Does iOS support IPsec IKEv2?

If not, is there any way to get IPsec IKEv2 working on iOS?

  • You'll get better answers if you flesh out what you're hoping to accomplish and don't just use acronyms. – Daniel Oct 15 '13 at 2:03
  • I'm hoping to configure iOS with OpenIKED. openiked.org – cnst Oct 15 '13 at 2:53
  • I think this question remains unanswered — I still don't know whether or not it's possible to use IPsec; it's clear that Apple doesn't seem to directly support it, but, maybe some app supports it somehow? – cnst Nov 28 '13 at 21:58

I do not believe the built-in Apple VPN client supports IKEv2 on either the Mac or iOS devices. This is because certainly on the Mac - including Mavericks 10.9.1, and I believe also iOS the VPN client is based on the open-source Racoon software which does not support IKEv2.

There is a Racoon2 see http://www.racoon2.wide.ad.jp/w/ which does support IKEv2 but that is not what Apple include.

Cisco AnyConnect client for iOS and Mac does support IKEv2.

  • Great, I didn't know that. Do you care to provide some reliable source or a way to check that it's indeed racoon that's responsible for IPsec on OS X, and not a custom solution? – cnst Feb 10 '14 at 18:14

No, IPsec IKEv2 is not supported on iOS by Apple.

The only IPsec that iOS supports is Cisco IPSec (notice that it even has a different capitalisation), according to the link from bmike ♦, the Authentication methods section, iOS basically only supports several IPSec Xauth authentication methods, which are an extension to IKEv1, and are incompatible with IKEv2.


iOS 9 now has a UI for IKEv2 VPN.

  • 1
    why is this being downvoted? to the answerer, care to provide a screenshot? – cnst Jun 19 '15 at 19:57

Yes. Since IKEv2 was defined in 2005, you'd be hard pressed to find an IPSec implementation that doesn't run v2 these days.

The best documentation I've found for iOS and VPN is here from apple:

Cisco's documentation says their AnyConnect 3.0 has a feature of IKEv2 on iOS.

  • Please provide a specific reference where it's mentioned that IKEv2 is supported. The page you've referenced only contains a Cisco mention:IPSec Xauth, which has nothing to do with IPsec IKEv2. – cnst Nov 28 '13 at 21:14
  • Cisco says IKEv2 and iOS are supported at cisco.com/en/US/docs/security/vpn_client/anyconnect/… but as you probably know, without nailing down what you ask, it's hard to generalize if a certain solution will work. – bmike Nov 28 '13 at 22:49

If you are asking about Mac OS X built-in IPsec client, it's easy to verify that racoon is used. Just open Console and check system logs from the time when you use the IPsec client:

2/22/14 8:05:38.649 PM racoon[16111]: Connecting.
2/22/14 8:05:38.650 PM racoon[16111]: IPSec Phase 1 started (Initiated by me).
2/22/14 8:05:38.652 PM racoon[16111]: IKE Packet: transmit success. (Initiator, Main-Mode message 1).
2/22/14 8:05:38.652 PM racoon[16111]: >>>>> phase change status = Phase 1 started by us

Racoon (v1) has certain limitations like no IKEv2 support and no split-tunneling.


iOS 8 now support native IKEv2 VPN.


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