From SME Server
Revision as of 11:58, 21 March 2019 by ReetP (talk | contribs) (Installation)


Devel 9:
Contrib 9:
The latest version of smeserver-libreswan-xl2tpd is available in the SME repository, click on the version number(s) for more information.


L2TPD/IPSEC is secure method of connecting to your Koozali SME server. It is a suitable replacement for the existing PPTP VPN system on Koozali SME Server.

L2TPD/IPSEC does not need any special software configuration on your clients. It is supported on a very large number of modern mobile phones and laptops. Please note that not every phone or device will support L2TPD/IPSEC out of the box.

The device first calls the server via ipsec and makes and encrypted connection. But it has no networking information. xl2tpd then makes a ppp connection through that encrypted ipsec connection and get its network information at this point.

Once implemented you can disable PPTP, which will be good for you and your users.


The contrib basically works but there, can be complications when you want to combine it with standard host-host ipsec connections. The issue that 'may' arise is if an IPSEC connection is matched prior to the L2TPD one. I do have both types running on my test box but need more feedback on this.

This is because pure ipsec usually relies on having connections from specific IP address / and or IDs / Certificates. To accept mobile clients, which could come from pretty well any IP address, we need to tell our L2TPD Ipsec configuration to accept connections from anywhere.

The potential issue is if you try a pure Ipsec connection that does not have a correct configuration in the database/configuration, it may try to connect via the L2TPD connection. That will not break anything, but you may experience odd results from the client.

Please note that you can enable or disable L2TPD VPN access for users via the Server Manager.

These links discuss the implementation and the creation of this page:,53021.0/all.html

Some further reading can be found on this page:

Please report any problems by adding a bug to Bugzilla. See Bugs below.


Warning.png Warning:
Please test thoroughly on a test server before deploying in production.

Important.png Note:
Server MUST be in Server/Gateway mode for this to be enabled

Important.png Note:
If you had installed an earlier version e.g 0.2x or lower then please uninstall first. The early dev versions used /etc/e-smith/templates-custom for their templates. Make sure there are no fragments lying about or you may get unexpected results.

The smeserver-libreswan-xl2tpd contrib is currently in the contribs repo.

Add the EPEL and Libreswan repos:

yum  install smeserver-extrarepositories-libreswan smeserver-extrarepositories-epel
signal-event yum-modify
config set UnsavedChanges no

With the yum repo database updated, you can then run the installation of the package.

yum --enablerepo=smecontribs,epel,libreswan install smeserver-libreswan-xl2tpd

That should bring everything in, including ipsec which is required

signal-event post-upgrade;signal-event reboot

Configuration settings

You need at least one user on the system - for testing it can be admin. The user account needs VPN Client Access enabled in the Server Manager


  • IPRange Start/Finish

An IP range from your server. Note it MUST NOT conflict with IPs issued by your DHCP server

  • rightsubnet

The subnet of the remote / dialin network

  • passwd

IPsec pre shared key as per ipsec db connection below. Every user will need this common password.
Make it long and complicated !

db ipsec_connections setprop L2TPD-PSK password SomeLongComplicatedSecret
  • DNS

Defaults to the SME server. Can add extra servers if required

config setprop xl2tpd DNS,
  • access

Defaults to private

  • debug

Defaults to disabled

Create Server Connection

Important.png Note:
There can only be ONE Ipsec L2TPD-PSK connection

Note that some settings are preconfigured in the ipsec_connections database.

db ipsec_connections show L2TPD-PSK

We need to add some basic settings to the connection. Here we assume your local network is 192.168.101.x

db ipsec_connections setprop L2TPD-PSK \ 
     status enabled \
     IPRangeStart \
     IPRangeFinish  \
     rightsubnet \
     passwd somesecret

Important.png Note:
You CAN change some values as IPRangeStart and IPRangeFinish but you need to keep same subnet.

So if you change 101 on IPRangeStart, you must change it on IPRangeFinish and rightsubnet too!

