cannot create VPN connection in case of manual configuration

Bug #145107 reported by LGB [Gábor Lénárt] on 2007-09-26
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
network-manager-applet (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Creating a vpn connection with simply clicking on network manager applet icon on the panel is quite comfortable solution. However if I need to use manual network configuration (because no DHCP server on the net) it cannot be done. It's true for me, because technically there is no difference if I get IP address from a DHCP server at startup and if I set up the IP parameters myself 'by hand'. I don't know it can be treated as bug or not, but I don't see the difference as a good reason not to allow create vpn connection in case of manual configuration. Or have I missed something?

Basilio Kublik (sourcercito) wrote :

Hi there
do you still experience this issue with the current version of the application?, could you please try to reproduce this using the live environment of the Desktop CD of the development release - Hardy Heron.

Thanks in advance

Changed in network-manager-applet:
assignee: nobody → sourcercito
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Incomplete
LGB [Gábor Lénárt] (lgb) wrote :

I can't test desktop CD right now, because I can't reboot the machine, but it's an up-to-date hardy (32 bit version) right now. Left clink on icon of nm-applet only presents 'manual configuration ...' , Since there is NOT dhcp server here (static address) I can't use DHCP, but I would like to create VPN connections. The same versioned system (I mean it's up-to-date hardy too) offers create VPN connections but there is DHCP there (provided by the linksys wireless home routers). I would like to create and user VPN connections even if I have static IP address. It was said on some forums that in case of static address assignment it's not possible to utilize the full feature list of network manager and that's the problem.

Shaddy Zeineddine (shaddyz) wrote :

I also experience this issue. I am using Hardy Heron (amd64). I am using the latest versions as of today. The menu options, such as VPN configuration only appear while you are in "Roaming Mode".

Blake Munro (blake-munro) wrote :

I experience similar to other posters.

I have configured a manual connection to my Wireless AP at home (using static IP, dns, gateway etc), however when I left click on the network manager icon, I can see the "VPN Connections" tab, however when I click on my VPN connection, nothing happens.

I created this VPN connection whilst in wireless roaming mode, prior to making changes to my local LAN setup.

It used to work perfectly. Now, since I have disabled 'wireless roaming mode', it simply will not connect. Nothing happens.

I feel this is either a bug in the code, or if not, it's most certainly a fairly high priority usability bug.


goto (gotolaunchpad) wrote :

Same issue here (ubuntu hardy).

The VPN thing appears in the menu ONLY with roaming mode activated.
Useless for me, since we use static ips in our LAN.

I think this is everything but a low importance thing.
Basically the nm-applet is seriusly flawed as it is now for static ips guys like me.

Best regards

Marcelo Fernandez (fernandezm) wrote :

I'm having this issue too. Hardy 8.04 final (updated) for AMD64. Is there anything I can test to give you more information?

Sorry, but I really don't like the "Incomplete" status, because it seems everyone is having this problem.


Mark Duncan (eattheapple) wrote :

Same here. I remember this issue being in 7.10 also. Basically, unless the interface is in "roaming mode", you cannot create or connect to VPN connections. This forces you to use DHCP since NetworkManager provides no facility to manually change an IP address (which is unfortunate because even network-admin doesn't want to apply IP address setting half the time and adding or changing a domain name causes all kind of problems). True, you can set your IP address using ifconfig and set the default gateway from the terminal, but that shouldn't have to be done. I should not have to tell clients to touch the terminal and run some commands they don't know just to get on the internet.

For this bug to be fixed, NetworkManager needs to manage PPTP connections regardless of whether or not the interface is in roaming mode (I don't even know what that means. How is "roaming mode" different than DHCP?). An even better solution would be to have NetworkManager set manual IP addresses when you click on "Manual Configuration..." and continue to manage the interface instead of passing it on to that steaming load of dung, network-admin (which has come a long way, but is horribly unreliable). network-admin should be dropped and all connections, manual or otherwise, should be handled by NetworkManager. The name "NetworkManager" implies that it will handle all your network settings. It should be named "DHCPManager" (since that's really all it manages) if this isn't going to be fixed.

Totally user-unfriendly and unintuitive IMHO.

Changed in network-manager-applet:
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
gare-calhoun (gare-calhoun) wrote :

I am similar situation:

Followed VPN instructions at

but only see "Manual Configuration"

I use static IP address.

Thanks for any help to this problem.

Bil-E-daKid (heydonkey) wrote :

If it helps at all, I'm also impacted by this bug. How do we get it bumped up in priority?

Especially troubling as you now cannot use pptpconfig either as it's deprecated and needs libraries not available in hardy. So, I'm now not able to use wifi at work at all. Bummer.

aminm (persiantools) wrote :

It is really frustrating to come across this huge design fault. The absence of basic usability considerations is hurting the end users. Maybe there is no uniform way of dealing with network interface configuration across distributions that made the developers drop this feature altogether.

Synthaxx (synthaxx) wrote :

Same problem here, i can't log in to my company VPN this way.

Do we really need to install a Windows VM to get this basic service up and running?

Bil-E-daKid (heydonkey) wrote :

As a workaround, I'm using WICD and KVPNC to get the functionalility I require.

gare-calhoun (gare-calhoun) wrote :

Also, is important to remember that this OpenVPN is installed by default. The Gui may not work, but is possible to get on command line and use it.

hope this helps.

Dave Kristol (dmk-launchpad) wrote :

Still one more comment. I have Hardy 8.04 (x86_64) with all updates applied. I can always select the VPN I want to connect to from the NM. If my IP address has been assigned via DHCP (roaming), the VPN gets set up just fine. If I configure a static IP address, the VPN window asks me for my credentials as usual. However, after I supply them, the window closes with no error indication, but the VPN is not set up.

