Texas Tech VPN client on Ubuntu Linux

Update [2014-09-12]: I have left Texas Tech. This note may not work any more.

L2TP is made by Microsoft and Apple. It does NOT provide encryption at all. IPSec does. Apple and Microsoft avoid telling people this. They reinvented the wheel, poorly. For my taste, I prefer Cisco's PPTP. But I have to live with it as my university uses it.

1. Ubuntu does not support L2TP in NetworkManager, the one you use to configure Ethernet and Wi-Fi. Don't panic. There is a good GUI to help you.

2. Please install Werner Jaeger's L2TP IPSec VPN Manager from https://launchpad.net/~werner-jaeger/+archive/ppa-werner-vpn/+packages Just download the ones for your Ubuntu version. You can tell from the Ubuntu codename at the end of package names. If you are not sure about the codenames of Ubuntu releases, check out https://wiki.ubuntu.com/DevelopmentCodeNames

3. If you have tried other L2TP/IPSec solutions you googled, you may need to reinstall the three packages.

4. After that, log out and re-log in. You shall see an icon, like two computers stacked together, on your Ubuntu system tray. Right (secondary) click it and select "Edit Connections..."

Figure 1: L2TP IPSec VPN Manager on Ubuntu system tray
Then you will be asked to input Ubuntu system administrator password and see the interface below afterward.

Figure 2: "VPN Connection" window
I already have a connection called "TTUVPN" there because i have created one. Now you need to create one if this is your first time using. Click "Add" and enter the name you wanna call the connection in the pop-up dialog box.

Figure 3: Name a new VPN connection
Click ok. You will return to "VPN Connections" window as shown in Fig. 2. Select the connection you just created and click "Edit." In "IPSec" tab, enter vpn.ttu.edu for "Remote Server." For "User pre-shared key for authentication," enter TTUnetVPN.

Figure 4: Edit connection settings, IPSec tab
Now jump to the "PPP" tab. Check the last three options in "Allow these protocols." At "User name" and "Password," enter your E-raider username and password combination. Click "OK" when you are done.

Figure 5: PPP settings for VPN
Finally, go back to your Ubuntu system tray. Right click on the "VPN" icon and select the connection you just configured for TTU VPN. A bubble will pop up showing that the connection is being established. After the connection is established, you will see another bubble notification. If error is encountered, you will also be notified.


Please feel free to tell me how poor this guide is written. You can use my pictures if you say "Courtesy of Forrest" - pictures and texts are licensed under CC license at the bottom of this page.


Anonymous said...

Not working for me unfortunately.

Getting this:
Sep 12 20:58:46.774 ipsec_setup: ERROR: Module xfrm4_mode_transport is in use
Sep 12 20:58:46.887 ipsec_setup: ERROR: Module esp4 is in use

Though, very well presented and should work in principle.

Anonymous said...

And finally, it DID work!!!

Anonymous said...

I am using Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and have the following error

[ERROR 300] 'IPsec' failed to negotiate or establish security associations