How to Set Up a VPN in Ubuntu 14.04.2 (and previous versions)

This step by step guide will walk you through adding and configuring a PPTP VPN in Ubuntu. It uses the steps and screenshots for Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS (Trusty Tahr – which is the current LTS) but are very, very similar to previous versions of Ubuntu. If you’re running something prior to 14.04.2, such as 12.04.5 LTS (Precise Pangolin) – you’ll have no trouble following along.

Out of the box, Ubuntu supports PPTP and without any additional Apps installed. To connect, you’ll need the VPN server address in addition to your username and password. I strongly recommend and endorse the VPN service provided by Private Internet Access, which works perfectly with Ubuntu.

Let’s get started!

  1. Click the Networking icon from the main Menu Bar. Select VPN Connections and then Configure VPN….
  2. Networking Menu Bar icon in Ubuntu

  3. Click the Add button.
  4. Networking Connections window in Ubuntu

  5. Click the “down arrow” (see screenshot below) from the Choose a Connection Type
  6. Creating a new Connection type in Ubuntu

  7. Select Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)
  8. PPTP highlighted from the connection type drop down menu in ubuntu

  9. Click the Create… button.
  10. PPTP networking type create a new connection

  11. This is the screen where we’ll configure all the settings for your VPN. Start out by entering a Connection name: – something descriptive is always best, but you can name it anything you want. In the Gateway: field enter in your VPN Server Address. Follow suit for the User name: field. You can enter your password, or you can opt to have your VPN require you to enter your password each time. Finally, click the Advanced… button.
  12. Editing a VPN connection in Ubuntu

  13. Place a check in the box labelled Use Point-to-Point encryption (MPPE) and then OK.
  14. Advanced options for the VPN configuration screen in Ubuntu

  15. Finally, click Save…
  16. saving a VPN connection in Ubuntu

  17. Back at the Network Connections window, click the Close button.
  18. closing the Network Connections window in Ubuntu

  19. Now it’s time to connect to your VPN! Click the Networking icon in the main Menu Bar again, select VPN Connections, and this time, click your newly created VPN connection.
  20. Connecting to a VPN in Ubuntu

  21. After a few moments a VPN Login Message will appear, confirming your connection has been successfully established.
  22. Successful VPN connection status window in Ubuntu

  23. That same Networking icon will now have a small ‘lock’ (see screenshot) as long as you’re connected to your VPN.
  24. Networking icon with the VPN lock displayed

  25. That’s it! You’re all done.
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