Fix openVPN on chromebooks

Edit: I’ve updated the script due to more updates in ChromeOS. Find the update here.


Around October of 2015 an update came out to Google Chromebooks that had an unfortunate side effect for me: openvpn no longer worked. Despite my having created a tunnel device seconds earlier, openvpn complained that a tunnel device didn’t exist.

I finally found a fix for this here. It turns out that the update caused the “shill” process to aggressively kill the tun0 interface. The clever workaround as posted by¬†pippo0312 works flawlessly. It involves creating the openvpn tunnel in chromium itself rather than in a crouton chroot as I had previously done.

The original script took an argument for an ovpn file to use. Since I only have one VPN profile I just modified it to specify the ovpn file I use.

Place the script in /usr/local/bin on your chrome install (not a chroot) and mark it executable by issuing chmod +x

#!/bin/sh -e
trap '' 2
# Stop shill and restart it with a nicer attitude towards tun0
sudo stop shill
sudo start shill BLACKLISTED_DEVICES=tun0
# Sleep 10 seconds to allow chromebook to reconnect to the network
sudo sleep 10
sudo openvpn --mktun --dev tun0
sudo sleep 3
# Add google DNS on top of current ones, since openvpn command does not do it
sudo sed -i '1s/^/# new DNS\nnameserver 8.8.8.8\nnameserver 8.8.4.4\n# old DNS\n/' /var/run/shill/resolv.conf
# Lauch openvpn, finally...
sudo openvpn --config $1 --dev tun0
# When ctrl-c is hit remove tun0 and cleanup the DNS
sudo openvpn --rmtun --dev tun0
sudo sed -i '/# new DNS/,/# old DNS/d' /var/run/shill/resolv.conf
trap 2

Now you can just issue the command of the name of your script and vpn works again! hooray.

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