Today I finally got around to setting up a VPN connection on my Ubuntu laptop. I was a little surprised when I opened my network manager and found that the OpenVPN option was not listed. This meant that I was missing a few packages. Installing these fixed the problem:
So, next I filled in the options for my specific VPN connection and then tried to fire it up. No luck: I got an error message saying that "The VPN connection 'XXX' failed because the VPN service failed to start." Bugger! I did a bit of searching and found the suggestion that unselecting the option "Available to all users" might fix the problem. It did! But then I got a new error message saying that the "Connection was not provided by any settings service". Bugger again! Oddly, after doing a few other things for a couple of minutes, I came back to this and tried it again. This time there was no error message and a dialog popped up asking me for my password. I entered it and then the little network icon started to do its thing... for quite some time. Eventually it stopped with an error message about a timeout. Well, I seem to be making some progress. The problem now seems to lie somewhere between my client and the server now.