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Installing and Configuring a Pritunl VPN Server
webbuilder September 6, 2023 0 Comments

How To Install And Configure A Pritunl VPN Server On Ubuntu 22.04.3?

Using a virtual private network (VPN) to connect to a remote network over the internet is a safe and reliable option. Thanks to the encrypted tunnel it establishes, your information is protected as it travels from your device to the server. Pritunl VPN Server is a reliable option for setting up a personal VPN server. With Pritunl, a free and open-source VPN server, you can create a private network only you can access.

This article will show how to install and configure the Pritunl VPN server on Ubuntu 22.04.3 After finishing this guide, you’ll have a working VPN server at your disposal and a better grasp of the mechanisms that allow for private and secure communication across the vast reaches of the internet. 

So, whether you want to increase your privacy and anonymity online, gain access to restricted content in your country, or just learn more about server administration, let’s start using Pritunl and Ubuntu 22.04.3 to set up your own VPN.

Prerequisites For Installing and Configuring a Pritunl VPN Server

Step-By-Step Installation & Configuration Of Pritunl VPN Server

Let’s start with installing Pritunl step by step, transforming your Ubuntu 20.04 system into a robust VPN server.

Step 1: Update and Upgrade

The first step to ensure a smooth and secure installation process involves updating and upgrading your Ubuntu 22.04.3 system. This ensures that you have the latest software packages and security patches. Here’s how to proceed:

  • Open a terminal on your Ubuntu system. You can usually find the terminal icon in the application menu or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T.
  • Once the terminal is open, type the following command and press Enter:

sudo apt update

  • This command contacts the package repositories to fetch the latest information about available software packages.
    After the update process is complete, you can upgrade the installed packages. Enter the following command and press Enter:

sudo apt upgrade -y

  • The -y flag ensures you won’t be prompted for confirmation during the upgrade process. The system will automatically determine which packages must be upgraded and prompt you to continue.
    The terminal will display a list of packages to be upgraded and the amount of disk space they will occupy. To confirm the upgrade, type Y and press Enter.
  • The system will now proceed with upgrading the packages. Depending on the number of packages being upgraded and your internet connection speed, this might take some time.
    Once the upgrade is complete, you will see a message indicating that the upgrade was successful.

Step 2: Install MongoDB

Before setting up Pritunl, we must ensure that your system’s required database management system, MongoDB 6.0.3, is installed. MongoDB serves as the backend database for Pritunl, allowing it to store and manage user data efficiently. Here’s how to install MongoDB 6.0.3:

  • Open a terminal on your Ubuntu system. You can search for “Terminal” in the applications menu or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T.
  • In the terminal, input the following command and press Enter:

sudo apt install -y mongodb-org=6.0.3

  • This command will fetch and install the MongoDB 6.0.3 package from the official repositories.
  • During the installation, you might be prompted to confirm. Type Y and press Enter to proceed.
  • Once the installation is complete, MongoDB 6.0.3 will run as a service on your system, ready to be utilized by Pritunl.

Step 3: Add Pritunl Repository

To proceed with the installation of Pritunl, we need to add its official repository to your system. This repository contains the necessary software packages for Pritunl. Here’s how you can add the Pritunl repository:

  • Begin by opening a terminal on your Ubuntu system. You can do this by locating the “Terminal” application in the applications menu or using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T.
  • In the terminal, enter the following command to add the Pritunl repository’s GPG key, which is used for verifying the authenticity of the repository:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv 7568D9BB55FF9E5287D586017AE645C0CF8E292A

  • Next, add the Pritunl repository to your system’s software sources. Input the following command in the terminal and press Enter:

echo "deb http://repo.pritunl.com/stable/apt 22.04.3 main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pritunl.list

  • This command adds a new file named pritunl.list in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory containing the repository information.

Step 4: Update and Install Pritunl

With the Pritunl repository added to your system, it’s time to update your package list and install the Pritunl software. Here’s how you can proceed:

  • Launch a terminal on your Ubuntu system. You can find the terminal application in the applications menu or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T.
  • To ensure you have the latest information about available software packages, initiate an update by entering the following command:

sudo apt update

  • This step is optional, but updating the package list regularly is a good practice.
  • Proceed to install the Pritunl software by typing the following command and pressing Enter:

sudo apt install -y pritunl

  • The -y flag tells the system to confirm the installation without requiring any user input.
  • If you install Pritunl on a system with multiple users, you may need to run the command as root. This can be done by prefixing the command with sudo.
  • The system will now fetch the Pritunl packages from the repository and install them on your system.

