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Config L2TP VPN on Ubuntu For Secure Networks

Config L2TP VPN on Ubuntu For Secure Networks

The security of your network communications is critical in an increasingly linked digital world. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) provide a strong option for protecting your online activity. Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is one such VPN protocol that is well-known for its security and adaptability. In this post, we’ll show you how to set up L2TP VPN on an Ubuntu machine, enabling you to create a secure connection while protecting your online anonymity.

What is L2TP VPN?

L2TP, or Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, is a VPN protocol that offers a safe means of sending data across networks. It functions at the data connection layer, assuring data secrecy and integrity. Because L2TP does not offer encryption on its own, it is often used in conjunction with IPsec (Internet Protocol Security) to build a secure tunnel for data transfer.

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Advantages of L2TP VPN

L2TP VPN offers several advantages:

  • Security:L2TP, when combined with IPsec, offers robust encryption and authentication, making it very secure.
  • Compatibility:A broad variety of devices and operating systems, including Ubuntu, support L2TP.
  • Versatility: It supports many authentication methods and can easily navigate firewalls and NAT (Network Address Translation).



Before you begin, make sure you have the following:

  • An Ubuntu machine with root privileges.
  • Internet connectivity.
  • A remote VPN server to connect to.
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Update Your System

Begin by updating the package list on your system and upgrading any obsolete packages:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Install L2TP Packages

Install the following packages for L2TP and IPsec:


sudo apt install xl2tpd strongswan

Configure L2TP

Edit the xl2tpd configuration file to configure the L2TP options:

sudo nano /etc/xl2tpd/xl2tpd.conf

Add the following lines to the file:

ipsec saref = yes

Set Up IPsec

Create a new file to configure the IPsec options:


sudo nano /etc/ipsec.conf

Add the following content:

config setup

conn %default

conn L2TP-PSK

Create VPN User

For authentication, create a VPN user account:

sudo nano /etc/ppp/chap-secrets

Add the following line at the end of the file:

vpnuser     *       password    *

Replace vpnuser with the desired username and password with the corresponding password.

Test the Connection

Restart the services and connect to the L2TP VPN:

sudo service strongswan restart
sudo service xl2tpd restart
sudo ipsec up L2TP-PSK

To verify the connection, you can use the ipsec status command.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Encountering issues? Here are some common troubleshooting steps:

  • Check the journalctl logs for error messages.
  • Ensure that UDP ports 500 and 4500 are open on your firewall.
  • Check the file /etc/ppp/chap-secrets for your credentials.

Enhancing Security with Certificates

Consider employing certificates for authentication for further security. This entails creating certificates and making necessary changes to the setup.

L2TP vs. Other VPN Protocols

When compared to other VPN protocols such as OpenVPN and PPTP, L2TP’s integration with IPsec provides it a security advantage. However, owing to the additional encryption, it may be significantly slower.

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Using L2TP VPN on Mobile Devices

You may also set up L2TP VPN on your mobile devices to encrypt your connections while you’re on the road. The setup procedure is identical; you’ll need the VPN server information as well as your credentials.

Wrapping Up

Configuring L2TP VPN on Ubuntu adds an extra layer of security to your network communications. By following these steps, you can establish a secure connection while keeping your data safe from prying eyes.



While L2TP VPN can help mask your location, some content providers are adept at detecting VPN usage. You might need additional measures to access region-restricted content.

If you forget your password, you'll need to reset it on the VPN server or contact your network administrator.

L2TP primarily works over IPv4. However, with certain configurations, it might be possible to use it over IPv6 networks.

Yes, you can switch between different VPN protocols based on your preferences and requirements.

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