Craig Box's journeys, stories and notes...

NetworkManager PPTP plugin for Ubuntu

In 2006, the state of PPTP connectivity for Ubuntu was a little less than modern.  Hope held out that the new NetworkManager framework, with its support for VPN connections, would be the answer, and indeed a gent named Tony Mee had written a PPTP VPN plugin for NM.  However, this was almost as hard to get going as the manual method, so for me to be able to connect to my work and customer VPNs with my Ubuntu machine,  a Debian/Ubuntu package was definitely required.

Tony and I did a lot of work on making the existing SVN code work (it was designed to eventually support dial-up, GPRS and Bluetooth, all of which I ripped out), and by October 2006 we had something that worked more often than not.  It went through the REVU process, and I was officially a contributor to the Ubuntu universe archive as of Edgy.

There were a number of big and hearty bugs, mostly with the NM VPN framework itself: the VPN plugins couldn't set the MTU, you couldn't edit a VPN connection immediately after making it, irrelevant tabs weren't hidden - all of which were in the "won't bother fixing because 0.7 will change this entire subsystem".  0.7 was due for Feisty but only came out in Intrepid, three releases later.

The last build directly attributable to me was in Gutsy; around that time I started preparing for traveling, and a new "Master of the Universe" tried to package a build in his own image.  That was, shall we say, less than successful; while this is a very small component of a very large eco-system, there are always gotchas, and reasons why things were done the way they were.  If you're ever inheriting someone else's work, communicate with your predecessor as much as possible!  A reversion was made and my package was the base for the versions used through Hardy.  If you found this page by way of a bug -- sorry!  I didn't write the code, I just beat it till it worked and zipped it up!

When Ubuntu went past NM 0.7 (at the Intrepid release) there was no need for backported SVN versions.  This page, which previously told you all about how to get the old plug-in working, is now just a footnote in history.

Launchpad page for network-manager-pptp in Ubuntu