When I look in syslog, I see:
Aug 15 23:05:24 dmklap3 NetworkManager: <info> Will activate VPN connection [VPN parameters]
Aug 15 23:05:24 dmklap3 NetworkManager: <WARN> nm_vpn_manager_activate_vpn_connection(): nm_vpn_manager_activate_vpn_connection(): no currently active network device, won't activate VPN.

I most definitely have an active network device, just not one configured via DHCP. /etc/network/interfaces lists it in all its glory.

This is pretty irritating. Having the option to use a VPN should have nothing to do with your IP configuration or how you are connecting to you router. Seems like it should be a fairly straightforward fix too... how can we bump up the priority?

I don't agree with the priority assignment either. It took about an hour of fooling around and google'ing before I found this bug report.

I actually did the following:

0) start box with network interface in "roaming mode"
1) Swap from "Roaming" to manual (static IP).
2) configured VPN
3) *used* it from the network manager context menu (while in static IP mode).
4) did a bunch of work.
5) shut-down

It wasn't until I rebooted the machine that the context menus for the VPN stuff disappeared and all I got was the "manual configuration". And has anyone figured out the difference between "roaming" mode and DHCP enabled mode? Anyway, not being able to VPN in to work without plowing through command line PPTP configuration how-to's put me within an inch of going back to some other OS....

Bil-E-daKid (heydonkey) wrote :

Mike, see my comment further up a little.

I'm using WICD (network manager replacement) and KVPN to give me properly flexible network configurations and VPN over any of them.

It's not worth going back! :-)

Martin Stjernholm (msub) wrote :

Second the motion to bump up the priority.

This bug still remains with 0.7 in intrepid. It's not a trivial missing-icon problem; nm_client_activate_connection apparently requires an active base connection to be able to start a VPN connection.

I'm not familiar with the design and API of NetworkManager so I might be wrong on this, but to me it looks like a bit of an architecture problem in NetworkManager itself; the bug should perhaps be filed on network-manager and sent upstream.

(0.7 handles manually configured interfaces, but that is imo not an excuse to consider this a non-issue. People still can have any number of reasons to want to keep their interfaces unmanaged. Mine in this case is that I need to set more dhcp options than NetworkManager allows me to.)

Sam Liddicott (sam-liddicott) wrote :

Same in in intrepid.

I MUST have un-managed wireless because my home directories are NFS.
Because of this the VPN "add" button is always disabled.

I should be able to add VPN to *any* interface whether or not it is managed by the network manager.

Bil-E-daKid (heydonkey) wrote :

Hey there guys - apologies for not posting earlier. My experience is that this has been fixed as of the new network manager in Intrepid.

I now have a manually configured IP on a wireless connection at work, and can use the network-manager-pptp package to create and use a VPN connection.

You must have the network-manager-pptp package installed before you can create PPTP VPN connections obviously - but once that's there, it all works fine - for me anyhoo.

Martin Stjernholm (msub) wrote :

Using an interface that has been manually configured from inside NetworkManager probably works just fine, yes. But the problem here is about using NetworkManager to set up VPN over an unmanaged interface.

I have verified that the bug exists in intrepid regardless whether the VPN is OpenVPN or PPTP.

fi32 (igorro-box) wrote :

Hi, I can reproduce this bug in gNewSense deltah 2.1.

Very frustrating. Think that the only way to set up PPTP VPN connection with manually configured network settings
(I mean static IP address) is to use command line.

wiwar (level3) wrote :

This bug WAS the reason for me to switch to another OS. Only 45 minutes with another OS installation - and I have an access to my remote computer through VPN. The alternative was to search and learn manuals for hours (no good tutorial is referenced in this thread).

Please change the Importance to High, i had manual ip configuration when the need to VPN came up, i spent over 4 hours to setup VPN until i found out about this bug!

trevi (ermin-trevisan) wrote :

No news on this issue?
I have Xubuntu 9.10 and Netzwerk-Manager-Applet 0.7.996. I have a wireless network at home and I need to connect to a VPN network. I can't add a VPN connection in the applet.
This issue is now more than 2 years old,

josepcoves (josepcoves) wrote :

Same bug appears on Maverick Meerkat, if I connect through DHCP it works perfectly but when I use an Static IP (Manual configuration) it doesn't connect properly. I have Static IP at Work and I need to connect to a DHCP VPN, It's a shame I have to use Windows again for this annoying bug...

Judging from the fact that I can't reproduce this issue for now (just tested by resetting my connection with a static IP and connecting to a PPTP VPN), I'd say it's been fixed. However, we'd need some more information to know exactly what's going wrong with your VPN.

If you're seeing this issue but aren't using PPTP, then please comment here accordingly.

josepcoves, could you run 'apport-collect 145107' so apport can attach all the relevant information for this bug? Also, it would be really helpful if you could test the network-manager / network-manager-applet packages I just copied to the ~network-manager team PPA: . They are probably still building for maverick for now, but should be available shortly and contain the very latest code for NetworkManager, which is also what I have been running so far on my own system. No guarantees as to whether it fixes the problem or introduces new issues though, since this is just a daily build which seems stable enough at this point.

Changed in network-manager-applet (Ubuntu):
assignee: Basilio Kublik (sourcercito) → nobody
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Aliaksandr Dzeshchanka (lazy) wrote :

Same thing in Maverick.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for network-manager-applet (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in network-manager-applet (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
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