Quick Start and configuration files

To connect to our VPN server (starting June 2020) please download and install the following configuration file.

This configuration tries to connect the faster connection at first and fall back to an alternated connection, in case of network problems.

During the VPN connection process, you need your PKS login name and password for the authentication process.
This are the same login credentials like you are using for your emails.

You also need an OpenVPN client for your system for sure.
For more details about the software, please choose the instructions below.

Don't forget to check this web page for configuration updates, from time to time.

General informations about VPN

Our Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows external users to connect to the internal network of the MPIPKS, with the same possibility like using a network cable inside of our institute. External VPN users have access to internal servers and can use our electronically library (papers) or other PKS internal resources. The network traffic is encrypted over this connection.

More informations about VPN find you on web pages like Wikipedia.

Beside of using VPN you can also use SSH port tunnelling to connect to internal services of our institute.
Please read the getting started to understand how "SSH port tunneling" works.

Instructions to configure your VPN client

Here you find instructions to configure VPN clients for the most popular operating systems.

Configuration files for all systems:

ConfigurationsRecommended forlast update
MPIPKS.ovpnLinux, macOS and iOS2020-06-16
MPIPKS.ovpnAndroid and Windows2020-06-16

Instructions for macOS Users

If the software is missing on your system, please download and install Tunnelblick first.

Double click of the VPN configuration to install the settings for Tunnelblick.
Use "Only Me" to install the configuration only on your local account.


Type a valid local (laptop) login and password to install the new configuration. This account needs admin rights.


Start your first VPN session with the new tunnel symbol on the Menu bar. Use: "Connect MPIPKS"


Now you see a dialog to type your PKS login and password. You can store this credentials in your Keychain.


When the authentication process is finished, Tunnelblick tells you that.

You can use web pages like http://checkip.dyndns.com/ to check the public IP address. You should see the number


Press "Disconnect ..." on the menu of Tunnelblick to close the VPN session.


Instructions for iOS Users

First, install the software "OpenVPN Connect" from the App Store.

Connect your device to iTunes or Finder and add the configuration file.

Instead of using Finder/iTunes, you can mail the or download configuration to/on your iOS Device and open the file in the "OpenVPN Connect" App.

Start the OpenVPN App and ADD the new profile.


Type your PKS login and password. Save the login credentials at your choice.


To grant OpenVPN to configure this VPN connections, press "Allow".


Start the session with the button (below) "DISCONNECTED".
You should see "CONNECTED" now. Press "CONNECTED" again to disconnect from the server, LATER.


During a VPN connection a small "VPN" symbol on the left head line is visible.

Check the connection with a page like http://checkip.dyndns.com/. You should see the IP address, our VPN server.


Instructions for Linux Users

In the following you see, how to setup OpenVPN on Ubuntu 18.04.

Use your NetworkManager and add the new VPN. At first, please use "Import from file ...".


Choose the configuration file ...


And setup "User name" and "Password" and "Add" to finish your configuration.


Now you should connect to or disconnect from the VPN here:


... or on the Menu bar.


To check the connection go to a page like http://checkip.dyndns.com/ and see your IP address.

If it's you are connected correctly.


In case of problems with DNS, please visit https://askubuntu.com/a/852460 or try to remove 'dnsmasq'.

Instructions for Android Users

Maybe, not all Android devices can use OpenVPN without Rooting.

You can try to use this Android App for a easy configuration.

Start the App and import the OpenVPN configuration.
Setup your PKS login and password and "ADD" this configuration.


Don't save your PKS password to Google. 😉

Start the VPN connection and ignore the certificate request with "CONTINUE", if this messages appears.


You should see the status of your connection now.
Check the IP address on http://checkip.dyndns.com/ to be sure that the VPN connection is working well.


Good luck!

Instructions for Windows Users

Please download and install the stable and free version of OpenVPN from: https://openvpn.net/download-open-vpn/.


Double click the configuration file to import it and edit your PKS login and password.


Start your VPN connection. This can take more than 10 seconds for starting up.


Check the connection with a page like http://checkip.dyndns.com/. You should see the IP address, our VPN server.


You can use "Disconnect" and "Connect" from the Windows System Tray to controll your VPN connection, also.


An alternated options to start OpenVPN on command line in some Unix systems.

Use a terminal to connect and keep this connection open.

    user@linux:~$ cd; wget http://vpn.pks.mpg.de/conf/MPIPKS.ovpn
    user@linux:~$ echo 'YOUR_PKS_LOGIN' > ~/.vpnuser.txt

    user@linux:~$ sudo openvpn --config ~/MPIPKS.ovpn --auth-user-pass ~/.vpnuser.txt
    [sudo] password for user:     your_sudo_password
    Enter Auth Password: YOUR_PKS_PASSWORD
    Mon Apr 27 19:26:36 2020 Initialization Sequence Completed

Use an other terminal to check your IP address.

    user@linux:~$ curl -s checkip.dyndns.org | grep -Eo '[0-9\.]+'

Please write an email to support@pks.mpg.de for some help to use our VPN server.

Last update: 2020-06-24 - Thomas Müller (MPIPKS)    Impressum und rechtliche Informationen