Can’t Import OpenVPN Configuration In Linuxmint 18 – SOLVED

Last week (August 2016), I’ve upgraded my Linuxmint Machine from version 17 to version 18, which is called “Linux Mint 18 – Sarah”. Alongside with this, I’ve also upgraded my pfSense box to version 2.3.2. This after, I can no longer import my OpenVPN connection settings, with the error “Cannot import VPN Connection”.

This solution works for both Ubuntu and Linuxmint.

In my case, the exact error says like this…

Cannot import VPN Connection

The file pfsense-udp-1194-linuxmint.ovpn could not be read or does not contain recognized VPN connection information.

Error: the plugin does not support import capability.

Please take note, that I’ve used the Cinnamon Edition of LM18, which was release on June 2016. This version is based on Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus) edition.

When the time I’m setting up my VPN connection again (using pfSense), Network Manager failed to import my previous configuration. Take note, that my configuration is known to work with pfSense before, using Linuxmint 17. No issues or what so ever. I’ve imported the config files using Linuxmint’s network manager without a problem.

You might want to read my guide on How To Setup OpenVPN From pfSense’s Web-GUI.

After the said upgrades, I can no longer import the previously working configs using the network manager on Linuxmint 18, with the following error.

Reference Image: “Cannot import VPN Connection” error.

Cannot Import OpenVPN Configuration

Reference Image – Can’t Import OpenVPN Configuration

So I did some troubleshooting, and tried using a different OpenVPN configuration file. This time, I’ve used a Linux distro called “ClearOS“. It’s a great server distro for both homes and small offices, that can do many things like act as an OpenVPN server.

I did the setup on a Virtualbox Guest machine, and downloaded the OpenVPN config files. Then imported the configs using network manager, and voila! My configuration was imported successfully.

I started to think what could be the problem, is it Linuxmint or pfsense?

And so I did some trial and error stuffs, and also did some research. Long story short, Network Manager app has gone buggy again according to what I’ve read. Sometimes it work, sometimes it doesn’t. It works for some files, and doesn’t for others, like in my case, it does not work on my file (pfSense OpenVPN config files).

Then after a few hours of research, trial&errors, I decided not to use the Import Function, and instead, manually create the OpenVPN connection. And this time, it actually worked!

If you have similar case as I’ve had, then follow through and get around that “Cannot import VPN Connection” error.

Steps I Did

Below are the steps I took to get around with the error. Take note that my machine runs on Linuxmint 18 Cinnamon Edition, while my pfSense is on version 2.3.2.

  • Step 1: pfSense OpenVPN Client Export Settings

    These you can find on https://pfsense.ip.address/vpn_openvpn_export.php

    …under Client Export menu

  1. Verify Server CN – Set to:

    Automatic – Use verify-x509-name (OpenVPN 2.3+) where possible

  2. Block Outside DNS – Checked

  3. Use Random Local Port – Checked

  • Step 2: Download & extract the configuration file for your specific user. This time, don’t use Archive, choose Viscosity Bundle instead, under “Viscosity (Mac OS X and Windows)”.

    Reference Image:

    Reference Image - OpenVPN Config File

    Reference Image – OpenVPN Config File

  • Step 3: Left-click on the Network Manager icon (from system tray), and left-click on Network Connections. A new box should open.

  • Step 4: Click on the Add button, and choose OpenVPN from the drop-down option. Then click Create button. A new box should open.

    Reference Image:

    Reference Image - Network Manager Connection Window

    Reference Image – Network Manager Connection Window

  • Step 5: Enter & fill up the necessary fields.

    1. Connection Name

      pfSense-VPN – for example

    2. Gateway

      pfsense.ip.address:openvpn_port – see example below:

    3. Under Authentication > Type, choose Password with Certificates (TLS).

    4. User Certificate

      Click on the field and browse to cert.crt file.

    5. CA Certificate

      Click on the field and browse to ca.crt file.

    6. Private Key

      Click on the field and browse to key.key file.

    7. Fill up User Name and Password. This should be your username & password under your pfSense account.

      Private Key Password is the one you configured under…

      Certificate Export Options > Password Protect Certificate.

  • Step 6: Click on Advance button and configure the following.

    Reference Image:

    Reference Image - Linuxmint OpenVPN Connection Window - Advance Tab

    Reference Image – Linuxmint OpenVPN Connection Window – Advance Tab

    1. Tick Use LZO data compression.
    2. Tick Set Virtual Device Type: TUN

    Then click Security Tab.

  • Step 7: Under Security tab, set Cipher & HMAC Authenticaiton. To know about this config, open config.conffile (file downloaded from pfSense) and look for the value set for cipher and auth.

    cipher value goes to Cipher, auth value goes to HMAC Authenticaiton.

    Then click on TLS Authentication tab.

    Reference Image:

    Reference Image - Network Manager Connection Window - Security Tab

    Reference Image – Network Manager Connection Window – Security Tab

  • Step 8: Configure TLS Authentication.

    1. Tick Verify peer (server) certificate nsCertType designation, while setting Remote peer certificate nsCert designation to Server.

    2. Tick Use additional TLS authentication. Then set Key File value to ta.key. Click on the field provided and browse for the file.

    3. Set Key Direction to 1. Click on OK button, then finally Save.

    Reference Image:

    Reference Image - Linuxmint OpenVPN Connection Window - TLS Authentication Tab

    Reference Image – Linuxmint OpenVPN Connection Window – TLS Authentication Tab

  • Step 8: Connect!

    On your Linuxmint machine, click on the Network Manager icon, then click your OpenVPN connection name (configured in step 5-1). You should should be able to connect successfully.

    Watch this YouTube for reference.

It’s a Wrap!

With this How-To, hope you got around that Cannot import VPN Connection issue and had created your VPN connection. In case it didn’t worked out, feel free to shoot your question using the comment section below and ask for further help. I will do my best to answer them, when I have the time.


Hi, I'm Chubby! That's what my friends call me. I'm a tech savvy dude who is passionate in learning stuffs by himself. I post stuffs that I recently learned and also stuffs that I'm very knowledgeable of. I also post articles here to serve as my own reference and knowledge base archiving.