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Does anyone know if I can run a Linux-based VPN server on my Ubuntu server and connect to it using Windows 7’s native VPN connection wizard? If this is possible, which VPN server should I use?


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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Not 100% sure on what Windows 7 is looking for but previous versions of Windows natively supported PPTP. The Linux server for this is called PoPToP.

I too however do prefer OpenVPN but if your requirements are that it works with Windows natively PoPToP is what you're looking for. We use it where I work for two reasons. It's what they were using when I started here and it works with the iPhone where OpenVPN doesn't currently.

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Looks like Windows 7 may include some sort of IPSEC client as well. – 3dinfluence Sep 10 '09 at 19:32
Link appears dead. – Nicu Stiurca Oct 19 '13 at 21:32

Got it working! Thanks 3dinfluence!

Ubuntu Server:

  1. apt-get install pptpd
  2. Edit /etc/ufw/sysctl.conf and uncomment: net.ipv4.ip_forward=1
  3. Reboot
  4. Forward all necessary VPN ports to the Ubuntu server and make sure there is no firewall blocking them

Windows 7:

  1. Create a new connection to a VPN
  2. Follow the wizard and enter the external address of the Ubuntu server

Good times.

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Linux's IPSec servers (FreeSWAN, OpenSWAN, StrongSWAN) all support L2TP, which WinXP, Vista (and i presume 7) all support natively. Installing the certificate is a minor PITA, but after that it works like PPTP, only without the nasty vulnerabilities in the latter!

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It might be simpler to use OpenVPN instead.

This page has instructions for downloading the OpenVPN GUI client for use on Windows 7; I am using it now.

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