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+---
+title: OpenVPN and Modern Crypto (Part II)
+published: 2020-09-11
+---
+
+_This blog post is a copy of a blog post I wrote for the eduVPN blog..._
+
+Last year we decided to
+[investigate](https://www.eduvpn.org/blog/openvpn_modern_crypto.html) the
+OpenVPN client support of TLSv1.3 and EdDSA (Ed25519). One reason for doing
+this is, to stay
+[current](https://latacora.micro.blog/2018/04/03/cryptographic-right-answers.html)
+with algorithm recommendations by experts and
+[move away from RSA](https://blog.trailofbits.com/2019/07/08/fuck-rsa/). As
+EdDSA is easier to implement [securely](https://safecurves.cr.yp.to/) and has
+built-in protections against attacks that other curves, most notably, the NIST
+curves, do not have, there are fewer things that can go wrong. This can make
+the VPN more secure.
+
+The other reason is performance. Generating RSA keys is slow, very slow. As we
+currently generate the keys on the server, this potentially results in high CPU
+load when many clients want to obtain a (new) certificate at around the same
+time, for example at the start of the work day. For a service with hundreds or
+thousands of users, this can create problems. Also, on a Raspberry Pi, yes
+eduVPN / Let's Connect!
+[supports](https://github.com/eduvpn/documentation/blob/v2/RASPBERRY_PI.md) the
+Raspberry Pi, it is slow to generate RSA keys, which can take many seconds. No
+fun!
+
+A simple
+[benchmark](https://github.com/letsconnectvpn/vpn-ca/blob/main/benchmark.sh)
+running on a laptop from 2012, and Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ shows the clear
+difference. The benchmark generates a self signed CA then generates 50 keys and
+signs each of them using the CA. The time varies per execution, but they show a
+clear, very big difference. The time between brackets is key generation and
+signing per certificate, on average.
+
+Key Type | Laptop | Raspberry Pi
+-------- | ----------- | ------------
+RSA | 63s (1.26s) | 368s (7.36s)
+ECDSA | 1s | 4s
+EdDSA | 0s | 1s
+
+We decided to check the status of the clients again to investigate whether it
+is possible to upgrade to TLSv1.3 and EdDSA in the next version of eduVPN /
+Let's Connect!. Luckily, much has changed since last year and support for EdDSA
+and TLSv1.3 looks a lot better now!
+
+The eduVPN / Let's Connect! 2.x server meanwhile supports EdDSA (and ECDSA) out
+of the box, but will keep RSA as the default. However the server can easily be
+configured to use ECDSA or EdDSA.
+
+We'll again go over the list of clients that were tested last year. The updated
+results can be found in the table.
+
+Application | Works? | Version
+----------------------------------------------------------------------- | ------ | --------------------------------------
+[OpenVPN Community](https://openvpn.net/community-downloads/) (Windows) | Yes | 2.4.9 on Windows 10
+[Passepartout](https://passepartoutvpn.app/) | Yes | 1.12.0 (2390) on iOS
+[Viscosity](https://www.sparklabs.com/viscosity/) (Windows, macOS) | Yes | 1.8.6 (Windows, macOS)
+[Tunnelblick](https://tunnelblick.net/) (macOS) | Yes | 3.8.3a (build 5521)
+[OpenVPN for Android](https://github.com/schwabe/ics-openvpn) | Yes | 0.7.16
+OpenVPN Connect (iOS) | Yes | 3.2.0 (3253)
+OpenVPN Connect (Android) | Yes | 3.2.2 (5027)
+Linux | Yes | _Modern Distributions_
+
+This looks good! With modern Linux distributions we mean Fedora, Debian 10,
+Ubuntu 20.04, and any other distribution or OS with OpenSSL >= 1.1.1.
+
+It seems we should be able to update to TLSv1.3 and EdDSA in the next major
+version of eduVPN / Let's Connect!. The eduVPN / Let's Connect! apps are based
+on OpenVPN (Community) and the TunnelKit library used by Passepartout. We'll
+even keep supporting the standard OpenVPN clients!