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Getting Started with TryHackMe
OpenVPN Guide
Q&A: Common questions after connecting to the VPN
Q&A: Common questions after connecting to the VPN
Written by Gonzo
Updated over a week ago


What do I do after connecting to the VPN?

Once connected, your VM can communicate with other VMs on our Network. This means you can run the same commands as you would on our web-based Attackbox. For example, you can run an NMAP scan, and if you find a web server running on the Target machine, you can now view the website from your VM browser instead of using the Attackbox.

How do I access rooms after connecting to the VPN?

To access rooms, you need to load their URL in your browser. There is nothing else required. Accessing a room means going to its webpage; you don't need to connect to any machines to access a room. Instructions will be written in the task description if a room requires you to connect to a task machine.
If a challenge requires you to hack into a virtual machine, then you only need to start that VM by clicking the green "start machine" button in the task. Once the machine has booted, you will get its IP address and can start interacting with it.

How do I connect to the IP address/troubleshoot it?

The first step is to ensure you understand the difference between the Attackbox and a task VM; this article should help clarify it. Then, please ensure you have started the task VM.
Before trying to "connect" to a virtual machine, you must understand what is running on that machine (information gathering and enumeration). Is there a web server? If yes, what port is it running on? What protocol is it using (HTTP or HTTPS)?
Then, you can use this information to view the website via your browser (you need to be connected to TryHackMe's internal network by using the Attackbox or OpenVPN).

If the website isn't loading straight away, wait a few minutes. Remember, you just turned on that VM, so the web server might take a while to start and serve the website.

You don't need to connect to the machine to access the room. You are accessing the room through TryHackMe's website; each room is different, so you must avoid making assumptions based on a previous room you've completed. New users commonly try to connect to machines via SSH with the credentials they were given in another room, for example, Linux Fundamentals 2. That room was created to teach you about SSH and how to use it, but it doesn't mean that all machines on TryHackMe can be accessed the same way, especially not with the same credentials. Imagine if all of a company's office computers had SSH enabled and used the same username and password. How hard would it be to hack into that company's network?

How do I get files?

If you're doing a room that requires you to download files onto your VM, you can download them directly from the task. Those files should also be on our Attackbox. This information will be indicated in the room task description. However, if you find that it is missing, please let us know via email:
[email protected]

How do I find an SSH password?

First, it is essential to know what SSH is to understand why giving SSH credentials to every task VM would be counterproductive for your learning.
If you want to know your Attackboxes SSH credentials, click the "i" button once it has been booted.

If a room VM has SSH enabled and the goal is for you to connect to it via SSH to allow you remote access to that machine, the credentials will be provided in the room. If they aren't provided, you need to find another way into the machine or find the SSH credentials as part of the challenge. There would be no challenge if every machine had SSH open and provided credentials.

What do you do if your permission is denied (public key)?

This likely means you aren't supposed to connect via SSH (with those credentials); you need to find another way into the machine as part of the challenge.

Is it ok to use THM from my own machine (meaning not needing to use a VM)?

If you want to avoid using the Attackbox, we highly advise using your own Linux (Ubuntu, Kali or Parrot) VM with OpenVPN. We have explained the reasons in our previous article in the security tips section. It is also more practical to use a VM with something like Kali Linux or Parrot, as it comes with most of the tools you will need and has better compatibility with OpenVPN than WSL (Windows).
Please follow this guide to get started with OpenVPN.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask us at [email protected]

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