How To Setup VPN In Ubunty Edgy Eft
Brian Dailey is a LAMP-stack developer with a wide range of experience in the development world. Get in touch!
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Caveat: I'm not writing this article because I am an expert in Ubuntu or an expert in PPTP setups. I'm neither. I'm writing this because I chose to use Ubuntu and I needed a VPN. It took me hours to get this set up and I'm hoping to spare some other poor soul out there all the pain and torture I went through.
In Ubuntu 6.06 I got the pptpconfig tool to meet my purposes. For some hitherto unknown reason, I was unable to make it work in Edgy Eft. I kept having a problem with LCP timing out on send requests. I was forced to seek an alternative.
This article assumes you have some experience with Ubuntu, and you know how to set up the extra repositories. I think network-manager and it's options are in the Universe repository.
Your New Friend: Network Manager
Ubuntu's default wireless setup leaves a little to be desired, so you'll probably want this program anyway if you use wireless.
There are several ways to install this. If you're using a clean Edgy install, I suggest using Automatix. If you don't want all of the extra options that Automatix offers, you can just:
sudo apt-get install network-manager-gnome
This should install network-manager along with the little gnome applet. Next, you need to install the pptp plugin.
sudo apt-get install network-manager-pptp
At this point, you should have the network manager applet running in your Gnome toolbar (note: if it's not there, you may have to log out & log back in to get it to show up in the toolbar [Hat tip: Tom M.]); left-click on it to see an option that says "VPN Connections". Follow that to "Configure VPN."
Here comes the important part! When you configure this for a Microsoft VPN, it's important that you check the "Refuse EAP" box and uncheck the "Authenticate Peer" under the "Authentication" tab.
Everything else you should be able to leave as-is. Finish up and close out the VPN configuration box.
Left-click on the network manager applet, and "VPN Selections", and choose your VPN.
Problems with Wireless Network?
If you find that the VPN is greyed out, it's possibly you may have to hand over the control of the wireless network to Network Manager. I had this issue come up, and was able to fix it by opening up the /etc/network/interfaces file and replacing this:
iface eth1 inet dhcp
iface eth1 inet dhcp
Just replace "eth1" with whatever network interface you use to connect to wireless with. After doing this, kill NetworkManager (run ps -ef | grep NetworkManager to get the PID and kill -9 [PID]. Restart networking...
sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart
... and restart NetworkManager ...
I hope that someone finds this helpful in setting up their VPN connections. If there's something I didn't make clear, feel free to email me. My email address is at the top of this page.
Still Having Problems?
I got a lot of emails about this particular setup, and unfortunately I don't have the time to address them all. If you need additional help, I suggest posting in the Ubuntu Forums.