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HCMC Journal

Using UVic VPN in Gnome (Updated)

: , Greg NewtonMartin Holmes

The Cisco AnyConnect client is an encumbrance, especially when trying to use the VPN in a script. Fortunately, there’s a workaround - openconnect. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Install a package: sudo apt install network-manager-openconnect-gnome
  2. CLI:
    • Create a new interface that a regular user can use: sudo ip tuntap add vpn0 mode tun user greg
    • Connect: openconnect --authgroup=Default --quiet --interface=vpn0 --script='sudo -E /usr/share/vpnc-scripts/vpnc-script' https://vpn.uvic.ca/employeedept --user=$NETLINKID
  3. GUI:
    • open Gnome Control Centre -> Network
    • Add a VPN by clicking the + and choosing Multi-protocol VPN client (openconnect)
    • Fill in the gateway (in our case, vpn.uvic.ca/employeedept). Configuration complete.

NOTE: read the docs for more info on why things are done this way

NOTE: if you need to debug a connection, add --dump-http-traffic to your command

NOTE: to remove a network device do ‘ip link delete $DEVICE’ - e.g. ‘sudo ip link delete vpn0’

NOTE: this method has been tested successfully from off-campus.

Command explained

This post was originally published 2019-02-19, and updated several times.