LAC/LNS setup or otherwise known as Virtual Private DialUp Network (VPDN) allows long-distance point-to-point connection between remote dial-up users and private networks.

Dial-up client uses PPPOE to connect to a L2TP access concentrator (LAC), LAC determines that session should be forwarded through a IP network to the L2TP Network Server (LNS), creates L2TP tunnel and forwards PPP frames to the server where client is authenticated and session established (see diagram below).

At the time of writing this article RouterOS cannot be used in LAC role. For this reason article will demonstrate how to set up very basic network with RouterOS as LNS and Cisco router as LAC.


We will be using simple configuration to demonstrate very basics of VPDN setup. Lets assume that LAC will forward to the LNS clients with FQDN name containing mt.lv domain.


For the sake of simplicity lets assume that client is RouterOS router:

/interface pppoe-client add interface=ether1 user=good_worker@mt.lv password=strongpass


Lets assume that client is connected to the GigabitEthernet1 port and IP address of the LNS server is

aaa new-model
aaa authentication ppp default local
vpdn enable
vpdn aaa attribute nas-ip-address vpdn-nas
vpdn search-order domain dnis 
vpdn-group LAC
  protocol l2tp
  domain mt.lv
 initiate-to ip
 local name LAC
 l2tp tunnel password 0 tunnelpass
bba-group pppoe MAIN-BBA
 virtual-template 1
interface GigabitEthernet1
 pppoe enable group MAIN-BBA
interface Virtual-Template1
 description pppoe MAIN-BBA
 no ip address
 no peer default ip address
 ppp mtu adaptive
 ppp authentication chap

Note that this setup does not authenticate client nor locally nor via RADIUS, does not actually check domain name, does not control L2 access for the sake of simplicity. If you want to use those features refer to Cisco configuration manuals.


On the LNS we need to enable L2TP server and set up method to authenticate the L2TP connection from the LAC.

/interface l2tp-server server
set enabled=yes
/ppp l2tp-secret
add address= secret=tunnelpass

Now the actual user authentication. In this case we will be using local authentication method for the sake of simplicity.

/ip pool
add name=pool0 ranges=
/ppp profile
set default local-address= remote-address=pool0
/ppp secret
add name=good_worker@mt.lv password=strongpass

Status Check

On the LNS you can see all successfully connected clients by checking l2tp server interfaces or checking active ppp connections:

[admin@CHR_v6_bgp] /interface l2tp-server> print
Flags: X - disabled, D - dynamic, R - running
0 DR <l2tp-... good_worker@mt.lv 1450 6h13m49s

[admin@CHR_v6_bgp] /ppp active> print
Flags: R - radius
0 good_worker@mt.lv l2tp 6h15m57s 

On the LAC we can also see active client sessions and active L2TP tunnel between LAC and LNS:

csrLAC#show vpdn

L2TP Tunnel and Session Information Total tunnels 1 sessions 1

LocTunID RemTunID Remote Name State Remote Address Sessn L2TP Class/
Count VPDN Group
26090 11 CHR_v6_bgp est 50 LAC

LocID RemID TunID Username, Intf/ State Last Chg Uniq ID
Vcid, Circuit
18521 16 26090 good_worker@mt.lv, Gi1 est 06:17:07 571

Session Establishment

Lets look closely on how clients sessions gets authenticated and established over the LAC.

  • Client initiates PPPoE call
  • LAC and Client begins LCP negotiation
  • after CHAP has been negotiated, LAC sends CHAP challenge
  • Client sends CHAP response
  • LAC checks whether client session should be forwarded to the LNS based on received domain name. Check can be done locally or using RADIUS server. Client also can be authenticated here before forwarding session.
  • LAC brings up an L2TP tunnel
  • LNS checks if the LAC is allowed to open a tunnel and run the authentication process. The Tunnel is up and ready to forward VPDN sessions.
  • LAC forwards negotiated with the client LCP options, username and password to the LNS
  • LNS authenticates the client locally or using RADIUS and sends CHAP response
  • IP Control Protocol (IPCP) phase is performed, IP addresses and routes are installed. At this point sessions is considered established.
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