Docs/user-guide/openvpn.server: which one do you like best?

Just curious: Which of the revisions of openvpn.server below do you like best?

  • Old
  • New

0 voters

Does it contain any of the same information? From what I understand the new version is using different utilities to do the same things as well as having more information in a new format. I was easily able to set up my own VPN server a while ago using the first version, but I am struggling to understand which parts I need to achieve the same with the new version.

Neither. I don't know much about OpenVPN Server, but neither document would really serve my needs. They suffer from a lack of basic information ("why would I need this?") and are missing an overview of the important steps. Furthermore,

  • The previous version appears to be a "Quick Start" document that will get you started, with a minimal number of decisions. But it seems to rely on easy-rsa, which the newer page seems to warn against. (Is this important?)

  • The newer version has done a great job of collecting all possible sources of information about OpenVPN Server. But this comes at the cost of not giving a newcomer any idea how to start, since each section of the page seems to receive equal (visual) prominence.

The Wiki benefits from both kinds of page: a Quick Start that says "just do this and you'll be on the air" along with a page (or pages) that provide a careful description of detailed options, etc. Thanks to both authors who've worked hard on those pages.

Old, however I also do like that also includes TUN/TAP setup information in tabs.

Thank you for your feedback so far.
From this and the votes (6 votes; 50/50) I conclude:

  • Overwriting the old version with the new one wasn't the best thing to do. There is a need for a quick howto.
  • The new version has usability issues: People don't understand what is needed when and for what reasons.
  • The new version doesn't follow the common wiki styling by using smaller fontsizes and various hard to discern colors (keywords: Protanomaly, Deuteranomaly; yes, I'm affected by this).


  1. re-create quick howto out of old version -> done, see
  2. rework the new version, in order to make it better understandable
  3. adapt the new version to common wiki styling (use common font-size + remove colors)

Question regarding re-working user-guide/openvpn.server: What is this page missing? What can be done to make it better understandable?

More examples (like docs/howto/openvpn.server)?
Different structuring?
More explanatory text?

1 Like

In my case I only want to know enough to make it work. I don't have many concrete suggestions for improvements because I understand very little about what is required for VPN to work in different settings. I will go through some of it and tell you what my initial reactions are when I read it, and then maybe you can determine if this documentation is intended for me or if I don't really need to know any of this.

Looking at the Prerequisites box:
Why are there several tabs, and why are they named like this?
The content of the prerequisites box: I have no idea why these files are required, and the accompanying text does not help me. The many levels of indenting makes it hard to read. Download openssl.cnf: where do I get this file? While working on this response I eventually noticed the link in the corner, but it would be more intuitive to make the name in the title into a link.
I think a more intuitive name for the "Files & Folders" tab would be "File locations", but I think it and the Extensions tab should be joined into a more generic informational tab which could have the same name on each box. It could be called Additional information or something like that. It seems to me that I have to click a lot as it is now.

While I appreciate the efforts to improve the documentation, I think that if there is a new format it should be more consistent. For instance, each of the boxes have different layouts and usage of the tabs. Under Prerequisites the prerequisites contains a list of commands, while under CA Creation the prerequisites are to change some config files and the commands are under the Commands tab.

Maybe it could be narrowed down to the same 4 tabs everywhere? The first is some text that explains what the information is for, the second is config file changes, third is commands and fourth is additional information. I'm not sure dividing it like this is a good idea though. Frequently a mix of these things will have to be done in a specific order. I assume the points of the tabs are to make the page shorter and hide unnecessary information.

It would be great to have a one-two page description of what OpenVPN server would do for me. It should answer the question, "I know how to use the VPN client on my laptop. Why would using OpenVPN benefit me?" Thanks!

I like this one
I searched for tap device configuration found that link. Followed it and it worked so i like it :slight_smile: