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I am asking a question, which has two sub-questions. Those are how can I get VPN to work on Ubuntu 12.04, either by getting the built-in pptp VPN to work or through manual configuration. Microsoft clients have no trouble creating VPN connections into the same system.

Here are the details:

I am running Ubuntu 12.04

Linux mrshighpants 3.2.0-40-generic-pae 
#64-Ubuntu SMP Mon Mar 25 21:44:41 
UTC 2013 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

For this version of Ubuntu and quite a few releases going back, I can configure VPN using Network Manager, but cannot get it to start. On 12.04, I get the service did not start for an error message.

1) What is the best way to debug this?

2) I would like to enhance this question by providing the necessary logs, but what data should I place in this question, other than tail syslog (shown below)?

3) Is there a way to get VPN configured manually?

Here is tail syslog

tail syslog

May 11 16:27:51 mrshighpants NetworkManager[868]: <info> Starting VPN service 'pptp'...
May 11 16:27:51 mrshighpants NetworkManager[868]: <info> VPN service 'pptp' started (org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.pptp), PID 3552
May 11 16:27:51 mrshighpants NetworkManager[868]: <info> VPN service 'pptp' appeared; activating connections
May 11 16:27:51 mrshighpants NetworkManager[868]: <info> VPN plugin state changed: init (1)
May 11 16:27:51 mrshighpants NetworkManager[868]: <info> VPN plugin state changed: starting (3)
May 11 16:27:51 mrshighpants NetworkManager[868]: <info> VPN connection 'townofsomethington' (Connect) reply received.
May 11 16:27:51 mrshighpants NetworkManager[868]: <warn> VPN connection 'townofsomethington' failed to connect: 'couldn't convert PPTP VPN gateway IP address '' (0)'.
May 11 16:27:51 mrshighpants NetworkManager[868]: <warn> error disconnecting VPN: Could not process the request because no VPN connection was active.
May 11 16:27:51 mrshighpants NetworkManager[868]: <info> Policy set 'MtLaughmore' (wlan0) as default for IPv4 routing and DNS.
May 11 16:27:56 mrshighpants NetworkManager[868]: <info> VPN service 'pptp' disappeared

After Testing:

There were two problems, and now a successful connection. The IP address was interposed .281, instead of 218, and the password was wrong.

share|improve this question
Please check VPN settings as i have mentioned in my answer – Qasim May 14 '13 at 13:00

4 Answers 4

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Check your settings with it.

VPN connection in Ubuntu

Go to network manager > VPN Connection > Configure VPN > Add VPN

enter image description here

  1. Name VPN Connection ( Any Name )

  2. Gateway : You ip address of pptp server Or FDDN ( Fully Qualified Domain Name )

  3. User Name

  4. Password

  5. Click on Advanced

enter image description here

Click on " Use point to point encryption " Click OK & Save

Now open terminal

 tail -f /var/log/syslog

And just connect to VPN & check your logs.

share|improve this answer
Thanks. These are the settings I already have, and it works on Ubuntu at work. I've got to try it on the same version at home. – octopusgrabbus May 14 '13 at 13:09
You do not need to debug, you just need to correct way to make pptp connection in ubuntu – Qasim May 14 '13 at 13:11
Both debug and create I think. It may well be an IP address problem, but I won't know until I get home from work. It works, at work. – octopusgrabbus May 14 '13 at 13:14
If it now work from home check you router settings about "vpn passthrough " – Qasim May 14 '13 at 13:15
+1 for "Use Point-to-Point VPN ecncryption (MPPE)" checkbox! – BrunoJCM Mar 4 at 22:44

There is a typographical failure:

[...]'couldn't convert PPTP VPN gateway IP address '' (0)'[...]

This IP can't exist cause the last number 281 is greater than 255.

share|improve this answer
You might be right. I've got to check that too. – octopusgrabbus May 14 '13 at 13:10
He definitely is right, no maybe about it. 281 > 255 which is the unsigned 1 byte max. – Fred Thomsen May 14 '13 at 13:19

I have had ongoing issues with the 12.04 VPN where I could get an initial connection ok but could not make another VPN connection for at least 5 minutes after disconnecting the first one.

The solution turned out to be nothing to do with Ubuntu, I had to put in an Incoming NAT rule in my Firewall to allow WAN PPTP traffic (TCP Port 1723) and GRE 47 traffic to my 12.04 box and now it all works as it should!

share|improve this answer

The instructions provided at Debugging NetworkManager pptp look like a good option for debugging VPN connections configured using NetworkManager:

  1. in a root terminal, run:

    killall -TERM nm-pptp-service

    /usr/libexec/nm-pptp-service --debug # This is one potential path, OR

    /usr/lib/NetworkManager/nm-pptp-service --debug # Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

  2. start your VPN connection

  3. reproduce the problem
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