Saturday, March 19, 2011

VPN Works!

I spent a great deal of time working on an issue.  At first I set up the connection to my work network in Network Manager.  I set up my host name, user name, and password and attempted to connect.  I received a message "The VPN connection % failed because the VPN service failed to start."  I fought this issue all day and could not find a resolution.  I found several different sites that suggested checking or un-checking the "Available to all users" checkbox but neither helped.

I then realised that when I connect to work from my laptop I use a Cisco client.  I included this in my search and found connecting through a Cisco device was a little tricky.  I did some searches and finally found a helpful blogpost that explained what was going on.  The page explains the process of converting your pcf file from a Cisco client into a conf file that can be used to connect.  This requires downloading the source code of a converter, installing a library, compiling the converter, and then running the converter on your pcf file.  You then have to install vpnc, and then run vpnc on the conf file created in a previous step.

I can run the following command to start my VPN connection:
sudo vpnc <conf file> --enable-1des


After which I enter my password I use to log on to my employer's domain.  I then receive a message saying that the connection is successful.
VPNC started in background (pid: 2817)...

I can run the following command to end my VPN connection:
sudo vpnc-disconnect

This affected my ability to connect using Network Manager; I do not receive the "Failed to start service" any more.  The connection still does not work, but I do have a workaround.

Until next time...

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