Skip to content

FAQ (Frequently asked questions)

What boards/OSes does PiVPN support?

PiVPN runs at least on the following hardware

  • Raspberry Pi models (1/2/3/4/Zero)
  • All SBC's supported by DietPi.
  • x86_64 (Intel and AMD) servers

PiVPN Supports the following systems

  • Raspbian and Raspberry PI OS
    • Stretch
    • Buster
    • Bullseye
  • Ubuntu Server
    • Bionic Beaver (18.04)
    • Focal Fossa (20.04)
    • Jammy Jellyfish (22.04)
  • DietPi
  • Alpine Linux

What about other Debian / Ubuntu based distributions?

PiVPN may be able run and install VPN Protocols on any other Debian or Ubuntu based distributions however we do not provide support for them.

What about docker?

Support for docker images is currently experimental and we do not provide any official images or official support. There is no ETA for full support.

What About Octopi?

As per Github Issue #373 on Octpi OctoPi doesn't play well with PiVPN installer as they use a git wrapper that blocks it from running as root user. To disable the git wrapper please do: sudo rm /root/bin/git

Can I have Wireguard and OpenVPN at the same time?

Yes! All you have to do is to run PiVPN installation again. PiVPN will ask you what intend to do and setup everything for you. After the installation is finished all you have to do is to use pivpn wg [options] and pivpn ovpn [options] to manage each protocol.

# pivpn help
::: To pass off to the pivpn command for each protocol
::: Usage: pivpn wg  <command> [option]
::: Usage: pivpn ovpn <command> [option]
:::  -h,  help             Show this help dialog
:::  -u,  uninstall        Uninstall pivpn from your system!
:::  -bk, backup           Backup VPN configs and user profiles

My ISP doesn't give me a static external IP address and my server IP address keeps changing!

You will need a dynamic DNS service and a hostname. If your IP address changes, your hostname will then automatically point to the new IP address. Some free dynamic DNS services are, or


Refer to:

apt-get install ddclient

/etc/ddclient.conf example config:

# Configuration file for ddclient generated by debconf
# /etc/ddclient.conf

use=web,, web-skip='IP Address'

If you use a namecheap domain your ddclient setup can be found here.

How do I troubleshoot connection issues?

Preliminary checks

  • Confirm that all checks are [OK] using pivpn -d.

In our case:

$ pivpn -d
::::        Self check       ::::
:: [OK] IP forwarding is enabled
:: [OK] Iptables MASQUERADE rule set
:: [OK] OpenVPN is running
:: [OK] OpenVPN is enabled (it will automatically start on reboot)
:: [OK] OpenVPN is listening on port 1194/udp

If your debug log shows some [ERR], accept the [Y/n], run pivpn -d again and verify that all checks pass. If not, stop here and look up the error (if you get any) among existing issues or open a new issue.

  • Verify that the server is running.
  • OpenVPN, restart the server with sudo systemctl restart openvpn, run pivpn -d and confirm that the snippet of the server log ends with Initialization Sequence Completed.
  • WireGuard, restart the server with sudo systemctl restart wg-quick@wg0. Run lsmod | grep wireguard and confirm that you get at least this output (numbers don't matter).
wireguard             225280  0
ip6_udp_tunnel         16384  1 wireguard
udp_tunnel             16384  1 wireguard

  • Acquire the installation settings using cat /etc/pivpn/wireguard/setupVars.conf if using WireGuard or cat /etc/pivpn/openvpn/setupVars.conf if using OpenVPN.
IPv4dev=eth0                  <--- Network interface you have chosen

IPv4addr=    <--- IP address of the Raspberry Pi at the time of installation
                                   (only consider the part)

IPv4gw=           <--- Gateway IP, which you will type into a web browser to open
                                   the management interface

pivpnPROTO=udp                <--- Protocol you need to use in the port forwarding entry

pivpnPORT=1194                <--- Port you need to forward

pivpnHOST=          <--- Public IP or DNS name your clients will use to connect to
                                   the PiVPN

  • Check that the current IP address of the interface IPv4dev is the same as IPv4addr. You can see the current IP with ip -f inet address show IPv4dev.

In our case:

$ ip -f inet address show eth0
2: eth0: <BROADCAST,MULTICAST,UP,LOWER_UP> mtu 1500 qdisc pfifo_fast state UP group default qlen 1000
    `inet brd scope global dynamic eth0
       valid_lft 84694sec preferred_lft 84694sec

Confirmed: is the same as the content of the IPv4addr variable.

