The question was asked almost 8 years ago, now Ubuntu 19 is available, but there is still a mess with VPN GUI in Linux world. I have recently tested different distributions, and here are the results.
Below are problems that you might experience:
- OpenVPN GUI doesn't let you create a connection without certificate even when you need only username/password authentication (GNOME Network Manager).
- PPTP GUI doesn't have fields (!) for entering gateway address, username and password (GNOME Network Manager installed in Lubuntu).
- PPTP connection can be created but doesn't work.
- PPTP connection can be created, but doesn't work if started from tray icon, only works if started from Network Settings dialog box (Mint Cinnamon 19.3).
- By default there is no GUI for managing VPN connections (Lubuntu).
You can, of course, like me, try adding different repos, play with different versions of those GUIs, debug connections, etc.
I found that only in KDE VPN GUI is reliable. Connection manager in current MX Linux (19.1) works fine.
But in case you have GUI problem I suggest you go reliable way - create connection without GUI. This requires minimal time and is pretty simple. Example is taken from this manual.
Create connection file
/etc/ppp/peers/your_connection_name, with this contents:
pty "pptp your_vpn_hostname --nolaunchpppd --debug"
You might want to secure it with
chmod as described in the article. To start connection use
sudo pon your_connection_name, and
sudo poff your_connection_name to stop.
You can check connection status with
ip a, monitor connection progress with
watch 'ip a | grep ppp', or check statistics with
You might find some more complex and probably more correct ways of defining VPN connection without GUI, but this one is very simple and straightforward - just what typical GUI user is looking for.