OpenVPN: General troubleshooting
Written by Gonzo
Updated over a week ago

Here are a few common issues you may encounter with OpenVPN. We have added links to more detailed troubleshooting guides at the bottom of the article.

If you're not receiving reverse shells or Metasploit exploits are not creating sessions:

Incorrect settings often cause this (so double-check this first!) or by using a VM running the VPN on your host machine. If the VPN is connected to your host and the VM is connected through the host, then you have a route into the network and can access machines: VM -> Host -> TryHackMe Network. Your reverse shells don't know about that extra step, though: as far as they're concerned, your TryHackMe IP belongs to your host -- not the VM. When the reverse shell is sent, it gets sent back to the host but goes no further -- it has no reason to because it's already reached its destination. However, Metasploit (or any other listener) is inside the VM and thus will never receive the shell because it already got stopped at the host.

If the connection is slow or there is a high degree of latency:

First, check your connection to your home network -- are you a long way away from the router? Is your internet connection usually noticeably faster than when connecting to the TryHackMe network? If so, go to the TryHackMe Access page and ensure your chosen VPN server is closest to you geographically. If not, switch the server and regenerate (then re-download) your connection pack.


Troubleshooting checklist:

  • Are you running OpenVPN as Administrator on Windows or root on Linux? Can you still connect to sites such as Google while using OpenVPN?

    • If not, try switching servers and regenerating (then re-downloading) your VPN configuration pack on the TryHackMe Access page.

  • Some countries block OpenVPN traffic, e.g., China, Egypt, and North Korea.

    • Check if you live in one of these countries. You cannot legally connect to the TryHackMe network via OpenVPN if you do.

If your issue is not related to one of the above, please click on one of the following links:

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