If it's not the same, go to your router admin webpage and reserve the static IP IPv4addr to the MAC address of the IPv4dev interface. To show the MAC address: cat /sys/class/net/IPv4dev/address. Then reboot the Raspberry Pi.

  • Check that the current public IP of your connection is the same as pivpnHOST. To check the current public IP: curl -s

In our case:

$ curl -s

Confirmed: is the same as the content of the pivpnHOST variable.

If the IP is different, then update the IP using the OpenVPN or WireGuard guide. If your IP changes frequently, the norm on most home connections, consider using a Dynamic DNS.

If you are already using a DDNS, and thus pivpnHOST contains your domain name, use dig +short to check whether the returned IP matches curl -s

Packet capture

We will use tcpdump to take a peek into the network interface to see if packets are reaching our Raspberry Pi.

First off, if you want to test the connection using your smartphone as a client, make sure to use MOBILE DATA, do not test from the same network where the Raspberry Pi is located. If you want to use a PC, connect to the internet via TETHERING/HOTSPOT.

Connecting from the same network as the server not only doesn't make sense (you are already inside the network the VPN is supposed to connect you to) but may not work with many routers.

From your device, go to and check what's your IP address, let's say we have

  1. Open a root shell: sudo -s
  2. Install tcpdump: apt install tcpdump -y
  3. Run tcpdump -n -i IPv4dev pivpnPROTO port pivpnPORT (it will block the terminal but don't worry)
  4. Try to connect from your device
  5. Shortly after you should see some packets being exchanged between your Raspberry Pi and your device

In our case:

# tcpdump -n -i eth0 udp port 1194
tcpdump: verbose output suppressed, use -v or -vv for full protocol decode
listening on eth0, link-type EN10MB (Ethernet), capture size 262144 bytes
10:57:38.952503 IP > UDP, length 32    <--- Your device sent a packet to the Raspberry Pi
10:57:49.109202 IP > UDP, length 128   <--- Your Raspberry Pi responded to your device
10:57:49.144774 IP > UDP, length 128
10:57:59.490185 IP > UDP, length 32

You are looking at udp or tcp packets coming to your Raspberry Pi on the port you specified, via the network interface (ethernet or wifi) you chose. The example output above is a successful conversation.

Here's an unsuccessful one (no packets reach the Raspberry Pi):

tcpdump: verbose output suppressed, use -v or -vv for full protocol decode
listening on eth0, link-type EN10MB (Ethernet), capture size 262144 bytes
  1. Press CTRL-C to stop the capture
  2. Exit the root shell: exit

Tweaking MTU

On some networks, you may see that packets are being exchanged, data transfer occurs in both directions (Rx/Tx) as seen in the WireGuard app or pivpn -c, but can't browse the web or connect to servers in the LAN. This is sometimes caused by improper MTU. To attempt a fix, start from the default MTU of 1420 and lower the value by 10 until you find the highest that works. The MTU can be changed by adding/editing the MTU = something line of the [Interface] section of the client .conf file, or by changing the MTU section in the WireGuard app on Android and iOS.

What to do if I see no packets?

  • If you set up PiVPN with ethernet and later switched to wifi, you will have a different IP. Easiest way to fix is to reinstall and pick the new network interface.
  • Check if your ISP uses Carrier-grade NAT (check online). With CGNAT, your router gets a private IP, making port forwarding ineffective. This is mostly the norm if your router connects via 4G/LTE. If that's the case, you need to ask the ISP for a public IP.
  • If you see packets coming to the Pi, but no response to the smartphone, it may indicate routing issues, attempts to block the connection (on either side), poor connectivity. In all cases, try to connect from a different network. It may also indicate misconfigured keys though this shouldn't happen with the official scripts.
  • If you have multiple chained routers, then you need to configure multiple port forwardings. Example: ( ISP router ( ---> ( Own router ( ---> ( Raspberry Pi. Given that, on the ISP router port forward 1194 udp to and on your own router port forward 1194 UDP to
  • You may have misconfigured firewall rules on your Pi, open an issue and add the output of sudo iptables -S and sudo iptables -t nat -S.

If you performed all the following steps and suggestions, but you still can't connect, open a new issue showing all the steps you followed to troubleshoot. Include the packet capture as well (censor client IPs if you want). Remember to follow the ISSUE TEMPLATE.