Connecting to the School of Computer Science using VPN

This file is part of my linux on a Dell Laptop site here.

Note added: 30 Nov 2006

Martin Escardo has informed me that VPN also works under NetWorkManager which he previously recommended for wpa connections.

He writes

It is rather simple - if anyone would like to know, see

and search for "VPN".

The alternative described below using pptpconfig may suit some people

Using pptpconfig to connect using vpn

At home I have a desktop machine using FC4 and a laptop using FC5
both connected to blueyonder cable modem via DLINK router/wireless
access point.

I've just got vpn working on both of them by following the instructions
on this page (which are rather terse)

I tested MPPE support

    # modprobe ppp-compress-18 && echo Success

That printed 'Success'

For other things I had to go to this page

and fetch and install ('rpm -ivh *.rpm') these files:


replacing three of them for the machine running fc5


and I also had to use 'yum install' to fetch a couple of other things
which were reported as missing, e.g. libglade, whatever that is.

After that I could install the downloaded files using 'rpm -ivh'

Then I followed the instructions:

    run pptpconfig  (as root)

This brings up a window containing a main blank window and some
tabs below.

Click on the 'Server' tab.

On the 'Server' tab enter:
    * a name for your VPN connection (e.g. SoCSvpn)
    * the server address
    * your username  (school login name)
    * your password

Select the 'Routing' tab:

    * Select:
        'All to Tunnel'

    * de-select everything else
        (It does not say that, but the screenshot shows nothing
        else selected.)

Select the 'Encryption' tab:

    * Select require-mppe

Click 'Add'
    That produces an entry for the vpn connection in the

Select the new VPN entry

    click Start

The connection then starts.

After that all attempts to connect to the internet go via the
school. So in the browser you have to set your proxy server to
use the school proxy server

    Automatic proxy configuration:

    Manual proxy configuration: port 3128

Because everything goes via the school, sendmail and fetchmail stopped
working on my machine. They normally work via the blueyonder connection.

I am no expert on any of this. I just followed the instructions blindly.

Last updated: 30 Nov 2006

Maintained by Aaron Sloman
School of Computer Science
The University of Birmingham