PPTP server

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Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is a method for implementing virtual private networks. PPTP uses a control channel over TCP and a GRE tunnel operating to encapsulate PPP packets.

This entry will show you on how to create a PPTP server in Arch.

Warning: The PPTP protocol is inherently insecure. See http://poptop.sourceforge.net/dox/protocol-security.phtml for details.


Install the pptpd package.


Tip: Configuration examples can be found in the /usr/share/doc/pptpd directory.

A typical configuration may look like:

# Read man pptpd.conf, see samples in /usr/share/doc/pptpd
# and write your pptpd configuration here

# pppd options file. By default, /etc/ppp/options is used
option /etc/ppp/options.pptpd

# Server IP in local network

# IP address ranges used to assign IPs to new connecting clients
# Here we define two ranges for our 192.168.1.* subnet: 234-238 and 245

Now create the pppd options file, in our example this is /etc/ppp/options.pptpd:

# Read man pppd to see the full list of available options

# The name of the local system for authentication purposes
name pptpd

# Refuse PAP, CHAP or MS-CHAP connections but accept connections with
# MS-CHAPv2 or MPPE with 128-bit encryption

# Add entry to the ARP system table

# For the serial device to ensure exclusive access to the device

# Disable BSD-Compress and Van Jacobson TCP/IP header compression

# Disable file logging

# DNS servers for Microsoft Windows clients. Using Google's public servers here
Note: Ensure the file ends with a newline to prevent possible parsing issues.

Now create credentials file for authenticating users:

# Secrets for authentication using CHAP
# client	server	secret			IP addresses
  user2         pptpd   123                     *

Now you can be authenticated with user2 as username and 123 for password.

Create a sysctl configuration file /etc/sysctl.d/30-ipforward.conf and enable kernel packet forwarding that allow connecting clients to have access to your subnet (see also Internet Share#Enable packet forwarding):


Now apply changes to let the sysctl configuration take effect:

# sysctl --system

iptables firewall configuration

Configure your iptables settings to enable access for PPTP Clients

# Accept all packets via ppp* interfaces (for example, ppp0)
iptables -A INPUT -i ppp+ -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -o ppp+ -j ACCEPT

# Accept incoming connections to port 1723 (PPTP)
iptables -A INPUT -p tcp --dport 1723 -j ACCEPT

# Accept GRE packets
iptables -A INPUT -p 47 -j ACCEPT
iptables -A OUTPUT -p 47 -j ACCEPT

# Enable IP forwarding
iptables -F FORWARD
iptables -A FORWARD -j ACCEPT

# Enable NAT for eth0 on ppp* interfaces
iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE
iptables -A POSTROUTING -t nat -o ppp+ -j MASQUERADE
Note: Ensure that "eth0" is replaced with the actual ethernet interface connected to the server.

Now save the new iptables rules with:

# iptables-save > /etc/iptables/iptables.rules

To load /etc/iptables/iptables.rules automatically after boot, enable the iptables.service unit.

Read Iptables for more information.

UFW firewall configuration

Configure your ufw settings to enable access for PPTP Clients.

You must change default forward policy in /etc/default/ufw


Now change /etc/ufw/before.rules, add following code after header and before *filter line

# nat Table rules

# Allow traffic from clients to eth0

# commit to apply changes

Allow GRE packets (protocol 47) in /etc/ufw/before.rules, find the line with: # drop INVALID packets and add rule:

# drop INVALID packets (logs these in loglevel medium and higher)
-A ufw-before-input -p 47 -i $iface -j ACCEPT
-A ufw-before-input -m conntrack --ctstate INVALID -j ufw-logging-deny
-A ufw-before-input -m conntrack --ctstate INVALID -j DROP

Open pptp port 1723

ufw allow 1723

Restart ufw for good measure

ufw disable
ufw enable

Start the server

Now you can start and enable your PPTP Server using pptpd.service.


As with any service, see Systemd#Troubleshooting to investigate errors.

Error 619 on the client side

Search for the logwtmp option in /etc/pptpd.conf and comment it out. When this is enabled, wtmp will be used to record client connections and disconnections.


pptpd[xxxxx]: Long config file line ignored

Add a blank line at the end of /etc/pptpd.conf. [1]

ppp0: ppp: compressor dropped pkt

If you have this error while a client is connected to the server, add the following script to /etc/ppp/ip-up.d/mppefixmtu.sh:

CURRENT_MTU="`ip link show $1 | grep -Po '(?<=mtu )([0-9]+)'`"
ip link set $1 mtu $FIXED_MTU

Make the script executable.

See also: [2]