Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Connecting to Cisco VPN on Ubuntu

Made yet another step forward in my pursuit of full-time Linux usage today, namely connecting to a Cisco VPN. I did try the vpnc application that several people suggested but, to put it in technical terms, it "didn't like" our VPN hardware. (I'm sure there's just some setting that needs to be tweaked.) It imported my PCF file fine but would always timeout on the connection.

So I got a hold of the official Cisco VPN client for Linux (version 4.8.01), and while it did need a bit of compiling and a patch applied for Ubuntu 8.04, it works great! I did find one blog post in particular that was helpful (thanks Arun!), and if you get an error on Ubuntu 8.04 (which I didn't) you might check out another post on Arun's blog.

Yes, you do have to fire the VPN client up from a terminal so it's not as pretty as the Mac version, but it works just fine and is overflowing with geek cred.

Since I also fixed the LDAP lookup issue in Evolution that I mentioned in my post yesterday, I think the remaining piece of the puzzle is finding something that's compatible with Microsoft Messenger (not the public network side of it), which is a huge nice to have but might be asking a bit much.


Update on this--very weird DNS issues are keeping me from using this full-time. Apparently the Cisco client messes with resolv.conf. It's a bizarre problem because it works for a while and then suddenly you lose DNS.

I'm sure there's a fix, just haven't had time to look into it yet.

@Matt: I'm having exactly the same DNS problem you comment. Have you found any solution?

Yep Joan--just install resolvconf:

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