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Things look quiet here. But I've been doing a lot of blogging at dan.langille.org because I prefer WordPress now. Not all my posts there are FreeBSD related. I am in the midst of migrating The FreeBSD Diary over to WordPress (and you can read about that here). Once the migration is completed, I'll move the FreeBSD posts into the new FreeBSD Diary website.

Upgrading to stunnel 4 17 October 2002
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stunnel is a great tool. It allows you to encrypt TCP connections inside SSL. And it's available for both Unix and Windows. I use it to hide various traffic, including the cvsup I run to update this website and the zone files on my DNS servers. See stunnel - another way to avoid plain text passwords and stunnel - encryption and security for my previous articles.

Recently, stunnel 4.0 came out with many new improvements. Much to the annoyance of some users, the command line paramaters changed drastically. Personally, I thought that was a good thing. Version 4 uses a configuration file, and comes with enhanced capability. I like it.

This article will compare my old command line format with the new configuration file format. Hopefull that will help you along the way.

Note that I've had success in mixing v3 and v4 of stunnel. Specifically, I've run v4 on my clients and v3 on the server. With the success there, I'm quite sure that it would work the other way around too.

man pages - make the migration easier

If you are upgrading to version 4, you probably already have that man page. But what you may not have is the version 3 man page. I found that having the old man page greatly simplified the conversion process. Just look up the old parameter, find out what it does, then look up the same option on the version 4 man page.

How did I create these html files? Like this:

nroff -man ~/tmp/stunnel-3.22/stunnel.8 | man2html -title "stunnel(8) - version 3" > stunnel-v3-man.html
man stunnel | man2html -title "stunnel(8) - version 4" > stunnel-v4-man.html
man2html is in the FreeBSD Ports tree and the home page is at http://www.oac.uci.edu/indiv/ehood/man2html.html. This assumes that I had v4 already installed and that I had extracted the tarball for v3 into the ~/tmp directory.
The startup scripts

This section compares the old and new startup scripts (/usr/local/etc/rc.d/stunnel.sh. As you can see the old script put the parameters right in the script. I prefer the new format.

Old codeNew Code
#!/bin/sh

# Where is the program
STUNNEL="/usr/local/sbin/stunnel"

case "$1" in
start)
${STUNNEL} -c -d localhost:5999 -r 192.168.0.73:6000
;;

stop)
killall `basename ${STUNNEL}` ;;

*)
echo ""
echo "Usage: basename $0 { start | stop }"
echo ""
;;
esac
#!/bin/sh
#
# A sample stunnel startup script written by martti.kuparinen@ericsson.com
#
# $FreeBSD: ports/security/stunnel/files/stunnel.sh,v 1.2 2002/09/20 09:29:11 roam Exp $
#

# Where is the program
STUNNEL="/usr/local/sbin/stunnel"

case "$1" in
    start)
        ${STUNNEL} /usr/local/etc/stunnel/stunnel.conf
        ;;

    stop)
        killall `basename ${STUNNEL}`
        ;;

    *)
        echo ""
        echo "Usage: basename $0 { start | stop }"
        echo ""
        ;;
esac
The configuration format

I will provide a one-to-one mapping for each parameter used in the above example. That should help you get started. The configuration file is /usr/local/etc/stunnel/stunnel.conf. The following is for a client.

See man stunnel for more information.

Old parametersNew Parameters
-p /usr/local/etc/stunnel.pem cert = /usr/local/etc/stunnel/stunnel.pem
-s stunnel setuid = stunnel
-g stunnel setgid = stunnel
-c client = yes
-d foreground = no default: background in daemon mode
localhost:5999 accept = 5999
-r 192.168.0.73:6000 connect = 192.168.0.73:6000
A sample client configuration file

Here is the configuration file I use on my web server in order to access my webserver. The IP address hsa been changed.
ClientServer
cert = /usr/local/etc/stunnel/stunnel.pem
chroot = /var/tmp/stunnel

# PID is created inside chroot jail
pid = /stunnel.pid

setuid = stunnel
setgid = stunnel

client = yes

[6000]
accept = 5999
connect = 192.168.0.73:6000
cert = /usr/local/etc/stunnel/stunnel.pem
chroot = /var/tmp/stunnel

# PID is created inside chroot jail
pid = /stunnel.pid

setuid = stunnel
setgid = stunnel

client = no

[5999]
accept = 6000
connect = 5999

The major differences are hightlighted in bold:

  1. The client parameter differs (well, dah....)
  2. The client accepts connections on localhost port 5999
  3. The client talks to the server at 192.168.0.73 on port 6000
  4. The server accepts connections on localhost port 6000
  5. The server directs connections on port 6000 to port 5999
One of my favourite tools

stunnel is one of my basic tools. I use it every day. And it just sits there. And runs. I've enver had to restart stunnel daemon because it has failed. It's great. And very low overhead. A great tool. If you've ever worried about getting TCP traffic from one place to another securely and secretly, then stunnel is for you.


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