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2.7.4. Creating an IPsec Connection

An IPsec connection is split into two logical phases. In phase 1, an IPsec node initializes the connection with the remote node or network. The remote node or network checks the requesting node's credentials and both parties negotiate the authentication method for the connection.
On Fedora systems, an IPsec connection uses the pre-shared key method of IPsec node authentication. In a pre-shared key IPsec connection, both hosts must use the same key in order to move to Phase 2 of the IPsec connection.
Phase 2 of the IPsec connection is where the Security Association (SA) is created between IPsec nodes. This phase establishes an SA database with configuration information, such as the encryption method, secret session key exchange parameters, and more. This phase manages the actual IPsec connection between remote nodes and networks.
The Fedora implementation of IPsec uses IKE for sharing keys between hosts across the Internet. The racoon keying daemon handles the IKE key distribution and exchange. Refer to the racoon man page for more information about this daemon.