Installing Nortel VPNC on Ubuntu

I’m running Ubuntu 12.04.1 wheezy/sid and I needed a way to connect to the office Nortel VPN server. On a Windows machine you normally use Nortel Contivity Client. But this is not available for Linux. There is a nortel branch available of vpnc which you can find here.

The first step is to install svn-buildpackage, use the command below for this. There some extra packages coming with this install, but this is OK.

apt-get install svn-buildpackage

Now you can do a check-out on the SVN repository:

svn co -r517

This downloads the files in a new directory (vpnc-nortel) in the location you are at this moment.

Now it is time to install the vpnc client. go to the vpnc-nortel directory you just downloaded and perform the command:


This should make the compile the files for your OS, but the first time this failed form me with the error message:

root@ubuntu:~/vpnc-nortel# make
Package gnutls was not found in the pkg-config search path.
Perhaps you should add the directory containing `gnutls.pc'
to the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable
No package 'gnutls' found

To solve this issue you should first install libgnutls-dev:

apt-get install libgnutls-dev

Then you can try again:

make install

The make install should give an output like this:

root@ubuntu:~/vpnc-nortel# make install
install -d /etc/vpnc /usr/local/bin /usr/local/sbin /usr/local/share/man/man1 /usr/local/share/man/man8 /usr/local/share/doc/vpnc
if [ "`uname -s | cut -c-6`" = "CYGWIN" ]; then \
		install vpnc-script-win /etc/vpnc/vpnc-script; \
		install vpnc-script-win.js /etc/vpnc; \
	else \
		install vpnc-script /etc/vpnc; \
install -m600 vpnc.conf /etc/vpnc/default.conf
install -m755 vpnc-disconnect /usr/local/sbin
install -m755 pcf2vpnc /usr/local/bin
install -m644 vpnc.8 /usr/local/share/man/man8
install -m644 pcf2vpnc.1 /usr/local/share/man/man1
install -m644 cisco-decrypt.1 /usr/local/share/man/man1
install -m644 COPYING /usr/local/share/doc/vpnc
install -m755 vpnc /usr/local/sbin
install -m755 cisco-decrypt /usr/local/bin

The last thing to do is to edit the configuration file to the settings of your company. In my case this configuration file (/etc/vpnc/default.conf) looks like:

IPSec gateway 
IPSec secret 
Xauth username 
Vendor nortel
IKE Authmode gpassword
Enable Single DES
IKE DH Group dh1

Now your ready!
To start vpnc perfrom:


en to stop vpnc:


2 thoughts on “Installing Nortel VPNC on Ubuntu”

  1. Many many thanks. This issue has been keeping me on windows for a very long time. With being able to VPN to my work network, I can now cut the cord on Windows.

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