How To Set Up a VPN Server Using a Mac

These instructions may seem arcane and complex but they’re really easy if you just follow along step by step. Donald Burr of Otaku No Podcast ( created all of these instructions in text form, Allison just created the ScreenSteps tutorial!

I’ll be focusing on using a Mac on your home network using an Airport Extreme Router (of course any router will work but the screenshots will be for the Airport). If you have a router capable of installing the Tomato Router Firmware, you should look at Donald’s full instructions because you may not need to use a Mac at all for this, your router can do it all. See Donald’s notes for other options.

Read Donald’s instructions ===> here.

If you’d rather download this manual for easy off line reference, click here.

If you’ve installed the VPN Server but would like to UNinstall it, click here for instructions.
If you can connect to your VPN server but can’t get outside your network, click here.

Let’s get started already!

SECTION 1 – Setting Up a Static IP for the Server on the LAN Side

These instructions should be completed on the machine that will become the VPN server.

Open Network Preferences


Select Advanced


Copy the Mac Address


Open AirPort Utility


Click on your router, in my case it’s called White Dart.

Select Enter Router Password


Enter your password when prompted and click OK.

Select Edit


Select the Network Tab and Click the + Button


Paste in the Mac Address You Copied Earlier


Select Update


Select Continue


Quit Airport Utility when this operation completes.

SECTION 2 – Creating Account at


Navigate to and select Sign Up.

Create a Username and Password


Enter your Email address. Note the host name shown which is free, but if you want to pay you can get more options. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Select Sign Up


Email Confirmation Will be Sent


Click the Link in the Email


Download the Update Client


This client will run in the background and check to see if your IP address has changed, and if it has, will send it to

Download and Install the Client


Enter Your Account Info You Just Created


This menu should pop up automatically.

Click OK


Click on Hosts and Check the Box Next to the Host Name You Chose


It may take a few moments for the host name you selected at to show up. Make sure you note this name, you’ll need it later.

Select Update Now


Turn on the Daemon


I chose this rather than running the application in the background all the time.

SECTION 3 – Installing Xcode and Running Command Line Tools

Find Xcode in the Mac App Store

Install Xcode


Install Java


Xcode only installs the standalone Java, and it does NOT include the Java Web plugin that has been the subject of so many security vulnerabilities lately.

Select Install Next to Command Line Tools


Wait till the installation finishes and quit X-Code

Type xcodebuild -license to Open the License Agreement


Start Hitting the Space Bar to Scroll Through the EULA – A LOT of Times


Type Agree


Type agree

Joy of Agreement


SECTION 4 – Installing MacPorts


Navigate to and scroll to the bottom to download the installer file for your OS.

Install MacPorts


Enter These Commands in the Terminal


To run the self update to Macports enter:

  source ~/.profile
  sudo port -v selfupdate

and enter your administrator password



Open the VPN Software



  sudo port -v install openvpn2

and watch a lot of glop go by…

SECTION 5 – Installing Tuntap Drivers


Open the Package File (in the folder after tuntap expands)


Gatekeeper won’t let you just double click on the installer package (it will complain that it is from an unknown source), you have to right click on the installer package and choose “open”.

SECTION 6 – Donald’s Nifty Scripts of Doom

Download Donald’s scripts from:

Type These Commands to Unarchive the Scripts


cd ~/Downloads
tar xvjf openvpn-mac.tar.bz2

Setting Up OpenVPN Server


We’re now going to run Donald’s scripts. Enter this command:

  cd openvpn-mac && sudo bash setup-openvpn-server

Name your Server (I’ve entered kyles-mac-vpn)
Enter the dynamic dns host name you noted back on (you DID note it, right?)

Keep Answering Questions


The first time through you need to answer these. These steps will be duplicated MANY times, but after this the answers will be there and you can simply hit Enter for each questions.

Hit Enter for All These Questions for an RSA Key


And Again for Some Reason


Keep Answering…


And Again


And Again…




Enter passphrase and password as many times as they ask for it!

Finder Window Opens Showing config-files


Copy this file to Dropbox. It will be the first connection file you test. It would be good to name it something associated with the device on which you’ll use it (you’ll be creating one of these for each of your devices).

Create a New VPN Connection Document for Each Device You Have

In Terminal, enter:

  sudo setup-openvpn-client connection-name

where connection-name means something to you for each different device you’ll want to connect to the VPN server. Move each of these files to Dropbox to be picked up on your devices.

SECTION 7 – Opening up UDP Port 1194


Open Airport Utility again, select your Airport again, Select Edit again. Select the Network tab, and select the + under Port Settings

Enter Information As Shown


Select Update


Wait until your Airport updates.

SECTION 8 – Install VPN Software on iOS


Download OpenVPN Connect from the iTunes App Store.

Open Dropbox


Find the file you created and moved into Dropbox and tap on it.

Select the Open In Button in the Bottom Right


Select Open in OpenVPN


Click the Green Plus Button to Import the File


Enter the Password


Enter the Password you created in the creation of the file, and tap the Save switch to turn it on. Finally tap the Off Switch to Connect to the VPN.



SECTION 9 – Install VPN Software on OSX


Two options for a VPN application on the Mac. Donald recommended Viscosity from which is $9 per Mac.

After the show Dr. Matt suggested the free TunnelBlick from I installed both and they both work well. This tutorial will be for Viscosity, but if you try Tunnelblick you have to do one thing to make it work. In the Settings, Configuration tab, select Advanced and then uncheck the box to use TunnelBlick’s tun/tap drivers.

Let’s keep going with Viscosity as our example.

Install Viscosity


Click on the icon for Viscosity in the menubar and choose Preferences.

In the Connection Tab Click on the Plus Button at the Bottom


Select Import Connection From File…


Navigate to the File You Created for This Device


In my case I called it alsmac so I could tell which one to open

Connection Imported


Connect Using Menu Bar App


Enter the Password You Created


No clue which one of the 198 I entered, luckily I typed the same one over and over again.

Fleeting Notification of Connection


To test mine at home I used a Mifi so I was on a different network.

Use the Menubar Icon to Disconnect When You’re Through


If you want to prove to yourself that you’re on VPN – go to before and after you VPN and you’ll find that your IP changes to your home IP. Congratulations!

5 thoughts on “How To Set Up a VPN Server Using a Mac

  1. […] How To Set Up a VPN Server Using a Mac « Nosillacast […]

  2. Paolo - August 27, 2017

    Thanks for this post. I need install OpenVPN Server on my mac, but it’s very difficult find a guide that in complete. The dropbox link that you have posted is expired, can you post the Donald’s Nifty Scripts of Doom file again? thx

  3. Allison Sheridan - August 27, 2017

    Paolo – I’m sorry to say that Donald Burr has disappeared from the Internet and I’ve lost all normal methods of human communication with him. I searched my own drive to see if I’d saved a copy but I’m afraid I did not. I’m sorry to let you down like this.

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