Installing and configuring a PPTP server with mpd5 on FreeBSD

In this document we will see how to install and configure Mpd5 - a netgraph(4) based impelementation of the multi-link PPP protocol for FreeBSD.

We will show you how to install and configure net/mpd5 port as a PPTP server, allowing remote VPN connections.

Please refer to the official web site of Mpd for more information about Mpd.

This setup has been tested and works well on FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE system and Mpd version 5.5


  • root access or sudo rights


In this document we will be installing Mpd using the FreeBSD Ports Collection.

So first make sure that your ports tree is updated and then proceed with the installation.

Now let’s install net/mpd5:

$ cd /usr/ports/net/mpd5 && sudo make install clean

After executing the above command you will see the following screen, allowing you to select different options.


fYou can safely leave the options as they are and continue with the installation.

Once the installation is over, you should see something similar:

===> Installing rc.d startup script(s)
===>   Registering installation for mpd-5.5
      This port has installed the following files which may act as network
      servers and may therefore pose a remote security risk to the system.

      This port has installed the following startup scripts which may cause
      these network services to be started at boot time.

      If there are vulnerabilities in these programs there may be a security
      risk to the system. FreeBSD makes no guarantee about the security of
      ports included in the Ports Collection. Please type 'make deinstall'
      to deinstall the port if this is a concern.

      For more information, and contact details about the security
      status of this software, see the following webpage:
===>  Cleaning for libpdel-0.5.3_4
===>  Cleaning for expat-2.0.1_1
===>  Cleaning for mpd-5.5

Now that we have net/mpd5 installed, let’s configure it.


As mentioned in the begining of this document, we will only cover in this document how to install and configure Mpd as PPTP server.

Please also have a look at the online documentation of Mpd for more information on the different options of the mpd5(8) daemon.

Mpd5 keeps it’s configuration in /usr/local/etc/mpd5 directory. The main configuration file of Mpd5 is mpd.conf

Here is an example configuration mpd.conf file:

        # configure mpd users
        set user <pptpadmin> admin
        set user <pptpadmin> <pptpadminpass>
        # configure the console
        set console self 5005
        set console open
        # configure the web server
        set web self 5006
        set web open
        load pptp_server

        set ippool add pool1 <ip-range1> <ip-range2>

# Create clonable bundle template named B
        create bundle template B
        set iface enable proxy-arp
        set iface idle 1800
        set iface enable tcpmssfix
        set ipcp yes vjcomp
# Specify IP address pool for dynamic assigment.
        set ipcp ranges <mpd-ip-address>/<mask> ippool pool1
        set ipcp dns <dns-server>

# The five lines below enable Microsoft Point-to-Point encryption
# (MPPE) using the ng_mppc(8) netgraph node type.
        set bundle enable compression
        set ccp yes mppc
        set mppc yes e40
        set mppc yes e128
        set mppc yes stateless

# Create clonable link template named L
        create link template L pptp
# Set bundle template to use
        set link action bundle B
# Multilink adds some overhead, but gives full 1500 MTU.
        set link enable multilink
        set link yes acfcomp protocomp
        set link no pap chap eap
        set link enable chap
# Enable utmp/wtmp logging
        set auth enable system-acct
# We are reducing link mtu to avoid GRE packet fragmentation.
        set link mtu 1460
# Configure PPTP
        set pptp self <mpd-ip-address>
# Allow to accept calls
        set link enable incoming

In the above example configuration, you need to specify the following things:

  • set user <pptpadmin> admin - The administrator username for connecting to our mpd5(8) daemon.
  • set user <pptpadmin> <pptpadminpass> - The password for the administrator account specified in the above option
  • set ippool add pool1 <ip-range1> <ip-range2> - This is the IP Pool reserved for PPTP connections.
  • set ipcp ranges <mpd-ip-address>/<mask> ippool pool1 - Here we need to specify the IP address that our mpd5(8) daemon is listening on, along with the subnet mask for our network. Example setting might look like this: set ipcp ranges ippool pool1
  • set ipcp dns <dns-server> - In this setting we need to specify the DNS server IP address.
  • set pptp self <mpd-ip-address> - Again this is the IP address that our mpd5(8) daemon is listening on

If you have a firewall in front of your PPTP server, also make sure that your firewall is allowing traffic for the addresses in the assigned IP Pool.

