Forge Home


Configures a road warrior style IKEv2 VPN with StrongSwan and cert-based authentication ideal for mobile devices


6,487 latest version

3.9 quality score

We run a couple of automated
scans to help you access a
module's quality. Each module is
given a score based on how well
the author has formatted their
code and documentation and
modules are also checked for
malware using VirusTotal.

Please note, the information below
is for guidance only and neither of
these methods should be considered
an endorsement by Puppet.

Version information

  • 1.2.0 (latest)
  • 1.1.1
  • 1.1.0
  • 1.0.0
  • 0.0.1
released May 22nd 2017
This version is compatible with:
  • ,

Start using this module

  • r10k or Code Manager
  • Bolt
  • Manual installation
  • Direct download

Add this module to your Puppetfile:

mod 'jethrocarr-roadwarrior', '1.2.0'
Learn more about managing modules with a Puppetfile

Add this module to your Bolt project:

bolt module add jethrocarr-roadwarrior
Learn more about using this module with an existing project

Manually install this module globally with Puppet module tool:

puppet module install jethrocarr-roadwarrior --version 1.2.0

Direct download is not typically how you would use a Puppet module to manage your infrastructure, but you may want to download the module in order to inspect the code.



jethrocarr/roadwarrior — version 1.2.0 May 22nd 2017


The year is 2016. Giant clouds rule the internet. Microsoft supports linux. Yet in this strange new world, not all is well. Your home network is still stuck behind an IPv4 NAT gateway. And your apps still haven't all figured out how to do secure HTTPS encrypted connections yet.

But wait! There in the distance... a savior emerges! The Road Warror VPN!

This module sets up a StrongSwan-based IKEv2 VPN suitable for use with the native IKEv2 VPN client available on devices like iOS and Android, as well as traditional operating systems like Windows, MacOS and GNU/Linux.

It intentionally tries not to do everything for everyone, the module is smart in some areas (eg automatic generation of keys/certs) but dumb in other areas (eg limited configurability to keep things simple for users).

If you're wanting the simpliest possible way to configure a VPN for your iOS or Android device this is the module for you. If you want a module that exposes every possible StrongSwan option, it's not.


  • Extremely simple configuration.
  • IKEv2 using StrongSwan.
  • Certificate-based authentication with automatic setup of CA & certs.
  • Generates client certs for you
  • Generates .mobileconfig files for easy import on iOS devices.


Tested and confirmed on:

  • Debian 8 [Server]
  • Ubuntu 16.04 [Server]
  • iOS 9.3.1 [Client]
  • iOS 10.0.1 [Client]
  • MacOS X 10.11.4 [Client]
  • Android 5 w/ StrongSwan [Client]

The VPN should work on any OS released in 2015-2016 onwards, but many earlier OS releases didn't ship with IKEv2 VPN support. The following are known minimum versions for working clients:

  • iOS 9+
  • MacOS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
  • Android 4.4.3+ (with use of third party StrongSwan client)


The following is an example of a basic configuration that sets up the firewall rules, defines the VPN name and both the IP range to use for the clients as well as the IP range to route back to the client devices.

class { 'roadwarrior':
   manage_firewall_v4 => true,
   manage_firewall_v6 => true,
   vpn_name           => '',
   vpn_range_v4       => '',
   vpn_route_v4       => '',

It is recommended that you consider backing up the /etc/ipsec.d directory. If replacing/autoscaling the server running your roadwarror VPN, you will want to populate the directory with the same data across the fleet, otherwises certs would be re-generated.

You will want to make sure your server can be reached by the clients on UDP port 500 and UDP port 4500. If you use the managed firewall, this will be configured for you with iptables (using puppetlabs/firewall module).

Currently all traffic will egress your VPN server with an IP from the vpn_range_v4 defined above without any masqurading (NAT), so it's important that the destination servers on your network know how to route back to the VPN range via the server. (TODO: add a NAT option to this module?)

Refer to manifests/params.pp for the full list of configurable options and what they mean.

If you enable manage_firewall_v6, you may also want to include the following on your server if you rely on Route Advertisement rather than static IPv6 addresses, otherwise that autodiscovery will cease to function. The following is an example of re-enabling RA for int eth0.

# By default, IPv6 will ignore RA if forwarding is on which can cause what
# looks like breakage of autodiscovery of IPv6 on your interfaces. The following
# will ensure eth0 still accepts RAs, even if forwarding is enabled.

sysctl { 'net.ipv6.conf.eth0.accept_ra':
  value => '2',

Client Configuration

General Configuration

Simply define each client you wish to use, in addition to the main roadwarrior class above.

roadwarrior::client { 'myiphone': }
roadwarrior::client { 'bobiphone': }
roadwarrior::client { 'androidftw': }

This module will export out the certs in a range of formats and sets up a mobile config file.

