VPN, CISCO AnyConnect, Linux

This page contains links to download and installation instructions for VPN software for Linux.

University of Illinois students, faculty, and staff can use these directions to set up some Linux computers or devices to connect to the Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Cisco-supported Versions

Some versions of Red Hat Linux and Ubuntu are compatible with the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client. See the AnyConnect 4.10 Release Notes for a detailed listing of which versions and features are supported.

Downloading the VPN software

From the WebStore, download the VPN software that applies to your system's hardware (only 64 bit is supported in the 4.x software).

If you are using Ubuntu, you may also need to install the OpenConnect Network Manager in order to make the GUI work correctly:

for Ubuntu 16 try:

 sudo apt-get install openconnect network-manager-openconnect-gnome

for older versions of Ubuntu, this command might be needed.

 sudo apt-get install network-manager-openconnect

The information below has been modeled on the University of California at Irvine instructions provided at:

University of California at Irvine - Setting up VPN for Linux

J. Stern, University of California at Irvine - Ubuntu

Additional troubleshooting tips are available there.

Red Hat Linux

As root, first unzip and untar the file, then run the vpn_install shell script. [Note the file name and directory name will change as the version changes. The example below was from version 4.3.05017.]

su root
tar xzvf (name of downloaded file)
cd anyconnect-4.3.05017/vpn

The vpn client will be installed on your system and the vpnagentd process will be started. This process will be started each time your system is booted.

Starting the VPN client

To start the VPN client:

The Connect to: box appears.

When the connection begins, enter the following:

In the box that appears, click Accept.

You are now ready to use your VPN connection.


A good source to help with this: http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~jstern/uci_vpn_ubuntu/

First, extract the files and install as root:

cd ~/Downloads
tar zxvf (the download file)
cd (the extracted file directory)/vpn
sudo ./vpn_install.sh

Accept the license agreement when prompted.

Then install the Ubuntu Network Manager plugins (note, even with this package Ubuntu 16 does not support the GUI interface: see https://askubuntu.com/questions/760864/no-more-anyconnect-compatible-vpn-transport-in-ubuntu-16-04 for more information):

sudo apt-get install openconnect network-manager-openconnect-gnome

To configure the VPN using the Network Manager:

  1. Click on the "Network Manager" icon in your System Tray on your desktop.
  2. In the menu that appears, go to  VPN Connections -> Configure VPN
  3. Click Add.
  4. Choose Cisco AnyConnect Compatible VPN (openconnect) and click Create.
  5. Enter the following information:
    • Connection name: Tech Services VPN
    • Gateway: vpn.illinois.edu
    • User name: Leave blank at this point.
  6. Click Save.

Starting the VPN client

  1. Click on the "Network Manager" icon in your System Tray on your desktop.
  2. In the menu that appears, go to  VPN Connections and click Tech Services VPN.
  3. Click on the connection icon (two screens).
  4. Enter the following information:
    • Group menu: Select 1_SplitTunnel_Default
      (Note: This is the most common choice. See About VPN Profiles for information about the alternatives.)
    • Username: Your NetID
      (or, if you're a guest, your guest ID)
    • Password: Your Active Directory password
      (or, if you're a guest, your guest password)
  5. Click Login.
Note: Due to an issue with the dnsmasq process, if you are unable to connect to websites or services after you connect to the VPN, you may need to reconfigure Network Manager to avoid using dnsmasq.  One way to do this is to issue the follow commands:
sudo sed -i 's/^dns=dnsmasq/#&/' /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf
sudo service network-manager restart
sudo service networking restart

Disconnecting the VPN client

  1. Click on the "Network Manager" icon in your System Tray on your desktop.
  2. Go to VPN Connections -> Disconnect VPN.