I've tried to find a way to configure a new connection manageable by NetworkManager using a terminal/shell script all day long, but I've been unsuccessful.

The reason is that I have a lot of openvpn configuration files and I wanted to have a nice and fast way of importing them, also beacuse NetworkManager openvpn plugin doesn't parse the certificates embedded into configuration files, so the only way to configure a new VPN connection is to do that manually via the GUI after I run a script to extract the certificates from the config files, which is a rather long and tedious process.

I found that on RedHat the nmcli utility has the ability to configure a new connection in this way:

nmcli con add [...]

However this is not possibile on (standard) Linux Mint 17.1.

I tried to add a new connection manually, adding a new file in /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections


remote=[vpn provider]
port=[vpn port]
cert=[user cert]
ca=[ca cert]
key=[user priv. key]



but this new configuration doesn't show up in NetworkManager.

Also, I don't have any ~/.gconf/system directory, neither under my personal home nor under /root.

Where could NetworkManager read configuration files from?

  • I have the very same issue -- have you been able to find a solution in the meantime? Thanks! (I believe that one option is to get the experimental package of NM 1.0 but I don't want to mess with my system that way.) May 30, 2015 at 10:12

2 Answers 2


Check your /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf

Under [main] there should be a plugins directive and if you have enabled the keyfile plugin (i.e. plugins=keyfile,ifupdown or similar), it should monitor the /etc/NetworkManager/system-connections/ directory for file changes.

Further, a man NetworkManager.conf tells you that 'it will ignore files that are readable or writeable by any user or group other than root'.

Don't know if this solves your problem, but it is worth checking out!

According to this, it should work with NetworkManager v7+

Cheers! / Daniel


This worked for me:

nmcli reload "your connection name"

followed by a reboot. Reactivation will probably work as well.

  • 2
    I am having the exact same problem. But the reload command is not included in my version of NetworkManager (most current package for Raspbian Wheezy). Any other idea? Rebooting and restarting the service didn't help either. May 30, 2015 at 10:12
  • 2
    I think nmcli connection reload "your connection name" is the correct one. Nov 8, 2017 at 9:54

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