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Use openconnect VPN on OS X instead of Cisco AnyConnect

by Chris Shenton last modified Nov 17, 2011 12:27 PM
AnyConnect requires registration and a support contract, but we can use open source software instead.

Cisco AnyConnect on my OS X box was broken, complaining about not finding FIPS modules in a dynamic library upon start-up.  I figured maybe my version didn't work on Lion which I upgraded to a few months back.  Can't be that hard, download a new version.  

You have to register... which is a fragile process and broke on me three times, after providing enough web form details to make an IRS Auditor happy.  After finally confirming the registration, it told me I had to have a support contract to download.  Awesome.

I used a colleague's account to connect via web to the HTTPS gateway, where I figured I could download a new copy.  Spin, spin, spin, Java NullPointerException.  Managed somehow to extract a "" which contained some juicy binary blobs inside, and failed the first couple times I tried it. Eventually tried it with sudo (what's the worst it could do, really??)-:  and got it to install.  And seemed to work.  For now.

But what a pain. Wasn't there an alternative? 

I could no longer connect with Apple's built-in VPN client to the datacenter's VPN concentrator -- progress, right?  I guess IPsec is only IPsec if it's not Cisco IPsec.  In the past I had used "vpnc" on my FreeBSD and Linux boxes to connect but that wasn't working either.

I found "openconnect" and did an install (with a flag):

./configure --disable-nls
sudo make install

When I ran it, it complained about missing "tun" device so install the TunTap package.

Then fire it up and ... It's Work!!!

sudo /usr/local/sbin/openconnect -v --script /etc/vpnc/vpnc-script https://vpn.gateway.ip

I used my old vpnc script which set the DNS and routes, otherwise I couldn't get packets to flow over the VPN.

Oddly, it didn't require the VPN Group name that AnyConnect seemed to want.



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