Linux - Manual IPsec Configuration


  1. Ubuntu 18.04 or newer installed on your device
  2. Ecosystem set up with proper security policies

Create Gateway for IPsec

If you didn’t do it yet, you need to create a new Gateway device on the Acreto platform.

  1. Log in to the Acreto platform at

  2. Select your ecosystem and go to Objects using the left menu.

  3. Click Add new Object and select Gateway.

  4. Fill at least:

    1. Name: - the name of IPSec connection, needs to be compatible with Strongswan connection name requirements (basically, only letters and numbers)

    2. Category: IoT

    3. Allow connection from: Empty (describes the source IP address where the IPsec connection will be permitted)

    4. Local Networks: - your local network addresses that should be routed through this gateway

      Wedge - New Gateway Wedge - New Gateway

      Note: To simplify testing, add IP addresses of all interfaces connected to your gateway as Local Networks (you can use /32 prefix for public interface). This will allow testing connectivity from the gateway through Acreto using ping, traceroute, and similar tools.

  5. Save the created Gateway by pressing Add.

  6. Add security policy that will allow communication from the Gateway device to the Internet. Wedge - New Gateway Wedge - New Gateway

  7. Commit pending changes (top of the screen)

Note: to successfully test your connectivity, you also need to create a security policy that will allow traffic going through your device.

Generate Strongswan config files

  1. Log in to the Acreto platform at

  2. Select your ecosystem and go to Objects using the left menu

  3. Open the gateway object which you want to use by clicking on its “Info” button.

    Wedge - Gateway Info button Wedge - Gateway Info button

  4. Download Strongswan configuration using Configuration Options > Software Clients with Config

    Wedge - Download configuration Wedge - Download configuration

  5. Download Strongswan configuration to your device.

Install dependencies on the device

  1. Log in to your device.

  2. Set up time/date server, to do that use the following command:

    sudo timedatectl set-ntp on
    ntpdate -s
  3. Install required packages:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y --no-install-recommends \
    apt-utils \
    ifupdown2 \
    inetutils-ping \
    strongswan \
    kmod \
    openssl \

Apply configuration files

  1. Log in to your device.

  2. Unzip downloaded config file and copy respective files to their location:

    unzip -x
    sudo cp -r etc/*  /etc
  3. Ensure the files are in proper location

    1. /etc/ipsec.d/[connection uuid].conf
    2. /etc/ipsec.d/
    3. /etc/ipsec.secrets

Enable gateway mode (optional)

To work in gateway mode, you need to configure IPsec to use VTI devices.

Modify /etc/strongswan.d/charon.conf - leave all on defaults except for the following:

install_routes = no
install_virtual_ip = no
ignore_routing_tables = 220

Modify connection file /etc/ipsec.d/*.conf to enable VTI support - uncomment mark and leftupdown options:

# uncomment this line for policy routing configuration

# uncomment this line for policy routing configuration

Determine connection name as defined in ipsec configuration:

CONN=`grep '^conn .*' /etc/ipsec.d/*.conf|cut -d' ' -f2`; echo $CONN

Create a routing file that will contain (remote) networks which should be routed through the Acreto platform - by default, it would be a default gateway:

cat > /etc/ipsec.d/$CONN.route << EOF

Enable IP forwarding

echo net.ipv4.ip_forward=1 > /etc/sysctl.d/10_ac_ip_forward.conf
systemctl restart systemd-sysctl

Configure connection autostart

sed -i''  -e s/auto=route/auto=start/ /etc/ipsec.d/*.conf

Start IPSec

  1. Restart ipsec service with following command:

    ipsec restart
  2. Wait approximately 10 seconds, and check status of ipsec:

    ipsec statusall
  3. If the connection did not start, try to take it up manually:

    CONN=`grep '^conn .*' /etc/ipsec.d/*.conf|cut -d' ' -f2`; echo $CONN
    ipsec up $CONN

    It should display information useful for debugging purposes.

  4. Ensure everything works fine with:

    ipsec statusall
    ip address show
    ip route show
    Check if you have Internet access enabled.
  5. Check if you have Internet access enabled.


Ensure that traffic goes through our platform (with traceroute, mtr,). Verify with the command below

Tunnel verification command


Expected output after successful tunnel creation

Host                     Loss%   Snt   Last   Avg  Best  Wrst StDev
1.            0.0%     9  225.1 225.1 224.6 225.8   0.3
2.             0.0%     8  225.9 227.5 225.7 237.1   3.9
3. ???
4.  0.0%     8  226.0 226.9 226.0 228.3   0.7
5.          0.0%     8  227.1 227.8 226.4 230.4   1.2
6.         0.0%     8  227.1 227.2 226.8 227.9   0.4
7.        0.0%     8  226.5 226.9 226.0 227.7   0.6
8.             0.0%     8  226.7 227.6 226.7 229.2   0.8