VPN network: how to connect to it in Ubuntu and Linux Mint


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Many companies and universities have a Compatible Cisco Virtual Private Network (VPN). That's a secured connection, with which you can remotely access non-public data (e.g. at home).

In order to be able to connect to it in Ubuntu or Linux Mint, you can do the following:

Install some extra programs

1. First you have to install some supporting programs from the repositories of Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Therefore make sure you have internet connection. Proceed like this:

Launch a terminal window.
(You can launch a terminal window like this: *Click*)

Use copy/paste to transport this magical incantation to the terminal (it's one line!):

sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn-gnome network-manager-vpnc-gnome

Press Enter. When prompted, type your password. Your password will remain entirely invisible, not even dots will show, this is normal.
Press Enter again.

This installs the extra extensions that Network Manager needs, in order to be able to cope with all kinds of VPN. You also need network-manager-pptp-gnome, by the way, but that's installed by default.

Configure your router

2. Now check whether your router has been configured to allow VPN. Launch the control panel of the router (check the router manual if you don't know how to do that).

The settings have to be like this (example of a Linksys WRT54GL router, click on the image to enlarge it):
https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/vpn/VPN.jpg?attredirects=0

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Add the VPN: manual method

3. In Linux Mint Cinnamon, click the Network Manager icon (on the right in the system panel, usually next to the speaker icon).
Network Connections - Add - Cisco Compatible VPN (vpnc) - Create...

(In Ubuntu the "click path" is a bit different, but it's essentially the same)

Now you'll have to fill out the necessary data. Those are:
- Gateway (IP address of the VPN server)
- User name
- User password
- Group name
- Group password

After filling this out, you can connect to and disconnect from a VPN by clicking the Network Manager icon. As follows:

Click on the icon of Network Manager - Network Connections - click on the name of the newly added VPN.

When prompted, type the VPN password that you have received from your company or university.

Then start Firefox and visit the secured web page.

Add the VPN: import the settings

4. If you also use a Cisco Client in Windows to connect to the VPN, then you can simply import the configuration of it, into Network Manager in Linux. As follows:

Use Windows Explorer to go to Program Files - Cisco Systems - VPN Client - Profiles.

Copy the .pcf file on a USB memory stick. Then shut down Windows and boot Linux Mint or Ubuntu.

In Linux Mint Cinnamon (in Ubuntu the "click path" is a bit different, but essentially similar):
Click the Network Manager icon (on the right in the system panel, usually next to the speaker icon).
Network Connections - Add - Import a saved VPN configuration... and select the .pcf file.

See the screenshot below (click on it to enlarge it):

https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/vpn/Screenshot-vpnimp-eng.png

Now reboot your computer, so that Network Manager can reconfigure itself with the newly added VPN connection.

Connecting: click on the icon of Network Manager - Network Connections - click on the name of the newly added VPN.

When prompted, type the VPN password that you have received from your company or university.

Then start Firefox and visit the secured web page.

Want more tips?

Do you want more tips and tweaks for Ubuntu and Linux Mint? There's a lot more of them on this website!


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