Add VPN support to Mint by default

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eiver
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Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by eiver »

Internet access is the key - I think it would be very good for Mint to adopt this idea. I am a new Mint user and I must say Mint is almost perfect in this case (except it does not have VPN packages installed by default).

Without Internet access you cannot install anything (unless you have another machine with internet).
You cannot even search for help on this forum for example.

Internet access can be quite complex in many cases. These are just few scenarios I encounter in many places:
- go to a web page and login to obtain internet access
- establish a PPTP VPN connection to get access
- establish an OpenVPN connection to get access
- establish and keep open SSH session to get access
- ... probably many other examples exist

In addition to that wired connection must always work. Wireless connection must always work (including WEP or WPA or WPA2 connections). Drivers for as many as possible network cards should be available.

I just wanted to sketch a direction of thinking.
I can consider that Linux is *working* if I at least have:
- keyboard
- mouse
- some sort of display
- internet access

After we have that, we can start searching how to solve other problems if any.

Right now I am still dependent on windoze. I at least have to manually download PPTP VPN packages to get internet access and enable updates and package manager.

So what do you think about adding VPN support (PPTP and OpenVPN) to the default Mint installation?
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eiver
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by eiver »

Well, I hope this idea will not be abandoned. I think it is not a big deal to add these packages to next Mint release and the benefit is significant.

P.S
I love Mint
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Pierre
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by Pierre »

Actually = Remote <Networking > : <Control> to M$ should be a standard Linux feature.
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Fred
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by Fred »

You are preaching to the choir. You need to be talking to the wireless card manufacturers that publish only proprietary Windows drivers and won't release their technical details so open source drivers can be written.

Fred
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and each time expecting a different result.

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eiver
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by eiver »

I don't really get what this discussion is about. But anyway do you agree with me that Mint should continue seeking all possible ways to get connected to the Internet, including proprietary protocols like PPTP? Or is it just me who is forced to use PPTP as the only possibility to connect to the Internet?
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sapsan
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by sapsan »

Hi!

It is needed to included the only followings packages:
network-manager-openvpn
network-manager-pptp
network-manager-vpnc
and their dependences.

P.S. It is very needed and has a little size. ;)

Thank you.
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eiver
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by eiver »

Yeah. Just check the size of these packages. They are very small.

Glad that someone else shares my way of thinking.
emorrp1
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by emorrp1 »

For individual network card support Mint cannot be beaten, except (as Fred mentioned) by the manufacturers releasing drivers/hardware specs.

Whenever a new package (and its associated dependencies!!!!) is suggested for default install, you have to consider the space impact (in terms of a few MB) as well as user impact (in terms of 10,000s). I can't accurately predict the user impact, so I have to guess based on the specificity of the package description. Ultimately though, space has the final say as there's only so much we can fit on the CD. Additionally, once support for something like networking is added, removal of it is a regression, so you have to be certain you can continue to have space for it. I have done the space research using Helena's liveCD:

Maximum space available on the Main edition CD:
Helena: 12MB
Gloria: 3MB
Felicia: 36MB
Elyssa r1: 9MB

Space used (incl. dependencies!!!!) and Estimated user impact (basically plucked out of thin air)
Total: 22.6MB [350,000?]
Total (-vpn): 5.3MB [270,000?]
network-manager-openconnect: 0.8MB [<10,000?]
network-manager-openvpn: 17.3MB [300,000?, assuming most VPNs offer pptp]
network-manager-pptp: 1.3MB [250,000?]
network-manager-strongswan: 1.7MB [15,000?]
network-manager-vpnc: 1.5MB [<10,000?]

Conclusion: Note that all these packages are in Ubuntu Universe, hence Ubuntu ships without these plugins installed by default too. Assuming Felicia's sparseness was an anomaly, then none of the releases have had enough space to include the openVPN plugin and its main openVPN depencies. However, given the small size and potential impact of the plugin, I do recommend network-manager-pptp is included in future releases, even if Ubuntu doesn't. This is assuming that that plugin alone has the correct dependencies to let you connect, can someone who this affects test this?

TODO (not me):
(1) CLEANLY test the pptp plugin to ensure that it does what it's supposed to
(2) add PPTP proposal as blueprint to launchpad, citing this "original" research :-)

EDIT: network-manager-pptp will be included in Helena Fluxbox, soon to be released as RC
Last edited by emorrp1 on Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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sapsan
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by sapsan »

Yes, the minimum - network-manager-pptp.
A lot of ISP on xUSSR countries are used only pptp client-connection. This type of connecting is vitally needed thus.

Thanks.
Last edited by sapsan on Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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eiver
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by eiver »

I tested both pptp and openvpn a long time ago and they both work great. The only thing that didn't go work as expected was the automatic connection. If this option checked - after establishing a wired or wireless connection network manager should automatically initiate a vpn connection over the physical link. I remember that this didn't work and I had to manually click Network Manager -> VPN connection -> My Connection to initiate it. Other than that it worked great.

I will run some tests on Helena (provided there is at least a slim chance the VPN support could be included).

Of couse I agree that we first need to answer how many people are going to ever need it. If besides me there are only 10 more people, then obviously it is not worth to include it instead of some more popular packages. But if it is needed and we are out of space on the CD, maybe there are some not that important packages that can be removed. The difference between a VPN package and "the other package" is, that you cannot download the former from the Internet as opposed to the latter. I am not asking of course, that we should remove something as important as Open Office or Firefox.
mnkr
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by mnkr »

The ONLY reason why i don't (unfortunately) use linux mint as my primary OS is because of it lacking the default vpn (pptp) package included. It's great OS, nice, sleek, and most important for me - 'user friendly'. But internet access is primo.

So, just like all of you, i hope that maybe in future releases VPN packages will be installed by default.

Greetings to all.
dvdzoner32
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by dvdzoner32 »

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Thailand,Taiwan VPN ACCOUNT
Combined server account, access more Country VPN account.

http://www.vpnhere.com
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beefstu
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by beefstu »

OOTB VPM support would be brilliant, even if it was just PPTP, I would imagine this is probably the most common.

emorrp1, don't forget the filesystem on the CD is compressed so they would take up less room then that. Also, assuming that Mint follows Ubuntu and removes Gimp from the install in Lucid/Isadora, that must be a fair amount of room saved for other things!
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emorrp1
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by emorrp1 »

beefstu wrote:emorrp1, don't forget the filesystem on the CD is compressed so they would take up less room then that.
True, but the main thing I noticed when investigating this is that full VPN is "large", PPTP is "small". The compression is slightly better than 1/3, which means full VPN is still too large to fit on the Gloria disk (note also that the sizes were measured in Helena, the dependency chain may be different for earlier versions).
beefstu wrote:Also, assuming that Mint follows Ubuntu and removes Gimp from the install in Lucid/Isadora, that must be a fair amount of room saved for other things!
You're ignoring the probable result of removing Gimp: more room saved for something else Ubuntu has in mind, like more new features for Lucid. I'd be very surprised if the Lucid image was much smaller than a CD.
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beefstu
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by beefstu »

Well maybe someone from ubuntu was listening!

Just updated my install of lucid alpha 3 that I have in a virtualbox, one of the updates included PPTP install so looks like it'll be in there. Let's just hope this transfers into mint!

What did I say about that extra Gimp space lol!
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holth
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Re: Add VPN support to Mint by default

Post by holth »

you can get a free vpn account here Cheap VPN they use pptpd and openvpn and its 100% free.
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