I would need to connect my Debian (stable) server to a Windows Server 2008R2 server, which is acting as a SSTP VPN server. I have managed to install sstp-client on my Debian server, but I do not know how to configure the connection so that I can run it in the background. Furthermore, there are quite many things that I do not understand about the whole configuration process.

Following some advice I found on the Internet, I disabled authentication of remote server by adding noauth to /etc/ppp/options. Furthermore, I added there the options refuse-pap, refuse-eap, refuse-chap, refuse-mschap and require mppe to force MS-CHAP-v2 authentication (the Windows server is configured to accept that and not the others).

If I run from terminal

sstpc --log-level 4 --log-stderr --user USERNAME --password PASSWORD SERVER_IP

the connection works, and opening another terminal, I can access a web page that can only be accessed over the VPN.

I have tried to create the file etc/ppp/peers/sstp-1 with the contents

remotename sstp-1
linkname sstp-1
ipparam sstp-1
pty "sstpc --ipparam sstp-1 --log-level 4 --save-server-route --nolaunchpppd --user USERNAME --password PASSWORD SERVER_IP"
plugin sstp-pppd-plugin.so
sstp-sock /var/run/sstpc/sstpc-sstp-1

and then running from the command line sudo pon sstp-1. The connection fails, and sudo plog shows

pppd[4813]: Plugin sstp-pppd-plugin.so loaded.
pppd[4814]: pppd 2.4.5 started by root, uid 0
pppd[4814]: Using interface ppp0
pppd[4814]: Connect: ppp0 <--> /dev/pts/1
pppd[4814]: Could not connect to sstp-client (/var/run/sstpc/sstpc-sstp-1), Connection refused (111)
pppd[4814]: Exit.

I have couple of questions regarding all this:

  1. How to set up the /etc/ppp/peers/sstp-1 so that I can connect/disconnect to the VPN in background (to be used in a script)?
  2. The Windows server encrypts the VPN traffic using a self-signed certificate. Why, using the above connection configuration, I do not need to install the certificate on the client machine? Is the traffic encrypted at all?

Thank you already in advance, Joel Lehikoinen

  1. What broke the config was providing --user and --password as command line options on the line beginning with pty. The username is already given on the next line and password should be provided in /etc/ppp/chap-secrets. The problem was fixed by changing that line to

    pty "sstpc --ipparam sstp-1 --nolaunchpppd SERVER_IP"

    in addition, there is no need to edit /etc/ppp/options, since the configuration parameters are already given in the SSTP config file /etc/ppp/peers/sstp-1

  2. It would seem that, at least with the noauth option, which I thought would only disable the server authentication in PPP, sstp-client also accepts a self-signed SSL server certificate without any complaints.

    As a work-around, one possibility seems to be creating a self-signed CA certificate, signing the server certificate with that, and providing --ca-cert /path/to/snakeoil-ca.pem as a command-line options to sstp-client (i.e., on the "pty" line of the file), which constraints the server SSL certificate to a known value.

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