Provided by: openswan_2.4.4-3ubuntu1_i386
ipsec auto - control automatically-keyed IPsec connections
ipsec auto [ --show ] [ --showonly ] [ --asynchronous ]
[ --config configfile ] [ --verbose ]
ipsec auto [ --show ] [ --showonly ] operation
Auto manipulates automatically-keyed FreeS/WAN IPsec connections,
setting them up and shutting them down based on the information in the
IPsec configuration file. In the normal usage, connection is the name
of a connection specification in the configuration file; operation is
--add, --delete, --replace, --up, --down, --route, or --unroute. The
--ready, --rereadsecrets, --rereadgroups, and --status operations do
not take a connection name. Auto generates suitable commands and feeds
them to a shell for execution.
The --add operation adds a connection specification to the internal
database within pluto; it will fail if pluto already has a
specification by that name. The --delete operation deletes a
connection specification from pluto’s internal database (also tearing
down any connections based on it); it will fail if the specification
does not exist. The --replace operation is equivalent to --delete (if
there is already a specification by the given name) followed by --add,
and is a convenience for updating pluto’s internal specification to
match an external one. (Note that a --rereadsecrets may also be
needed.) The --rereadgroups operation causes any changes to the policy
group files to take effect (this is currently a synonym for --ready,
but that may change). None of the other operations alters the internal
The --up operation asks pluto to establish a connection based on an
entry in its internal database. The --down operation tells pluto to
tear down such a connection.
Normally, pluto establishes a route to the destination specified for a
connection as part of the --up operation. However, the route and only
the route can be established with the --route operation. Until and
unless an actual connection is established, this discards any packets
sent there, which may be preferable to having them sent elsewhere based
on a more general route (e.g., a default route).
Normally, pluto’s route to a destination remains in place when a --down
operation is used to take the connection down (or if connection setup,
or later automatic rekeying, fails). This permits establishing a new
connection (perhaps using a different specification; the route is
altered as necessary) without having a ‘‘window’’ in which packets
might go elsewhere based on a more general route. Such a route can be
removed using the --unroute operation (and is implicitly removed by
The --ready operation tells pluto to listen for connection-setup
requests from other hosts. Doing an --up operation before doing
--ready on both ends is futile and will not work, although this is now
automated as part of IPsec startup and should not normally be an issue.
The --status operation asks pluto for current connection status. The
output format is ad-hoc and likely to change.
The --rereadsecrets operation tells pluto to re-read the
/etc/ipsec.secrets secret-keys file, which it normally reads only at
startup time. (This is currently a synonym for --ready, but that may
The --show option turns on the -x option of the shell used to execute
the commands, so each command is shown as it is executed.
The --showonly option causes auto to show the commands it would run, on
standard output, and not run them.
The --asynchronous option, applicable only to the up operation, tells
pluto to attempt to establish the connection, but does not delay to
report results. This is especially useful to start multiple
connections in parallel when network links are slow.
The --verbose option instructs auto to pass through all output from
ipsec_whack(8), including log output that is normally filtered out as
The --config option specifies a non-standard location for the IPsec
configuration file (default /etc/ipsec.conf).
See ipsec.conf(5) for details of the configuration file. Apart from
the basic parameters which specify the endpoints and routing of a
connection (left and right, plus possibly leftsubnet, leftnexthop,
leftfirewall, their right equivalents, and perhaps type), an auto
connection almost certainly needs a keyingtries parameter (since the
keyingtries default is poorly chosen).
/etc/ipsec.conf default IPSEC configuration file
/var/run/pluto/ipsec.info %defaultroute information
ipsec.conf(5), ipsec(8), ipsec_pluto(8), ipsec_whack(8),
Written for the FreeS/WAN project <http://www.freeswan.org> by Henry
Although an --up operation does connection setup on both ends, --down
tears only one end of the connection down (although the orphaned end
will eventually time out).
There is no support for passthrough connections.
A connection description which uses %defaultroute for one of its
nexthop parameters but not the other may be falsely rejected as
erroneous in some circumstances.
The exit status of --showonly does not always reflect errors discovered
during processing of the request. (This is fine for human inspection,
but not so good for use in scripts.)
31 Jan 2002 IPSEC_AUTO(8)