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Help & FAQ: Linux Installation
L2TP/IPSec and PPTP on Linux
Posted by Uli Brügmann on 25 February 2013 11:58 AM

L2TP, IPSec and PPTP are VPN protocols for getting access to the CyberGhost network. With Linux you can use your CyberGhost subscription with L2TP/IPSec or PPTP, if the following preconditions are met:

Step 1

Visit your CyberGhost VPN online account.

Log in ...

Log-in with your user data and click in the upper menu on the entry 'My Devices'. 

Click on 'My Devices'

Specify the device type, in this case it's 'Other devices'.

Click on 'Other Devices'

Specify the protocol you want to use and make sure you have chosen 'Linux' as the operating system.

  • PPTP: The Point To Point Tunneling Protocol is widely available and uses PAP/CHAP for authentification, but because of possible implementation deficits in key management it can't be considered completely safe anymore and should only be used, if none of the alternatives (OpenVPN, LTP, or IPSec) are available.
  • IPSec: The IP Security Protocol can easily be integrated into existing networks and will be safe for a long time, because it avoids to be determined on certain encryption techniques. For authentification and encryption it uses different protocols, further more it is extendable by additional protocols. IPsec can be considered as very safe.
  • L2TP: The Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol allows operations of mutiple tunnels and can also be considered as very safe.  For authentification it uses PAP/CHAP, but it lacks its own encryption, which is why CyberGhost uses L2TP in connection with IPSec as 'L2TP/IPSec'.

Specify operating system and wanted protocol

Any single VPN connection can naturally just be configured with exactly one server address. So the next thing to do is to choose the country you want to surf from (the server inside this country will be chosen automatically by CyberGhost as the most convenient server available). 

Specify location  

Once done, please note down the following data, which you will need to configure your L2TP or PPTP connection:

  • Server: This is the server address of the country you want to surf from, e.g. 'us-l2tp.cyberghostvpn.com'*. If you want to connect to different locations, you need to adjust the target destination to another country and note down that 2nd, 3rd, 4th ... address as well.
  • Username: Your CyberGhost user name. 
  • Password: This is your password for protocol usage. This password IS NOT your usual CyberGhost password, but is created solely for protocol usage.
  • Pre shared secret: L2TP/IPSec connections need this additional password (NOT needed for PPTP connections).

Copy your configuration data

Step 2

Now start your protocol configuration on Linux. The way to get to the right settings will most certainly vary between different distributions, but the main steps are more or less identical.

First open your general settings, e.g. with the Chakra distribution via 'Start menu > System Settings'. Here you will find a section called 'Network Settings' or 'Network Connections' or similar. Open it. 

Now add a network connection. Here with Chakra you activate the tab 'VPN', click on 'Add' and choose the type of protocol you want to add. If a type is missing, your distribution lacks it and it needs to be installed first.

Now click on 'Activate connection with Desktop' and 'Next'.

Step 3

Choose a descriptive name for your new connection, which should reflect the country of the server you want to surf from and maybe even the protocol type (e.g. ‘CyberGhost L2TP US’). The other settings:

  • As the 'Gateway' fill in one of the addresses you noted before, e.g. 'us-l2tp.cyberghostvpn.com'*.
  • For 'Login' please use your regular CyberGhost VPN user name.
  • Now type in the password that has been generated for you in your online account. DO NOT use your regular CyberGhost account password.
  • For L2TP/IPSec connections you furthermore need to type in the ‘Secret Key/PSK' you also noted (NOT needed for PPTP connections).

Click on ‘OK’, when you’re done.

Step 4

Now your new connection should be part of your list of network connections which should also be accessible via the 'System Settings' of your distribution. Often these settings can also be accessed through the task bar.

If you want multiple VPN connections to different locations, CyberGhost operates server in, please repeat all steps for each of the other addresses you note down, when choosing the country in step 1. 

 Please note!

Certain routers need you to activate the L2TP/IPSec protocol. How you can accomplish that task should be documented in your router's manual.


*Details about correct server addresses for the manual configuration of native protocols (such as structure, single server configuration, and address variations) you will find in this article.

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