Make sure the Start and Finish addresses do NOT conflict with your server dhcp range. You can see your server dhcpd range with:

config show dhcpd

Important.png Note:
Ipsec has access private as default; if you want to connect from wan, you need to change it to public

config setprop ipsec access public

xl2tpd does not have to be set public as the xl2tpd connection is made inside the ipsec tunnel.

Now we can enable the required services which will automatically add the correct firewall ports.

config setprop xl2tpd status enabled
config setprop ipsec status enabled
signal-event ipsec-update

You can regenerate the server templates with:

signal-event remoteaccess-update

Note that this this will not stop or restart ipsec. Use ipsec-update to do this:

signal-event ipsec-update

Create a connection from a device

This is the basic setup for your remote device, e.g. laptop or tablet.

Connection type: L2TP/IPSec PSK
Server IP : Your server IP address
IPsec preshared key : as per passwd set above
Username : Any user on your server with VPN Access set to Enabled
Password : adminpassword (the password for the above  user)

Stop the service

config setprop xl2tpd status disabled
config setprop ipsec status disabled
signal-event ipsec-update

Disable PPTP

Once the implementation is complete and functional, you will not need PPTP enabled. If your L2TPD setup is working then make sure that this is disabled or you may still leave ordinary pptp connections open.

You can go to your server manager and disable it forever and sing a thousand hallelujahs for secure communications ;-)

config setprop pptpd status disabled sessions 0
signal-event remoteaccess-update

Take this action only *after* you have confirmed proper L2TP connection is working.


Ipsec and l2tpd is a vast and complicated subject. I have tried to simplify it to the best of my abilities. Mainly because I can't do complicated.

Please go and have a good read of the online documentation for Libreswan

I basically used an example like this Ipsec/L2tpd although this never page existed when I first started building this contrib.

The first thing to do if you get stuck is check all your settings and your logs.

Go back and check your network settings. Check you passwords. Get someone else to make sure they are OK.

Is the ipsec secret correct?

Have you enabled remote VPN access for a user and checked the password?

Ipsec - check here first:


Look for L2TPD-PSK entries and in particular this "STATE_QUICK_R2: IPsec SA established transport mode"

That means that you have a basic ipsec connection

L2tpd - check here:


Look for xl2tpd and pppd entries

Do you get as far as this "ip-up: xl2tpd ppp0 /dev/pts/2 150 xl2tpd"

If so you have a basic l2tpd connection

To debug have a look at the following:

db ipsec_connections show L2TPD-PSK
config show ipsec
config show xl2tpd
cat /etc/ipsec.d/ipsec.conf
cat /etc/ipsec.d/ipsec.secrets

Try restarting both ipsec and xl2tpd and watch your logs for errors:

service xl2tpd restart
service ipsec restart

If you are still stuck then ask on the forums, or if you have some template errors or other issues please raise a bug.

To Do List

A VPN Access Group may be worth looking at in the future

Add server manager panel (with an IPsec panel too)

Commit the code to the CVS.

The code probably needs reviewing and cleaning up by a greater mind than mine :-)


Please raise bugs under the SME-Contribs section in bugzilla and select the smeserver-libreswan-xl2tpd component or use this link

Bugs (test entry)

Please raise bugs under the SME-Contribs section in bugzilla and select the smeserver-letsencrypt-xl2tpd component or use this link

"No open bugs found."

Below is an overview of the current issues for this contrib:

No open bugs found.


Only released version in smecontrib are listed here.

smeserver-libreswan-xl2tpd Changelog: SME 9 (smecontribs)

2019/09/03 John Crisp 0.5-6
- Add ipsec connection status key (disabled as default)
- Update Libreswan depends

- Add ikev2 permit to allow ike v1

2018/06/21 John Crisp 0.5-5
- Fix obsolete forecencaps

- Update required Libreswan version
2017/11/30 John Crisp 0.5-4
- template cleanup pending - not yet committed to CVS but in git

2017/11/29 John Crisp 0.5-3
- remove unneeded default right subnet setting to clear error

- added variables for leftsourceip and leftsubnet if required
2017/11/29 John Crisp 0.5-2
- add xl2tpd access private as default