Server 2.x

Local DNS#

New VPN server installations, performed using deploy_${DIST}.sh, will use the DNS servers used by the server itself (as configured in /etc/resolv.conf) for the VPN clients as well. If no usable address is available, e.g. only “localhost” addresses are configured there, the public DNS service offered by Quad9 is used.

It is possible to run your own local DNS resolver for the VPN clients. This has a number of benefits:

Running your own DNS resolver can also be a good idea if no upstream DNS server is provided by your ISP.

NOTE: if your organization has a (trusted) DNS service you SHOULD probably use those! See PROFILE_CONFIG, look for the dns option.


Setting a local recursive DNS server takes a few steps:

  1. Install a recursive DNS server, we’ll use Unbound here;
  2. Configure the DNS server to allow the VPN clients to use it for recursive queries;
  3. Configure the VPN firewall to allow VPN clients to access the local DNS server;
  4. Make the VPN profiles use the “local DNS”.

Install Unbound#


$ sudo yum -y install unbound


$ sudo dnf -y install unbound


$ sudo apt -y install unbound

Configure Unbound#

You need to change the Unbound configuration. You can add the following file to /etc/unbound/conf.d/VPN.conf on CentOS/Fedora, and in /etc/unbound/unbound.conf.d/VPN.conf on Debian:

    interface: ::0
    access-control: allow
    access-control: fd00::/8 allow

    # disable DoH
    # See:
    # See:
    local-zone: refuse

    # disable iCloud Private Relay
    # See:
    local-zone: refuse
    local-zone: refuse

With these options Unbound listens on all interfaces and the ranges and fd00::/8 are white-listed. These ranges are the defaults for deploys done by the deploy_${DIST}.sh scripts.

Enable Unbound during boot, and (re)start it:

$ sudo systemctl enable unbound
$ sudo systemctl restart unbound

Profile Configuration#

Modify /etc/vpn-server-api/config.php for each of the VPN profiles where you want to use “local DNS”, set the dns entry to:

'dns' => ['@GW4@', '@GW6@'],

The @GW4@ and @GW6@ strings will be replaced by the IPv4 and IPv6 address of the gateway.


In order to allow the VPN clients to reach the DNS server, the firewall needs to be relaxed to allow traffic to udp/53 and tcp/53 coming from the VPN clients.

Follow the instructions here


To apply the configuration changes:

$ sudo vpn-maint-apply-changes

If the command is not available, install the vpn-maint-scripts package first.