Step 5: Start Pritunl Service

Now that Pritunl is installed on your system, it’s time to start the service and prepare for configuration. Here’s how to initiate the Pritunl service:

  • Open a terminal on your Ubuntu system. You can find the terminal application in the applications menu or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T.
  • To start the Pritunl service, enter the following command and press Enter:

sudo systemctl start pritunl

  • This command triggers the initiation of the Pritunl service.
  • To make sure that Pritunl starts automatically on system boot, you can also use the following command:

sudo systemctl enable pritunl

  • Enabling the service ensures that Pritunl starts every time your system is booted.

Step 6: Access Pritunl Web Interface

With the Pritunl service up and running, it’s time to access the Pritunl web interface. This interface provides a user-friendly environment to configure and manage your VPN server. Here’s how you can access it:

  • Open your preferred web browser on a device connected to the same network as your Ubuntu 22.04.3 server.
  • In the address bar of the web browser, type the following URL and replace <your-server-ip> with the actual IP address of your server:

https://<your-server-ip>:9700

  • For example, if your server’s IP address is 192.168.1.100, the URL would be:

https://192.168.1.100:9700

  • Press Enter to load the Pritunl web interface. You might encounter a security warning about the SSL certificate depending on your browser settings. This is normal, as Pritunl generates a self-signed certificate during the installation. Proceed by bypassing the warning (the exact steps vary based on your browser).
  • You will be presented with the Pritunl login screen. Enter the administrator username and password you set up during the initial configuration.
  • Once you successfully log in, you’ll have access to the Pritunl web interface, where you can configure users, organizations, servers, and other settings for your VPN.

Step 7: Set Up Administrator Account

Within the Pritunl web interface, establishing an administrator account is a pivotal step in configuring your VPN server. This account bestows you with the authority to manage user access, security settings, and organizational preferences. Here’s how you can create your administrator account:

  • After logging in to the Pritunl web interface, locate and click on the Users tab. This tab is typically found on the left-hand side navigation menu.
  • Select the Administrator option, usually represented by an icon resembling a shield or key.
  • Click the Add User button or its equivalent. This action prompts a form where you’ll define the credentials for your administrator account.
  • Provide the necessary details, including the desired username, a strong password, and an optional email address for account-related notifications.
  • Consider enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) for enhanced security. This involves associating your administrator account with an authentication app (such as Google Authenticator) that generates time-based codes.
  • Assign the Organization Admin role to the administrator account. This designation empowers the account with control over the entire organization within Pritunl.
  • Once you’ve filled in the required fields and reviewed your choices, click the Save or Create button to finalize the administrator account setup.

Step 8: Configure Server Settings

Fine-tuning the settings of your Pritunl VPN server is integral to tailoring the experience to your requirements. This step involves customizing various parameters to align with your organizational needs and security preferences. Here’s how you can configure the server settings:

  • Inside the Pritunl web interface, navigate to the Settings section. This section is often denoted by a cogwheel icon or a menu item labeled “Settings.”
  • Explore the available settings, which encompass a range of options to shape your VPN server’s behavior. You’ll typically find categories like General, Authentication, Privacy, and more.
  • Begin by accessing the General settings. Here, you can specify the Server URL, which should be your VPN server’s public URL or IP address. This information aids clients in connecting to your server.
  • Proceed to review and adjust other settings as needed. You might configure authentication methods, server timeouts, session limits, and user access rules depending on your requirements.
  • For added security, consider enabling logging and auditing features. These functionalities can help you track and analyze user activities and potential security incidents.
  • Take your time to explore and understand each setting before making changes. Documentation or tooltips provided by Pritunl can offer insights into the implications of different configurations.
  • After adjusting the settings, save your changes using the Save or Apply button, typically at the bottom or top of the settings page.

Conclusion

You’ve successfully established a Pritunl VPN server on Ubuntu 22.04.3. This achievement empowers you with enhanced online security and privacy. By diligently following this guide, you’ve navigated through installation, user setup, and server customization. Your Pritunl VPN now stands as a resilient fortress against potential online threats. 

As your trusted technology partner, Triotech Systems can provide expert guidance and support to enhance your cybersecurity initiatives further. And, as your cybersecurity journey continues, remember that vigilant maintenance and staying informed are keys to sustaining a secure digital presence.

FAQs

To access the Pritunl web interface, open a web browser and enter the URL https://<your-server-ip>:9700. Replace <your-server-ip> with your server’s IP address. Log in with your administrator credentials.

If you’re experiencing connection problems, check your server’s firewall settings to ensure the necessary ports (80 and 443) are open. Also, verify that your client software is correctly configured with the server’s URL or IP.

Yes, Pritunl allows you to manage multiple organizations, each with its own set of users, servers, and settings. This feature is useful if you’re providing VPN services to different groups.

Regular updates are essential for security. Check for updates from the Pritunl repository and apply them as they become available. Keeping your VPN server up to date helps protect it from known vulnerabilities.

Yes, Pritunl establishes an encrypted connection between your device and the server, ensuring that your data is protected from interception. This encryption is a core feature of VPNs and enhances your online privacy.

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