Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there anyway to get an error log for a failed VPN connection attempt? All I get is this notification and I have no idea where to go from there:

VPN Connection failed

share|improve this question
up vote 30 down vote accepted

Log is written to /var/log/syslog.
Open gnome-terminal and do sudo tail -f /var/log/syslog
This will follow the file (prints to terminal new log messages).
Now try to connect to the vpn, the messages then will start showing in the terminal.
When you are done following the log just click Ctrl+c to quit tail.

One can add markers to the log by opening another terminal and doing something like that:
logger "............... Starting VPN... "

share|improve this answer

What kind of VPN are you trying to establish?

Is it PPTP (Microsoft proprietary) or Cisco-compatible ?

The easiest way would be for you to run pptp (for PPTP) or vpnc (for Cisco) from a console and see the possible errors interactively.

I think that vpnc is quite straight forward, you just need to type in the necessary info (gateway ip, group name/pass, user name/pass).

I haven't actually used a PPTP VPN, but some info about setting it up can be found in the following link:

share|improve this answer

In Fedora and other systemd distro's that do not have /var/log/syslog, the VPN logs can be accessed with "sudo journalctl -f"

-f is for follow.

share|improve this answer
I'd suggest that that isn't really relevant as this is "askubuntu", but Ubuntu is migrating to systemd, too, and while they'll probably always have /var/log/syslog (its existence is independent of systemd, and I doubt Fedora used it before systemd), journalctl is always the correct way to view the log on systemd. – Auspex Jul 19 '15 at 12:43

I just confirm the problem on ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

Add that if you launch the vpn manually with the following command it works at least for me:

sudo vpnc --domain "" --local-port 0 --enable-1des mypcffile
share|improve this answer

Open the 'advance' options, and tick "Use a TCP connection". That fix it for me. Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, OpenVPN.


share|improve this answer

The new (systemd-)variant to get the logs is

journalctl -u NetworkManager.service
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.