L2TP/IPSec in Ubuntu 10.04 et al.

I’ve spent the last week looking through the web at everything I could possibly find in an effort to find some shred of information that made some sort of sense and didn’t take a rocket scientist to configure. I found plenty of instructions on manually installing Openswan, xl2tp and modifying their configuration files and entering a pre-shared key here, or putting a certificate there, blah, blah blah, blah blah. After many failed attempts, I was pretty much ready to give up.

My company uses a Sonicwall VPN Device for both it’s SSLVPN and traditional VPN connections. Up until recently, the L2TP connections would only work with Apple devices (Windows users use the Sonicwall Global VPN client). We couldn’t even connect with our Android phones. After doing some searching around, we found that we needed to adjust one of the phase 2 encryptions in order for Android users to connect successfully. So now we had a few more happy users in the company; they could now establish L2TP/IPSec VPN connections just like those dreaded iPhone/iPad users.

After pulling my hair out for over a week, I decided to try for one last Google search and I found exactly what I needed: https://launchpad.net/l2tp-ipsec-vpn. It is a GUI that uses Openswan and xl2tp as a backend, properly writing all of the configuration files for you and providing an easy way to establish your VPN connection. Within 5 minutes I had installed the package, rebooted my netbook, setup my VPN connection and successfully connected to my company’s VPN and was able to access resources on our internal network.

For anyone still searching around, I hope this helps!

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:werner-jaeger/ppa-werner-vpn
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install l2tp-ipsec-vpn
sudo shutdown -r now

A reboot may not be required for you, but I needed to do in order for the icon to show in the menu bar.