Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Today, I discovered my team's PPTP passwords expire and I had to figure this out by looking through log files (/var/log/messages).

Part 1 of my question is there a way I can start up my PPTP client service from Linux so that I get a precise error message on my screen indicating the password expired. Currently when I launch from a KDE or GNOME applet all I see is a generic failure message.

Second, is there a tool on linux (preferably gui) that will allow me to change the password. Linux is the client side; I do not have login access on the server. This will eliminate my need to boot a VM or separate box to deal with expired passwords.



share|improve this question

Yes, there is a tool to change a password. Sorry, it's a command line tool. As root type the following:

passwd <username>

Then try to start your connection as you do usually provided you changed the password in its properties to the new one.

share|improve this answer
This will change the password for <username> on the linux system, not the VPN. – SetJmp Sep 26 '12 at 20:02
@SetJmp who is controlling the server side of the VPN? – Serge Sep 26 '12 at 20:04
An administrator controls the server and I do not have login access. I have just clarified the second part of the question to indicate I expect a client side solution. On mac for example, when I attempt to login to the VPN with an expired password I am prompted to change the VPN password via a GUI. The ideal Linux solution would work the same way instead of causing me to dig up the error message from a log file and then boot up a mac to change the password. – SetJmp Sep 26 '12 at 23:28
No. There is no common client side solution to change a password on a remote machine if it is already locked as far as I know. As for changing password remotely for PPTP connection when it is already timed out I am also in doubt. However, the Mac's software is out of my scope so I guess it has the ability to know that the password will be expired soon so it warns you and offers to change it? – Serge Sep 26 '12 at 23:52

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.