vpnc is a handy Cisco virtual private network (VPN) client. This allows remote work, secure network connections, &c. Our university uses Cisco VPN services to allow remote access to internal servies (i.e. license servers).
vpnc is found in many distributions' package management systems. Before scouring for the sources try searching the package manager. Otherwise, install the source with the following standard build process:
The other thing to keep in mind is that vpnc requires tun/tap to be built into your kernel. vpnc will error with a reminder if it is missing when vpnc is first run.
The configuration file needs a few pieces of information before vpnc can connect us to the remote network. Edit /etc/vpnc/default.conf to have the following information:
Only use the password line if you've secured this configuration and don't want to type a password everytime you connect.
Please, e-mail your name and DragonID to Alex Brandt to request the removed secret.
Thanks to Conor Shenk for decrypting the password.
Now, if everything is properly configured and installed then all you need to do is run vpnc as root. If this works, we can set it up so that certain users can run vpnc without becoming root. Otherwise, troubleshoot, check the vpnc homepage, &c.
Add Convenience to vpnc
If we want vpnc to start on system boot we can add it to our rc.local file. We'll also want to add vpnc-disconnect to the shutdown scripts for the system.
If we would like to run vpnc as a regular user, we'll need to setup a system like sudo. Using visudo, add a line similar to the following to the sudo configuration for your user:
Using aliases can make life even easier. Simply add aliases like the following to a .bashrc file to simplify commands requiring the remote network:
Using vpnc is quite simple and provides convenient access to remote resources securely.