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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 (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) with IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) and PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol) are VPN protocols for devices like Smartphones and Tablets as well as for operating systems like, in this case, Linux. Depending on your distribution, PPTP is usually built in, while L2TP has to be installed by you. Furthermore you should know that PPTP has already been compromised and therefore should only be used, if none of the other options (L2TP/IPSec or OpenVPN) is available.

 Please note!

To use L2TP/IPSec and/or PPTP on your device you need a Premium or Premium Plus subscription and a CyberGhost account. To see how to create a CyberGhost account inside the CyberGhost client, please consult this article. To see how to create an account without the client, read this article

Step 1

Visit your CyberGhost VPN online account.

Log-in with your user data and click in the left sided menu on the entry 'Smart Phones, Tablets & Other Devices'.

Now click on 'Other Devices'.

Specify the protocol you want to use:

  • PPTP: Note to use this protocol just in case none of the other possibilities (L2TP/IPSec or OpenVPN) is available for your system or doesn't work. PPTP can't be considered safe anymore (but is still better than being completely unprotected). How to configure PPTP is shown below. It doesn't differ very much from configuring L2TP/IPSec.
  • L2TP: L2TP/IPSec is in terms of online security the number 2 (while OpenVPN is number 1). How to configure L2TP/IPSec on your Linux is shown in step 2

A L2TP or PPTP 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 being the most convenient available server).


Now chose your platform, 'Linux' in this case.

Once done,

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.
  • Username: Your CyberGhost user name. 
  • Password: This is your password for your respective protocol usage. This password IS NOT your usual CyberGhost password but created solely for protocol usage.
  • Pre shared secret: L2TP connections need this additional password (NOT needed for PPTP connections

Step 2

Now start your Linux L2TP/IPSec or PPTP configuration. The way to get to the right settings will most certainly vary between different distributions, but the main steps are nearly everywhere more or less identical.

First open your general settings, e.g. with the Chakra distribution via 'Start menu > System Settings'. Here you will find most certainly a section called 'Network Settings'. That's the one to open. Using Ubuntu it's 'System > Settings > Network Connections'.

Now add a network connection. Here with Chakra you activate the tab 'VPN', click on 'Add' and choose the type of connection you want to add, in this case 'L2TP/IPSec' or 'PPTP'. If the 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 description or name of your new connection, which should reflect the country of the server you want to surf from (e.g. ‘CyberGhost VPN US’). The other settings:

  • As the 'Server' (sometimes also indicated as 'Gateway') fill in one of the addresses you noted before.
  • As the 'Account' or 'User name' 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 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 to have a L2TP/IPSec or PPTP VPN connection for each country CyberGhost operates server in, please repeat all steps for each of the other addresses CyberGhost provides you with, when choosing the country. 

 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.

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