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I mean, can I use openvpn client to connect to pptp server, or vice versa: pptp client to connect to openvpn server?

I'm building a virtualized mock-up of an ISP infrastructure, which uses the VPN connection to authenticate users. The specific software that runs the ISP's VPN server is unknown. But the common way to connect to it is known (usually, pptp-linux on Linux, and Connect to virtual private network on Win).

I installed pptpd server to act as VPN server, but it's setup and terminology looks very archaic. Can I use openvpn server as a substitution to pptpd, so it can accept connections made by client-side pptp-linux?

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No openvpn and pptp use completely different protocols (SSL for opevpn, and well pptp for pptp). They are not compatible.

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I believe OpenVPN uses its own propriatory protocol, so no, they are not interchangable.

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