Howto remove/resolve Openvpn message “KEY_CONFIG pointing to the wrong version of openssl.cnf” on Linux Systems

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In this mini post I’ll show you how to  solve this Openvpn error message “KEY_CONFIG pointing to the wrong version of openssl.cnf” which may appears when you try to Generate Keys and Certificates which needed in the installation process of OpenVPN server on Debian 9 “stretch” Linux systems.

You can read this article for Installing OpenVPN Server On Debian 9 “Stretch” Linux systems.

I was trying to run this command:

# ./build-ca

But, it failed with this error:

grep: /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/2.0/openssl.cnf: No such file or directory
pkitool: KEY_CONFIG (set by the ./vars script) is pointing to the wrong
version of openssl.cnf: /etc/openvpn/easy-rsa/2.0/openssl.cnf
The correct version should have a comment that says: easy-rsa version 2.x

Solution:

This issue because easy-rsa didn’t find openssl.cnf in this path /etc/openvpn/rsa on Debian 9 “Stretch” Linux Systems.

When we list the files in this path, we found

# ls /etc/openvpn/rsa
total 116
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 119 Sep 7 11:09 build-ca
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 352 Sep 7 11:09 build-dh
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 188 Sep 7 11:09 build-inter
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 163 Sep 7 11:09 build-key
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 157 Sep 7 11:09 build-key-pass
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 249 Sep 7 11:09 build-key-pkcs12
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 268 Sep 7 11:09 build-key-server
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 213 Sep 7 11:09 build-req
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 158 Sep 7 11:09 build-req-pass
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 449 Sep 7 11:09 clean-all
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1471 Sep 7 11:09 inherit-inter
drwx—— 2 root root 4096 Dec 18 15:13 keys
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 302 Sep 7 11:09 list-crl
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 7859 Sep 7 11:09 openssl-0.9.6.cnf
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 8416 Sep 7 11:09 openssl-0.9.8.cnf
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 8313 Sep 7 11:09 openssl-1.0.0.cnf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 13246 Sep 7 11:09 pkitool
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1035 Sep 7 11:09 revoke-full
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 178 Sep 7 11:09 sign-req
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 2077 Sep 7 11:16 vars
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 740 Sep 7 11:09 whichopensslcnf

As you see, no openssl.cnf file exists.
Solution is very simple, we make a symbolic link of the latest openssl.cnf file we find, here the latest on is openssl-1.0.0.cnf

Run these commands:

# cd /etc/openvpn/rsa/
# ln -s openssl-1.0.0.cnf openssl.cnf

Now, the issue is solved, If We re-run our commands again, no error appears.

Finally, I list the files again for checking

# ls -l /etc/openvpn/rsa
total 116
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 119 Sep 7 11:09 build-ca
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 352 Sep 7 11:09 build-dh
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 188 Sep 7 11:09 build-inter
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 163 Sep 7 11:09 build-key
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 157 Sep 7 11:09 build-key-pass
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 249 Sep 7 11:09 build-key-pkcs12
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 268 Sep 7 11:09 build-key-server
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 213 Sep 7 11:09 build-req
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 158 Sep 7 11:09 build-req-pass
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 449 Sep 7 11:09 clean-all
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1471 Sep 7 11:09 inherit-inter
drwx—— 2 root root 4096 Dec 18 15:13 keys
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 302 Sep 7 11:09 list-crl
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 7859 Sep 7 11:09 openssl-0.9.6.cnf
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 8416 Sep 7 11:09 openssl-0.9.8.cnf
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 8313 Sep 7 11:09 openssl-1.0.0.cnf
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 17 Dec 18 15:01 openssl.cnf -> openssl-1.0.0.cnf
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 13246 Sep 7 11:09 pkitool
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 1035 Sep 7 11:09 revoke-full
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 178 Sep 7 11:09 sign-req
-rw-r–r– 1 root root 2077 Sep 7 11:16 vars
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 740 Sep 7 11:09 whichopensslcnf

Now, Enjoy using OpenVPN server

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