Now we can add user accounts that will be authorized to connect to our PPTP server.

User accounts are stored in the /usr/local/etc/mpd5/mpd.secret file. The file contains username/password pairs that are used to authorize a user, separated by a whitespace.

An example mpd.secret that contains two usernames with their passwords might look like this:

foo   passwordfoo
bar   passwordbar

If you want to limit connections from user foo only from a single IP address, you might change the configuration to this:

foo   passwordfoo
bar   passwordbar

Let’s secure the mpd5 configuration, so that only root can read it:

$ sudo chown -R root:wheel /usr/local/etc/mpd5
$ sudo chmod -R 0600 /usr/local/etc/mpd5

Enabling logging through syslog-ng3

If you are using sysutils/syslog-ng3 you might also want to enable logging for the mpd5(8) daemon.

All you have to do is to add the following lines to their corresponding sections in /usr/local/etc/syslog-ng.conf file:

# destinations
destination mpd5 { file("/var/log/mpd5.log"); };

# program filters
filter f_mpd5 { program("mpd5"); };

# !mpd5
# *.*
log { source(src); filter(f_mpd5); destination(mpd5); };

Then create the /var/log/mpd5.log file and reload syslog-ng(8) configuration.

$ sudo touch /var/log/mpd5.log
$ sudo /usr/local/etc/rc.d/syslog-ng reload

Allowing Mpd traffic through your firewall

If you are running mpd5(8) in a firewalled environment, you will need to pass the traffic through your firewall, so that clients can connect to your PPTP server.

Below you will find a very basic pf.conf file, that contains sample Packet Filter (PF) rules, that will allow your clients to communicate with your PPTP server:

# --- MACROS section ---
ext_if = "<external-interface>"
int_if = "<internal-interface>"

# --- IP given by the ISP ---
ip_addr = "x.x.x.x"

# --- pptp server ---
PPTP_SERVER = "x.x.x.x"

# --- pptp services ---
PPTP_SERVICES = "{ 1723 47 }"

# --- hosts with internet access ---
table <allowed> { x.x.x.x/<mask> }

# --- OPTIONS section ---
set skip on lo0
set block-policy return

# --- SCRUB section ---
scrub in all

# --- TRANSLATION (NAT/RDR) section ---
nat on $ext_if from <allowed> to any -> $ip_addr

# --- redirect pptp traffic to the internal pptp server ---
rdr on $ext_if proto { tcp udp } from any to $ext_if port $PPTP_SERVICES -> $PPTP_SERVER

# --- FILTER RULES ---

# --- default policy ---
block log all

# --- antispoof protection ---
antispoof quick for $ext_if inet
antispoof quick for $int_if inet

# --- INTERNAL interface ---

pass in quick on $int_if inet from <allowed> to any keep state
pass out quick on $int_if inet from any to any keep state

# --- EXTERNAL interface ---

# --- pass incoming pptp connections to the internal pptp server ---
pass in quick on $ext_if inet proto { tcp udp } from any to $PPTP_SERVER port $PPTP_SERVICES keep state

pass out quick on $ext_if inet from any to any keep state

In the above example our IP Pool assigned to mpd5(8) is part of our allowed table, so that we do NAT and also allow the traffic in and out.

Starting Mpd5

Now we can start our mpd5(8) daemon, so that our clients can connect to it.

$ sudo /usr/local/etc/rc.d/mpd5 start

In case of errors, you should check the /var/log/mpd5.log log file.

In order to start the mpd5(8) daemon during boot-time, add the following lines to your /etc/rc.conf file:

# Enable mpd5 daemon
mpd_flags="-b -s mpd5"

And that’s it, you should now have an installed and configured PPTP server.

Connecting to your mpd5(8) daemon

In order to connect to your mpd5(8) daemon you can use the command-line or a browser.

To control your mpd5(8) daemon using command-line use the following command (where of course, is your mpd5 server address/hostname):

$ telnet 5005
Trying x.x.x.x...
Connected to localhost.
Escape character is '^]'
Multi-link PPP daemon for FreeBSD

Username: pptpadmin

Mpd pid 881, version 5.5 (root@hostname 18:23 23-Jul-2010)

In order to view the already established PPTP connections through your browser, start up a browser to the mpd5(8) server on port 5006, like this:

Written on January 15, 2011