I have been struggling with setting up an IPSEC/L2TP based VPN for a couple of days, and I'm leaning towards that it's broken upstream. After running sudo apt-get install l2tp-ipsec-vpn, the ipsec verify command shows the following output:

Checking your system to see if IPsec got installed and started correctly: 
Version check and ipsec on-path                                 [OK]
Linux Openswan U2.6.38/K(no kernel code presently loaded)
Checking for IPsec support in kernel                            [FAILED]
SAref kernel support                                        [N/A]
Checking that pluto is running                                  [FAILED]
whack: Pluto is not running (no "/var/run/pluto/pluto.ctl")
Checking for 'ip' command                                       [OK]
Checking /bin/sh is not /bin/dash                               [WARNING]
Checking for 'iptables' command                                 [OK]
Opportunistic Encryption Support                                [DISABLED]

After running "sudo service ipsec start", this is what "sudo service ipsec status" outputs:

IPsec stopped but... has /var/run/pluto/ipsec.info file!

My guess so far is that ipsec/openswan somehow expects to find pluto in another location and thus is unable to start it. I can start pluto manually with /usr/lib/ipsec/pluto --stderrlog, but for some reason ipsec can't seem to start it.

Has anyone succeeded in setting up an ipsec/l2tp vpn in Freya, and in that case, what did you do to make it work?

  • I can confirm that OpenVPN does work. You can tryit if it suits your needs
    – Mrpopo666
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 9:47
  • Yes, OpenVPN works fine. Sadly enough, the site in question only offers IPSEC/L2TP so I need to get it working :(
    – rambolino
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


This worked for me:

First install the following dependencies:

sudo apt install git intltool libtool network-manager-dev libnm-util-dev libnm-glib-dev libnm-glib-vpn-dev libnm-gtk-dev libnm-dev libnma-dev ppp-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libsecret-1-dev libgtk-3-dev libglib2.0-dev xl2tpd strongswan libnss3-dev

Issue the following on the command-line (note: the backslash character \ is the shell line continuation character which can safely be copy and pasted):

git clone https://github.com/nm-l2tp/network-manager-l2tp.git
cd network-manager-l2tp
autoreconf -fi

./configure \
  --disable-static --prefix=/usr \
  --sysconfdir=/etc --libdir=/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu \
  --libexecdir=/usr/lib/NetworkManager \
  --localstatedir=/var \

sudo make install

source: here

  • Thanks! Works fine on Elementary OS 5.1.7 Hera.
    – zlodes
    Commented Oct 22, 2020 at 11:38

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