As it turns out my new company requires a PPTP VPN connection to be able to check email from outside the LAN. While some might argue that you are better off not having access to work email from home, it is a necessary evil for most of us. While I personally think that an industry standard SSL encrypted IMAP connection is at least as secure as the broken PPTP protocol, there is something to be said for hiding Exchange Servers behind firewalls (Have that firewall be a Microsoft server itself, on the other hand is obviously a questionable gain in security).

Anyway, without more ado, here is the proceedure to painlessly (Without booting Windows) connect Linux to a MS PPTP Server:

  • Install the NetworkManager-pptp package (openSUSE users can find it at
  • Restart NetworkManager (It may be easier to simply reboot)
  • Right Click on the NetworkManager icon in the GNOME/KDE sytem tray (next to the clock) and select “Options / Configure”
  • Select “VPN Connections / Add”
  • From the “Service” list select “ppp” (If you run KDE you will now see “You have the GNOME configuration applet installed and can use this to configure the VPN connection……” Press OK to run the GNOME configuration applet)
  • Select “Add
  • Select “Next / PPTP Tunnel / Next”
  • Give a “Connection Name”, Select type of “Windows VPN (PPTP)” and put in the hostname of your Windows VPN server
  • On the “Authentication” tab select “Refuse EAP” (Otherwise Windows rejects the connection attempt)
  • Optionally enable deflate and BSD compression modules from the “Compression and Encryption” tab
  • Click “Forward”, then “Apply”, then “Close”
  • You should now have a new selection with the name you selected for the VPN connection in NetworkManager’s “VPN COnnections submenu. Click on it and you should be able to connect to your VPN server (After entering a valid username and password)

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