'Missing VPN plugin' error when I try to connect to my schools VPN

When I click connect I immediately get this error. I’m trying to connect to a “L2PT/IPSEC with preshared key” type VPN.

What can I do?

Install the required packages and set it up.


If you want to use the GUI with NetworkManager install strongswan and networkmanager-strongswan . Do not install openswan . But don’t forget the xl2tpd package.

For further assistance, you should ask your Schools IT department for help.

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I installed xl2tpd, I already have networkmanager-strongswan installed. openswan is not installed, meaning, I can choose to install it from the package manager, however, it shows up in network manager somehow

Unfortunately I have to figure out this problem on my own. I was already told that I would only be able to connect to the VPN via Windows or MacOS.

You might want to check the files in


and which file is owned by which package.

However it should not be a problem. Set your VPN connection up, configure it correctly and start it. If it doesn’t work, check the journal for errors.

journalctl -b -u NetworkManager --no-hostname --no-pager

So I checked that directory and openswan doesn’t appear there.

In any case, when I try to create strongswan vpn connection, I’m unable to put in my username/password and pre-shared key so I can’t seem to move forward. When I create the l2tp vpn connection, I can put in username/password and pre-shared key except the missing plugin problem remains.

Did you selected the correct authentication method for your connection? You need to ask again your School IT Staff for this information. Or simply try all.

Depending on the authentication method, different fields are active. You can also click on the icon in some fields to open a file chooser or select different types (password storing).

L2PT/IPSEC/IKE is one of the more complex VPN methods. There are many different implementations, sometimes with very different ideas of what a vpn client has to do. There is no real standard for this type of VPN. Even if you can get everything right, there is no guarantee that you can successfully connect. Specially without support from the VPN Server admin.

Hmmm I don’t see L2PT/IPSEC/IKE as a VPN connection type that I can create.

Unfortunately, the only VPN connection type option that I have found that allows me to input a pre-shared key AND username/password is Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) which is the one that gives me the missing plugin error.

Before I ask for help, I have to eliminate my own system as being the problem. Why am I getting the plugin error? The problem is on my end it seems to me.

This is nothing you can select. I used it as a general description of this VPN type form a standard/protocol view.

So check the journal for a more descriptive error. However the only NetworkManager Plugin that reliable works for this VPN type is the strongswan NetworkManager plugin. I don’t know what packages you installed to get this many entries in the NM connection editor window. You should clean up your installed packages related to VPNs and NetworkManager.

You need to select the correct type, and I give you one hint, it is not “prepared key” if you need to use a username, password and prepared key. Sometimes the prepared key is the username, but this is something you need to ask your School IT department about.

This will be my last post in this thread. Good luck.

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Your guidance is appreciated. Thanks!

I’m still getting the ‘Missing VPN plugin’ error when I try to connect to my schools VPN.

Anyone have any ideas?