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I'm trying to connect an Ubuntu laptop (9.10) with some kind of Cisco VPN device; I don't know what's on the other end, and I'm not likely to find out exactly what. I know my company allows VPN from Linux clients because they provide one that I cannot get to install (it fails to compile). I've had the most luck with the network-manager-vpnc package, however I can't figure out what's failing. When I try to connect, I get this message from libnotify:

The VPN connection 'XXX' failed.

which is not very helpful. I've scoured the system logs and all I can find is this:

Dec 27 12:57:45 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <info>  Starting VPN service 'org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.vpnc'...
Dec 27 12:57:45 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <info>  VPN service 'org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.vpnc' started (org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.vpnc), PID 2672
Dec 27 12:57:45 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <info>  VPN service 'org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.vpnc' just appeared, activating connections
Dec 27 12:58:00 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <info>  VPN plugin state changed: 3
Dec 27 12:58:00 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <info>  VPN connection 'AmericasEast' (Connect) reply received.
Dec 27 12:58:00 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager:    SCPlugin-Ifupdown: devices added (path: /sys/devices/virtual/net/tun0, iface: tun0)
Dec 27 12:58:00 jcasadon-lap kernel: [ 6144.529002] tun0: Disabled Privacy Extensions
Dec 27 12:58:00 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager:    SCPlugin-Ifupdown: device added (path: /sys/devices/virtual/net/tun0, iface: tun0): no ifupdown configuration found.
Dec 27 12:58:15 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager:    SCPlugin-Ifupdown: devices removed (path: /sys/devices/virtual/net/tun0, iface: tun0)
Dec 27 12:58:15 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <info>  VPN plugin failed: 1
Dec 27 12:58:15 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <info>  VPN plugin state changed: 6
Dec 27 12:58:15 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <info>  VPN plugin state change reason: 0
Dec 27 12:58:15 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <WARN>  connection_state_changed(): Could not process the request because no VPN connection was active.
Dec 27 12:58:15 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <info>  (wlan0): writing resolv.conf to /sbin/resolvconf
Dec 27 12:58:15 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <info>  Policy set 'Northbound Train' (wlan0) as default for routing and DNS.
Dec 27 12:58:27 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <debug> [1261936707.002971] ensure_killed(): waiting for vpn service pid 2672 to exit
Dec 27 12:58:27 jcasadon-lap NetworkManager: <debug> [1261936707.003175] ensure_killed(): vpn service pid 2672 cleaned up

I have no idea where to go from here. Tomorrow I'll ask the IT/IS guys if there's anything they can tell me from their end, but I don't know if they'll be able to tell me anything. Any ideas? Thanks!

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It turns out that we have client-side certificates that needed to be installed, but VPNC can't deal with them (yet). –  Joe Casadonte Jan 23 '10 at 21:48

3 Answers 3

I connected the Ubuntu 9.10 vpnc to a cisco VPN device by first:

1) Installing the Cisco VPN client for a Window's host (Win XP) in my case, installing the config file provided by the network/security administrator, and having it working on Windows

2) Comparing the needed Network Connections -> VPN options with various screens of the Window's client.

I did not try to compile the Cisco Linux client - I used the built-in vpnc with Ubuntu and Ubuntu 9.10's standard network configuration. For our network configuration, it took about 15 minutes per box (on the windows side, the client installation took the most time. On the Ubuntu side, the cross comparison took the most time.

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Did you try running vpnc from the shell, rather than through network manager?

Murali

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

It turns out that we have client-side certificates that needed to be installed, but VPNC can't deal with them (yet)

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