[pptp-server] Shouldn't I be able to see WIndows servers in Network Neighborhood?

Jeff Wiegley, Ph.D. jeff at inetb.com
Tue Jan 8 18:09:55 CST 2002

I *finally* got PPTP/VPN working.  Some suggestions...

  1) The kernel people need to add the MPPE stuff into at least
     the 2.5 kernels. I would also suggest incorporating the
     FreeSwan items as well. Having a kernel that does not
     provide for VPN services at this point in time only
     prevents linux from being accepted in enterprise environments.
     This is of particular concern because this is the exact market
     that linux should be dominating.

  2) PPP maintainers should include the openssl and MPPE support items.
  3) PoPToP documentation needs to focus more on troubleshooting
     procedures and general configuration. All of this per distribution
     hints/tricks/traps/howtos and FAQs makes this project look
     incredibly disorganized and unfocused.

     Though I will say that a lot of this is due to the lack of 1) and

     Assuming 1) and 2) existed the documentation would only have to
     be limited to discussing /etc/pptp.conf and /etc/ppp/options.pptp.

     A very helpful documentation toppic would be examples of various
     network topologies, how VPN connections relate to the topologies
     and what the VPN offers (or what you can expect from a VPN
     connection) that the topologies cannot provide without the VPN.

It took me all week to get PoPToP to a point where a Windows Me VPN
dial-up connection could connect to the server and get established.

Now I'm stuck. I guess I figured the VPN connection would provide
me some functionality that it doesn't seem to.

I have an office of 10 windows workstations, 1 WindowsNT server
(for file sharing) and 1 linux server with two NICs for providing
NATted internet connections to all the windows machines through a DSL
line. (The internet side IP for the linux box is static.) For
illustration lets say that all of these machines are on the
SOMEWORKGROUP as far as Microsoft Clients are concerned.

I would think this to be an incredibly ubiquitous topology.

The whole reason I embarked on this project is that I have machines
at external locations that need access to files on the WindowsNT
box back at the main office. These remote computers are in other
offices, on other physical networks and already belong to some

I assumed that by establishing PoPToP VPN connection from one of
these remote servers to the main office linux box I would be able
to accomplish this.

However it doesn't work and I was hoping somebody has some insight
as to why.

After Connecting the VPN I only see OTHERWORKGROUPS under network
neighborhood and I do not see SOMEWORKGROUP at all. The PPTP
connection specifies a ms-wins server but as far as can tell no
WINS resolution is happening because I can't even manually type
into network neighborhood an machinename such as
\\goofy which is the name of the windows NT machine.

further more, I can't even type in the direct ip to network
neightborhood.  \\ doesn't show goofy's shares either.

but the VPN is connected and working. ping works fine.
The linux box is a firewall but forwarding is on and all packets
between machines on the network are allowed. The
firewall also logs all dropped packets but nothing is logged from
the time I connect and test my setups.

I mean if this doesn't work then I'd consider Microsoft VPN
connections to be a useless waste of time.

Does anybody have any ideas about this? Am I off base about this
whole topic and VPNs are used for some other, completely different,

For the purposes of helping to debug this all heres some
configuration information:

option /etc/ppp/options.pptp

# Uncomment to use

The VPN connection item properties are as follows:

General Tab:
   VPN Server
       Host name or IP address:     <static DSL IP of linux server>
   Connect using 
       "Microsoft VPN Adapter" is the only option available.
Networking Tab:
   Type of Dial-up Server:
       PPP: Internet, Windows 2000/NT, Windows ME
   Advanced Option
      Enable Software compression is checked
      Record a log file for this connection is NOT checked
   Allowed Network Protocols
      NetBEUI            is NOT checked
      IPX/SPX compatible is NOT checked
      TCP/IP             is checked
           Anvanced TCP/IP settings:
             Sever assigned IP address             is selected
             Server assigned name server address   is selected
             use IP header compression             is checked
             use default gateway on remote network is checked
Security Tab:
      Username:               <general username>
      password:               *******
      domain:                 SOMEWORKGROUP
      connect automatically   is not checked
   Advanced Security Options:
      log on to network            is checked
      Require encrypted password   is checked
      Require data encryption      is checked
Dialing Tab:
   This is the default Internet connection is not checked
   Redial settings:
      Try to connect to 10 times
      wait 5 seconds between attempts
   Disconnect when connection may not be needed is checked

Anybody have some hints?

- Jeff

More information about the pptp-server mailing list