How to setup a PPTP VPN on Ubuntu 12.04

Two days ago, my new test server from OVH was delivered. After the usual tinkering, I thought I would try something new.

I actually never installed a VPN, so this was kind of new to me.

There are different types of VPN protocols, and the one I used (PPTP) is the easiest and fastest to install. On the other hand, it’s not as secure as other protocols (as L2PT/IPSec), but as I don’t think I need that much encryption, I’ll go with this one.

Installing a PPTP VPN:


1 – Login as root and type in terminal:

apt-get install pptpd


2 – Edit the file:

nano /etc/ppp/chap-secrets

and add a user and a password:

# Secrets for authentication using CHAP
# client        server  secret          IP addresses
user               *           password     *

Save and exit


3 – Edit the pptpd config file:

nano /etc/pptpd.conf

and uncomment the two last lines:


Save and exit


4 – Enable IP forwarding:

nano /etc/sysctl.conf

and uncomment the line:


Save and exit


5 - Set iptables/MTU rules to allow forwarding. Enter:

iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE

iptables -o eth0 -A FORWARD -p tcp --tcp-flags SYN,RST SYN -m tcpmss --mss 800:1536 -j TCPMSS --clamp-mss-to-pmtu


6 – Set pptpd to start on boot:

chmod +x /etc/init.d/pptpd
/usr/sbin/update-rc.d -f pptpd defaults


7 – Set the iptables rules to run on boot as well. Create the script:

nano /etc/

and enter exactly:


$IPT -o eth0 -A FORWARD -p tcp –tcp-flags SYN,RST SYN -m tcpmss –mss 800:1536 -j TCPMSS –clamp-mss-to-pmtu

Save and exit


8 – Set the script to run at boot:

chown root /etc/
chmod 700 /etc/


Edit the default network interfaces file

nano /etc/network/interfaces

and add:

pre-up /etc/

just like this:

# The primary network interface
auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp
pre-up /etc/

Save and exit


9 – Edit pptpd-options:

nano /etc/ppp/pptpd-options

and add this two lines below the commented “ms-dns” (DNS configuration) :


Save and exit


10 – Reboot the server and test your new VPN.


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