Most of the params you won't need to set, however the following three are useful. By default the iOS configuration will be "connect on request" only, however you can adjust to ensure the VPN always automatically establishes a connection

roadwarrior::client { 'examplephone':
  ondemand_connect           => false,
  ondemand_ssid_excludes     => undef,
  ondemand_cellular_excludes => false,

For example, to generate configuration for iOS that will always reconnect unless you are on WiFi network "home" or "bach" which presumably don't require the VPN. Additionally, you can specify that you trust your cellular provider and connection on cellular network don't require the VPN (additionally, this gives a positive effect on battery)

roadwarrior::client { 'examplephone':
  ondemand_connect       => true,
  ondemand_ssid_excludes => ['home', 'bach'],
  ondemand_cellular_excludes => true,

The module will build and collect certs and configuration for your clients in /etc/ipsec.d/dist/, for example:

find /etc/ipsec.d/dist/

The purpose of these various files are:

  • ios-examplephone.mobileconfig - A "ready to import" configuration for iOS devices that includes the CA and PKCS12 certs, along with all the config that you might want.

  • examplephone.p12 - A PCKS/P12 file that includes the client's cert and key capable of being imported to most devices for configuring. If your device can't import, try renaming from .p12 to .pfx and see if that helps. The default password on this file is password.

  • examplephone(Cert|Key).pem - PEM format client cert and key. Try these if your device refuses to import the .p12 file above.

  • CACert.(pem|der) - The CA certificate. Many devices will want this to validate the authenticity of your VPN endpoint. If your device can't import the PEM, try the DER file.

iOS Clients

To configure iOS clients (version 9+) email the .mobileconfig file that has been generated to the phone. Note that Apple Mail and the stock Mail app handle this properly, but third party clients (on sender or reciever) possibly may fail to set the weird content types needed by iOS. Sharing via iCloud drive doesn't seem to work properly (unable to import from iCloud on iOS end).

From the mail client, tap and import the file and follow the prompts to import the certificate. Once complete, there will now be a VPN you can turn on/off in the settings screen.

If ondemand has been enabled, the VPN should automatically connect if all conditions are appropiate.

MacOS Clients

The MacOS process is a bit fiddly, make sure you carefully follow the instructions, especially in regard to trusting the certs. Also ensure you are on MacOS 10.11 (El Capitan) or later.

  1. Import the .p12 file generated for the client (eg "examplephone.p12"). Find the newly imported cert inside keychain access and make it as "Always Trusted".

  2. Import the CACert.pem file generate for the client. Go into Keychain Access and find the CA under "Certificates". Now mark it as "Always Trusted".

  3. These first two steps are CRITICAL, if either the client cert or CA cert are not trusted, the VPN will fail to connect without any visible message. Sometimes it can be hard to find where the certs are in Keychain access, recommend using the search box to search based on the vpn name (eg "").

  4. Access System Preferences -> Network and add a new VPN interface, making sure to select IKEv2 specifically.

  5. Populate Server Address and Remote ID with the VPN Name you're using and set the local ID to client@vpnname where client is the name of the client resource defined (eg "examplephone" and vpnname is the main vpn_name defined for the roadwarrior class.

  6. Under Authentication Settings select certificate authentication using the one we imported before.

  7. Establish your first connection and enjoy!

Android Clients

IKEv2 isn't supported natively on Android yet, so you'll have to install the StrongSwan Android app. If you're on Android versions below 4.4.3, the support is buggy and you'll probably need to consider another option like OpenVPN or a newer OS/phone instead.

  1. Import the .p12 certificate package (can be done via most email clients) into the OS cert/key store.

  2. Install the "StrongSwan" VPN client from the Play store.

  3. Add a new VPN using type "IKEv2 Certificate".

The StrongSwan client does not appear to have ondemand logic like the iOS native client, which means the VPN will either have to be connected when required, or left running at all times - which could cause issues if you push routes from home/work down the VPN and then connect to the WiFi at those locations...

But I don't use Puppet! How can I use this?

If you want to use a different configuration manager (eg Ansible or Chef), you'll have to port this module across, I can't help you with that.

However if you just want to run it like a dumb script since you don't use any configuration manager, you can do so by installing Puppet, installing the module and then running your config directly from a file.

The following is an example of how to do this:

apt-get install puppet

puppet module install jethrocarr/roadwarrior

cat > /root/configure_vpn.pp << EOF
class { 'roadwarrior':
   manage_firewall_v4 => false,
   manage_firewall_v6 => false,
   vpn_name           => '',
   vpn_range_v4       => '',
   vpn_route_v4       => '',

roadwarrior::client { 'myiphone':
  ondemand_connect       => true,
  ondemand_ssid_excludes => ['wifihouse'],

roadwarrior::client { 'android': }

# Edit configuration to suit requirements.
# vim /root/configure_vpn.pp

# Apply configuration. You can re-run this if you make changes to the above file
# in future (such as adding new clients).
puppet apply /root/configure_vpn.pp


Contributions in the form of Pull Requests (or beer donations) are always welcome. However please keep in mind the goal of this module is to support road warrior style setups rather than being a general all-purpose StrongSwan/IKEv2 VPN configuration module.


This module is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"). See the LICENSE or

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.