How to Install PPTP VPN on CentOS 8?

Learn how to install PPTP VPN on CentOS 8 with this easy step-by-step guide. Secure your connection in minutes!

Updated: 12 Jun, 24 by Lisa P 7 Min

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VPNs provide secure communications in public Wi-Fi and ensure the security of sensitive information, especially for remote workers and businesses. However, the effectiveness of a VPN varies based on the protocol and provider. It is very important to choose a VPN that balances speed, security, and reliability to meet your specific needs. We like to introduce the PPTP VPNs and show you how to install PPTP VPN on CentOS 8.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it is a crucial tool to protect network connection when you are using public networks. By hiding your IP address, VPN adds security, disguises the users’ true identity, and helps them to be anonymous. Many users download a VPN app or add an extension to their browsers. These apps are run by other companies; however, what if you could create your own VPN and have full control over it? Well, in this case, PPTP VPN is here to help you.

PPTP is the short form of Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol and is a method to implement virtual privacy on your network. It was initially developed by companies like Microsoft, but now anyone can easily create a PPTP VPN on their own.

By creating a tunnel through the internet, PPTP can promise a secure exchange of data which is encapsulated in a PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) frame and is then transmitted over this tunnel. For Encryption, these VPNs use MPPE (Microsoft Point-to-Point Encryption) to encrypt the data and support various authentication methods including PAP, CHAP, MS-CHAPv1, and MS-CHAPv2.

PPTP VPNs offer several advantages, some of which are mentioned down below:

1.    Easy to Setup

Setting up a PPTP VPN is relatively easier than other VPNs. Moreover, PPTPs operate on their own and do not need any additional software.

2.    Cost-Effective

As it was mentioned before, implementing PPTP does not need any additional software or hardware. As a result, PPTP VPNs are one of the most cost-effective solutions for you to secure your data.

3.    Fast speed

PPTP is known for its fast connection speeds. Compared to most protocols like OpenVPN, PPTP requires less encryption and it results in quicker data transmission.

4.    Compatibility

It does not matter which platforms or devices you use, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, or iOS, PPTP will work on all platforms.

5.    Accessibility

Finding resources and troubleshooting information for PPTP is easy since it is used widely.

Despite these advantages, it is important to know that PPTP has low security, especially in situations when strong encryption and high security are important. Therefore, PPTP is often used in cases where ease of setup and compatibility are more important than the highest level of security. These VPNs are suggested for personal or small businesses where simple remote access is needed. Due to its limitations, many organizations do not use PPTP. However, it is still an option for situations where simplicity and compatibility are prioritized.

CentOS 8 is a free and open-source version of the CentOS Linux distribution, which is downstream from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). This version of CentOS provides a free platform and its main aim is to be functionally compatible with its upstream source which is Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.

CentOS 8 is widely used in server environments, web hosting, development, and other scenarios where a stable and reliable enterprise-grade Linux distribution is required without the cost associated with RHEL.

Prerequisites before creating your PPTP VPN

Besides having some simple and basic Linux knowledge like how to use the command line and some tools, there is one thing you need to take into consideration.

To set up your PPTP VPN server, you will need a Virtual Private Server (VPS).

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Your VPS also must have something called “root access” which is a crucial part of installing PPTP VPN. Root access basically enables you to make big changes to the server and helps you install packages and change settings; therefore, you need to make sure you have this kind of access.

Installing a PPTP VPN is relatively easy. By the following 6 steps, you can easily install your own PPTP VPN:

Step 1: Install PPP packages

The first step to set up PPTP VPN is to install PPP by running this command:

cd /usr/local/src

If you are a 64-bit OS user, then use the following command:


rmp -Uhv pptpd-1.4.0-1.el6.x86_64.rpm

And for For 32-bit OS use this one:


rmp -Uhv pptpd-1.4.0-1.el6.i686.rpm

Step 2: Configure and Setup your PPTPD

Now it is time to edit your IP address and set it in /etc/pptpd.conf like this:

nano /etc/pptpd.conf

Then go to the  /etc/ppp/options.pptpd and edit the settings and add or modify the lines to include your preferred DNS servers:



The purpose of this move is to add a DNS server to your VPN server.

Step 3: Create a user to access the VPN server

In this step, you need to Open the PPP chap-secrets file and add a user account in /etc/ppp/chap-secrets. Then assign a username and password with your desired credentials like the following:

nano /etc/ppp/chap-secrets

Step 4: Enable IP/network forwarding

Now open the sysctl configuration file because IP forwarding must help VPN route packets between the VPN clients and the outside world:

sudo v1 /etc/sysctl.conf

And add or modify the line:

nano /etc/sysctl.conf

net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1

To change the sysctl.conf, run this command:

sysctl -p

After running this code, save and close the file. Then apply the changes with the following command:

sudo sysctl -p

This command will reserve the setting between system reboots.

Step 5: Setup ”iptables”

Now, you need to add the following IP-tables rules to open the correct ports and properly forward the data packets:

iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p tcp --dport 1723 -j ACCEPT

iptables -A INPUT -i eth0 -p gre -j ACCEPT

iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o eth0 -j MASQUERADE

Step 6: Start VPN server

The sixth and the last step is to start the server with this command:

service pptpd restart

chkconfig pptpd restart

By following these steps, you should be able to install and configure a PPTP VPN.

While PPTP VPN has advantages regarding ease of setup, speed, compatibility, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility, it is important to confront these benefits with its security limitations. Despite PPTP's lower encryption standards, for users who seek a quick, easy, and fast VPN for general browsing, streaming, or gaming, PPTP can be the best option. In this tutorial, we showed you how to install PPTP VPN on CentOS 8 which is one of the best approaches to secure your data on the Linux operating system.

Lisa P

Lisa P

Hello, everyone, my name is Lisa. I'm a passionate electrical engineering student with a keen interest in technology. I'm fascinated by the intersection of engineering principles and technological advancements, and I'm eager to contribute to the field by applying my knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems.