How to Connect to a VPN on Ubuntu Linux

Computer screen with Windows and Linux apps
Computer screen with Windows and Linux apps

A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) securely connects two networks (local and remote) over the Internet. This is mainly used by remote employees of a company or business that want to access the company’s internal resources from a remote location.

This would be as if you were directly connected to the Network at work, but the actual network connection would be through a public (hotel, airport) internet connection. VPN connections are usually encrypted to prevent people from accessing the local Network you’re connecting to without logging in.

There are different types of VPNs; some require users to install proprietary software to work with specific VPN settings. In these cases, you may want to find compatible software for Linux systems, including Ubuntu.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to set up a VPN connection on an Ubuntu desktop to access a remote VPN network.

Find the connection details from your company’s IT specialists about the VPN and see which VPN client you need to use.

Then, go to the software installer application and search for the NetworkManager package, which works with your VPN (if there is one), and install it.

To set up a VPN connection on Ubuntu, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Activities overview and start typing Network.
  2. Click on Network to open the panel.
  3. At the bottom of the list on the left, click the + button to add a new connection.
  4. Choose VPN in the interface list.
  5. Choose which kind of VPN connection you have.
  6. Fill in the VPN connection details, then press Add once finished.
  7. When you have finished setting up the VPN, open the system menu from the right side of the top bar, click VPN off, and select Connect.
  8. Hopefully, you will successfully connect to the VPN. If not, you may need to double-check the VPN settings you entered.
  9. To disconnect from the VPN, click the system menu on the top bar and click Turn Off under the name of your VPN connection.

That should do it!

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