strongswan vs openswan

Maciej Piechotka asked:

What’s the differences between OpenSwan and StrongSwan? All I found is compartation between outdated FreeSwan and testing version of OpenSwan – i.e. current stable of OpenSwan is 2.6 (3.0 is comparation) and current stable for StrongSwan is 4.4 (4.1.7 in comparation) which seems grossly unfare (there is no point in comparing Windows 98 with Ubuntu 10.10 or Mac OS X 10.7 with Slackware 8.0).

From websites StrongSwan seems to be better maintained while OpenSwan seems to be more popular.

My answer:


Libreswan is the project the Openswan developers created after the company they had originally founded to develop Openswan sued them over the trademark. So Libreswan is what we will discuss here.

The most obvious differences are:

RHEL 7 ships Libreswan, though StrongSwan is available in EPEL.


IPSec-tools was a port of the KAME IPSec userland from BSD to Linux. It appears to be no longer maintained.


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