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  Installing Tunnelblick
  Uninstalling Tunnelblick
  Setting up Configurations
  Using Tunnelblick
  Getting VPN Service
  Common Problems
  Configuring OpenVPN
  Release Notes
  Thanks
  FAQ

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Quick Start Guide

On This Page
    Installing Tunnelblick and Getting it Set Up
    Launching Tunnelblick
    Using Tunnelblick
    Connecting to a VPN
    Disconnecting from a VPN
    Quitting Tunnelblick
    Starting Tunnelblick Automatically
    Settings
    The "Set Nameserver" Check Box and DNS & WINS Settings

Special note for those who may have installed RaptorVPN or Urban Shield VPN or other VPN software: These installations have backups that must be removed before installing Tunnelblick. See this Discussion Group thread.

Installing Tunnelblick and Getting it Set Up

Here is what you need to get started using Tunnelblick:

  • Access to a VPN server — your computer is one end of the tunnel and the VPN server is the other end. For more information, see Getting VPN Service.
  • A copy of the Tunnelblick installation disk image. You can get one from the Downloads page.
  • A Tunnelblick VPN Configuration or an OpenVPN configuration file together with key and certificate files for encryption. You get these from whoever set up your VPN — usually your company or a VPN service provider (see Getting VPN Service).
  • The username and password of an administrator for your computer.

To get started, double-click the disk image.

You may see a message saying that "'Tunnelblick.app' is an application downloaded from the Internet. Are you sure you want to open it?". Click "Open".

A window will open. Double-click the Tunnelblick icon in the window to start the installation process.

You will be asked if you want to install/reinstall/upgrade/downgrade Tunnelblick. Enter an administrator username and password and click "Install" to install Tunnelblick to your Applications folder. If you are reinstalling, upgrading, or downgrading, your current copy of Tunnelblick will be put in the Trash before it is replaced.

After a few seconds, a new window will appear asking if you wish to launch Tunnelblick. Click the "Launch" button to launch Tunnelblick.

If your computer is already running Tunnelblick, you will be asked if you wish to close all connections and quit the current copy. Click the button to do so.

You may see a window asking if you wish to check for updates automatically. Click a button to indicate your selection.

When there are no configurations (which is usually the case the first time Tunnelblick is run), the "Welcome to Tunnelblick" window will appear. Follow the instructions to add configurations.

Launching Tunnelblick

To launch Tunnelblick, double-click Tunnelblick in the Applications folder.

If Tunnelblick is running when you log out, shut down, or restart your computer, it will automatically be launched when you log in.

Using Tunnelblick

Once Tunnelblick has been launched, you control it from the Tunnelblick icon in the Status Bar at the top of your screen. The Tunnelblick icon is usually placed between the time and the Spotlight icon. When no VPN connection is active, the icon is dim.

If you click on the icon, you'll see a drop down menu. The menu has

  • A line showing the status your VPN connections and allows you go quickly disconnect all VPNs.
  • A "VPN Details" item which will open a window with details and an OpenVPN log for each connection
  • A "Connect” item for each configuration that has been set up. If there are no configurations, an "Add a configuration..." item will appear instead.
  • A "Quit" item

If you click on "Details", a new window will appear with a tab for each configuration. Each tab includes preferences, the OpenVPN log, and several buttons.

You may use the standard keyboard shortcuts in the "Details" window: Command-C, Command-X, and Command-V for copy, cut, and paste; and Command-A, Command-M, Command-W, and Command-Q to select all the text in the log that is currently being displayed, minimize the window to the dock, close the window, and quit the program.

Connecting to a VPN

To connect to a VPN, either

  • Click on the "Connect" menu item for it's configuration, or
  • Select the configuration in the list on the left of the "VPN Details" window, then click on the "Connect" button.

To illustrate the connection being established, three dots will appear in the menu item, and the Tunnelblick icon will darken and lighten repeatedly. If the connection is successfully established, the Tunnelblick icon will be dark to show an open tunnel, and the "Connect..." menu item for the connection will change to "Disconnect...".

Depending on your setup, you may be asked for a passphrase or username/password combination before the connection can be established. You can save your passphrase, username, and/or password in Apple's Keychain by checking the appropriate checkbox.

The connection will be active as long as you do not end it or log out. Putting your computer to sleep will close the connection but upon waking up from sleep Tunnelblick will attempt to reestablish the connection.

Disconnecting from a VPN

To disconnect from a VPN, either

  • Click on the "Disconnect" menu item for it's configuration, or
  • Select the configuration in the list on the left of the "VPN Details" window, then click on the "Disconnect" button.
  • Quit Tunnelblick. All connections that are not marked "automatically connect when the computer starts" will be disconnected before Tunnelblick quits.

Quitting Tunnelblick

You can quit Tunnelblick by:

  • Clicking on the Tunnelblick icon, then on "Quit"
  • Typing Command-Q (also known as Apple-Q) from any open Tunnelblick window.

Tunnelblick will close all connections that are not marked "automatically connect when the computer starts" before it quits.

Starting Tunnelblick Automatically

If you don't quit Tunnelblick before logging out, it will be started automatically upon login. Don't confuse this automatic launch of Tunnelblick upon login with the "automatically connect” options, which cause a connection to be established when Tunnelblick is launched or when the computer is started or restarted.

If you have configurations that are marked "automatically connect when the computer starts", they will be connected whenever your computer starts or restarts. When Tunnelblick is running, it will show the status of, and you will be able to control, any connections that were established when the computer started.

Settings

The "Details" window allows you to control several settings for configurations. Select one or more configurations in the list on the left of the window, then change the settings as you wish. Four commonly changed settings are:

  • Connect: Set Tunnelblick to be launched manually, when you log in, or when the computer is started.
  • Set DNS/WINS: If set to "Set nameserver", Tunnelblick will use its standard scripts before and after a connection is made to save and restore the computer's DNS and WINS settings, and allow DNS and WINS settings to be "pushed" from the VPN server.
  • Monitor network settings: (Only available if "Set nameserver" is selected.) If checked, Tunnelblick will monitor the network settings and restore settings or restart the connection if changes to the network DNS or WINS configurations are detected.
  • **Keep connected": If checked, Tunnelblick will attempt to restart the VPN connection whenever it becomes disconnected.

For more details on "Set nameserver" see the following section.

There are many other settings that control Tunnelblick's behavior. Click on the 'Advanced' button' or see Preferences for more details.

The "Set Nameserver" Check Box and DNS & WINS Settings

If you are using DHCP, wish to use DNS and WINS servers at the far end of the tunnel when connected, and the VPN server you are connecting to "pushes" DNS and WINS settings to your client, select "Set nameserver". (This is the situation for most users.)

If you are using DHCP, wish to use your original DNS and WINS servers when connected, and the VPN server you are connecting to does not "push" DNS or WINS settings to your client, select "Do not set nameserver".

If you are using manual settings:

  • If you set your DNS servers manually, then regardless of the state of "Set nameserver", your manual DNS servers will always be the only ones used.

  • If you set your Search Domain(s) manually, then regardless of the state of "Set nameserver", your manual Search Domains will always be the only ones used.

  • If you set your WINS servers manually, then regardless of the state of "Set nameserver", your manual WINS servers will always be the only ones used.

If your situation is not described above (e.g., if you use manual DNS settings and wish to use DNS servers at the far end of a tunnel when connected, or you wish to use the OS X ability to use different nameservers for different domains), you must create your own up/down scripts and select "Do not set nameserver".

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