Using vpnc as a Command Line VPN Client

Using vpnc as a Command Line VPN Client


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Thursday, April 28, 2011
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In many enterprises, Cisco VPNs are used to give remote developers controlled access to production web servers. This allows machines in far-flung locations to operate as if they’re on the same controlled network, making security and management much easier for the network administrators. For the remote developers, on the other hand, things aren’t always so smooth. VPN clients are built into most desktop operating systems, making manual connections relatively simple. However, the GUI software for connecting to a VPN can sometimes be buggy or difficult to use. In addition, it’s often useful to connect remote servers to a VPN; since they rarely have a GUI installed, the familiar VPN connection tools are missing.
The command-line VPN client vpnc is a great solution to both problems. With it, you can quickly and easily establish a VPN connection, bypassing the GUI entirely.

Installing vpnc
First, we need to install the vpnc client using the package manager for our operating system. Here are a few examples:

Red Hat / CentOS

yum install vpnc

Debian / Ubuntu
For Ubuntu you should prefix the command with “sudo” to execute it as root.

apt-get install vpnc

OS X with MacPorts
sudo port install vpnc +hybrid_cert

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