Important note: What I wrote here will not work on Amazon Linux 2; only on Amazon Linux.

There are some rare tutorials on the net, like this outdated one. Save yourself some headaches and use the following script to easily install and configure OpenVPN server, and easily generate all the keys, certificate and configuration files required for clients.

Nyr wrote a very good script to install and configure OpenVPN. I just did some modifications to make it run on Amazon Linux, and also to ask for a passphrase when generating client keys as I think this is quite important.

Run the following on the machine you want to use as your OpenVPN server:

$ wget
$ chmod +x
$ sudo ./ -i

And following the instructions.

Also of interest: you can use a NAT instance to setup your OpenVPN server. So you can use a small instance to do both NAT and VPN, which is much cheaper than using NAT Gateways + AWS VPN solutions, provided you are happy with the limits of having a single instance running both NAT and VPN.

To add a user:

$ sudo ./ -a NEWUSER

Use the generated NEWUSER.ovpn unified configuration file to connect your client to your OpenVPN server. This file contains secrets, so you must handle it carefully. For example on a Linux laptop with OpenVPN installed:

$ sudo openvpn NEWUSER.ovpn

Please note the above script should work on Debian, Ubuntu, RedHat, CentOS and Amazon Linux (maybe even on Fedora too).