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establish openvpn link with unibo for the vault
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For managing access to the vault cache storage we need to setup an openvpn link between our machines and the unibo (= University of Bologna) host that mounts the storage.

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As this is the first time some of the involved people work together, here are some introductions:

  • @olasd sysadm/networking engineer at Software Heritage
  • @seirl developer working on the Vault (the machinery needed to download bundles of software archived by Software Heritage)
  • @cmezzett unibo contact point, who set up our VMs there and is in touch with networking people there for the openvpn setup

@cmezzett we could neither confirm nor deny (cit.) that 1194/UDP is open from our machines all the way to{8,9}.
We are (now) sure it is open outbound from the machine we will use to initiate the connection (FQDN:
But we couldn't receive any answer from the 2 unibo IPs. Either the port is still firewalled on your end, or nobody is answering us there.

@zack ok, I'll check with the network engineers, if your connection hangs, it is still filtered

Now the port 1194 is open to the world, I was able to test it from another host outside our network and it works.
I suggest to wait until you can log in into the servers and set up the vpn before narrowing down the opening to your network.

update from @cmezzett:

  • openvpn is now indeed open to the world
  • we are now waiting to create the unibo accounts for myself, @ardumont and @olasd to establish a first access (action is on me on this, as soon as i've all the info needed to request account creation)
  • we will be root on the machines, only constraints are:
    • do not unlink the machines from the active directory clusters they are currently connected to
    • leave untouched root access (I'm assuming unibo can still access via authorized_keys as root)
  • via openvpn we can then link the machines to our puppet setup, if needed/desired

another update:

  • I've requested a new Juniper VPN profile for you in order to access the VMs for the startup configurations
  • errata corrige about the root account: the OS is an Ubuntu 16.04 so the root account is disabled by default, if you need an admin user not subject to sudo please create a new one
  • we have an administrative user used to grant access to the machine to inspect/debug the infrastructure should anomalies arise, just in case
  • the machines will mount the storage share via a dedicated ethernet interface on a private network

VM details:

  • (
  • (

Should you need a DNS entry on it will not be a problem

The VPN profile is ready, when you'll be provided with an account you'll be able to sign in.

You have to use the client that you'll find here:

Or visit with a browser equipped with a java runtime (good luck with that).

You'll need to sign in using the short version of the username (the samaccountname) e.g. john.doe2, this is also the case for the remote ssh access, e.g.:

  • ssh

Hope this helps, let me know if I can do anything else.

@cmezzett I used the OpenConnect plugin for Network Manager to connect to the VPN successfully. (You need to choose VPN Protocol = "Juniper/Pulse Network Connect" and set as endpoint).

ii  libopenconnect5:amd64                                 7.08-1                          amd64                           open client for Cisco AnyConnect VPN - shared library
ii  network-manager-openconnect                           1.2.4-1                         amd64                           network management framework (OpenConnect plugin core)
ii  network-manager-openconnect-gnome                     1.2.4-1                         amd64                           network management framework (OpenConnect plugin GNOME GUI)
ii  openconnect                                           7.08-1                          amd64                           open client for Cisco AnyConnect VPN

Once connected to the vpn I managed to connect to both machines and sudo to root.

I managed to make it work here too, and my account seems to work, with root access. I'm going to try to do a test installation on the server soon.


I was trying to install OpenVPN on the swh-test and swh-prod machines, but it looks like outgoing packets with 1194 as the destination port are blocked by the firewall (not in the machines, the iptables rules are empty). I might be doing something wrong here, but I tried to listen on port 1194 on different hosts and I couldn't connect to them from swh-test or swh-prod.

@cmezzett After doing more tests, I'm pretty sure the destination port 1194 in UDP is blocked for both machines. Would it be possible to check the firewall? Thanks :-)

@seirl Yes, you're right, I checked right now from an Amazon Ec2 instance with no luck, I'll let you know as soon as possible

@seirl the firewall configuration has been updated, it should be working now, at least a

nc -l -p 1194 -u

receives traffic in&out

Thanks! It works, I was able to setup OpenVPN on the test machine.

Hi @cmezzett !

I have a problem with the NFS mountpoint: I'm using a non-root user for the service that reads and write on the vault, but I can't write on the NFS mountpoint. When I create a directory with the root user on the mountpoint, it gets created with uid/gid = 4294967294 (2^32-2), and I can't chown them to an uid/gid that my user would be able to write to:

root@swh-test:/mnt# mkdir test
root@swh-test:/mnt# chown 1019:1019 test
chown: changing ownership of 'test': Operation not permitted
root@swh-test:/mnt# ls -l
drwxr-xr-x 2 4294967294 4294967294 2048 Dec  6 17:53 test

Is that a setting that you can disable on your side easily, or do we have a way to work around this behavior?

Thank you!

Hi @seirl !

we had to change a setting on the storage device, it should now work as expected.

Let me know if there are any problems.


It works perfectly, thank you!

seirl claimed this task.