdline.txt
$ sudo umount /tmp/root/dev /tmp/root/proc /tmp/root/boot /tmp/root/</pre>

7. Boot

Now it’s time to boot into Raspberry Pi. Insert SD Card into Raspberry Pi and plug network and power cables. Wait for boot to complete.

8. SSH

Now ssh to our new server :) I find IP using nmap.

$ nmap -sn

Find the correct IP and SSH into server.

$ ssh [email protected]

Run depmod:

# depmod -a

9. VPN

Now it’s time for VPN service setup.

# apt-get install pptpdi

Open /etc/pptpd.conf and add these lines at the end:


Then edit /etc/ppp/chap-secrets and add VPN username/passwords there like:

test-username     pptpd    my-password    *

Then restart pptpd server:

# service pptpd restart

10. Masqurading

Allow VPN users to access Internet (optional).

# echo "net.ipv4.ip_forward=1" | tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
# sysctl -p
# echo post-up iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -s -d 0/0 -j MASQUERADE | tee -a /etc/network/interfaces

That’s it. Now try to connect to your box through VPN.

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My notes and experiments with different technologies and tools. All information here is solely my personal thougths and does not relate to my employer's point of view in anyways.



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