• February 26, 2024
  • nitesh taliyan
  • 0

Integrating OpenVPN with GitHub Actions empowers you to securely access resources or environments within your workflow execution. This enables various use cases, such as:

  • Testing applications deployed on internal servers: By connecting to a VPN, you can access these servers and run your test suite directly within the Actions runner.
  • Deploying code to private repositories: Connecting to a VPN allows you to access private repositories hosted on internal servers and perform deployment tasks within your workflow.
  • Pulling data from internal sources: If your data resides on secured internal systems, using a VPN within your workflow grants access for processing or analysis.

Key steps for integrating OpenVPN with GitHub Actions:

1. Prepare your OpenVPN configuration:

  • Ensure you have a valid OpenVPN configuration file (.ovpn) with the appropriate settings for your VPN server.
  • Store the configuration file securely within your GitHub repository, excluding it from version control. This prevents exposing sensitive information like credentials.

2. Use a dedicated OpenVPN action:

  • Several community-developed actions are available on the GitHub Marketplace that simplify OpenVPN integration. Popular options include:
  • https://github.com/marketplace/actions/openvpn-connect by kota65535
  • https://github.com/marketplace/actions/openvpn-connect (discussion thread)

3. Configure the action within your workflow:

  • Define a step in your workflow YAML file that utilizes the chosen OpenVPN action.
  • Provide necessary inputs to the action, such as:
    • config_file: Path to the local OpenVPN configuration file (relative to the runner’s workspace).
    • Authentication details (username, password, client key) based on your VPN server’s setup.

4. Securely manage credentials:

  • Never store sensitive credentials directly in your workflow file.
  • Utilize GitHub Secrets to securely store VPN credentials (username, password, client key). Reference these secrets within your workflow using the {{ secrets.<SECRET_NAME> }} syntax.

5. Execute your workflow:

  • Once your workflow is configured, trigger it manually or through your preferred triggers (e.g., push to specific branches, pull requests).
  • The OpenVPN action will automatically connect to the VPN server using the provided configuration and credentials. Subsequent steps within your workflow can then access resources available through the VPN connection.

Important Considerations:

  • Remember that connecting to a VPN within your workflow introduces additional complexity and potential security risks. Only do so if necessary and with proper security measures in place.
  • Regularly review and update your OpenVPN configuration and credentials to maintain security.
  • Consider alternative approaches like using SSH tunnels or managed access services for specific use cases.

By following these steps and considering the security implications, you can leverage OpenVPN integration with GitHub Actions to enhance the security and flexibility of your workflows while accessing resources within your private network.