Fix VPN grayed out problem and enable VPN on Kali Linux
A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, such as the Internet. It enables a computer to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if it is directly connected to the private network, while benefiting from the functionality, security and management policies of the private network. A VPN is created by establishing a virtual point-to-point connection through the use of dedicated connections, virtual tunneling protocols, or traffic encryptions. On Kali Linux, by default VPN options are grayed out. This guide will show users how to install necessary packages to fix VPN grayed out issue and enable VPN on Kali Linux. A second guide was added to show how to setup VPN on Kali Linux.
A virtual private network connection across the Internet is similar to a wide area network (WAN) link between sites. From a user perspective, the extended network resources are accessed in the same way as resources available within the private network. Through VPN you can access your private network over Internet.
VPNs allow employees to securely access their company’s intranet while traveling outside the office. Similarly, VPNs securely connect geographically disparate offices of an organization, creating one cohesive network. VPN technology is also used by Internet users to connect to proxy servers for the purpose of protecting personal identity and location. [Source:WikiPedia]
Why use VPN – benefits?
Here’s my top 11 reasons why you would want to use VPN services.
- VPN provides Privacy and cloaks your IP address.
- Use any network (public or private or free WiFi) with encryption
- Login to your home or Work network from anywhere with confidence.
- Bypass censorship and content monitoring.
- Browse and bypass Firewall and censorship policy at work or Anywhere!
- Access region restricted services from anywhere (i.e. Youtube videos, NetFlix or BBC Player etc.)
- Transfer or receive files with privacy.
- Hide your voice/VOIP calls.
- Use Search Engines while hiding some of your identity.
- Hide yourself
- Cause you like to be anonymous.
As you can see from the list above, VPN not necessarily hides everything. Search engines can probably still recognizes you based on your cookies, previous browsing behavior, account sign-in (duh!), browser plug-ins (i.e. Alexa, Google Toolbar etc.).
VPN grayed out problem on Kali Linux
By default the VPN section is grayed out on Kali Linux. While this can be a easy fix, those who are not familiar with packages required for VPN, can get confused and with so many websites around giving different advises, it can be a problem identifying the correct info. I will try to provide a short and concise guide with explanation to my best ability.
Read below on how to enable VPN (by enabling VPN you actually fix VPN grayed out issue on Kali Linux). Screenshot below shows the Grayed out VPN +Add button on a default Kali Linux installation.
Enable VPN on Kali Linux
First of all fix you repositories. Use Kali Linux Official repositories only. Guide to do that is here.
Like I said before, this is very simple actually. Just run the following command as root and you’re all set.(and of course you need to have the correct repositories).
aptitude -r install network-manager-openvpn-gnome network-manager-pptp network-manager-pptp-gnome network-manager-strongswan network-manager-vpnc network-manager-vpnc-gnome
I think I owe some explanation on why I am using
aptitude instead of
apt-get, why I am using
-r flag and why I am not restarting the
aptitude -r install, I am ensuring that it installs all packages as mentioned above along with any recommended packages (total download size is very small i.e. 1969kB, so nothing to worry about).
The reason I am not restarting
Network-Manager is because
aptitude would do it for you. Why do it twice, right?
Once installation is finished, go back to
Network ICON on top right >
Network Connections >
VPN TAB and now
+Add button is not grayed out anymore.
So let’s check what you get when you press the