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Penn State Wireless 1.0 VPN with Ubuntu Linux

I already posted an article on how to connect to Penn State's wireless 2.0 with Ubuntu 10.04, but I've found recently that during peak hours at school the network can get incredibly slow.  Since Penn State's 2.0 and VPN wireless systems probably run through different routers and switches, at time's it's good to know how to use both.  So here's a quick article on how to use the VPN.

  1. Install the Cisco VPN client package.  You can do this either by installing network-manager-vpnc from the Ubuntu software center or by typing the command sudo apt-get install network-manager-vpnc into a terminal.
  1. Once installed, you have to restart the network manager to get the VPNC to show up.  Simply log out and log back in and that should do it.  If not you can enter sudo /etc/init.d/networking restart into a terminal. If neither work, restart the computer.
  2. Now we're ready to configure our new vpn.  Click on the networking applet from the top panel and under VPN Connections -> select Configure VPN.  The network manager will open, click add.
  3. When prompted, choose Cisco Compatible VPN (vpnc) type and click create. 

  1. Fill in the following information:
    1. Connection Name: pennstate
    2. Check connect automatically
    3. Gateway: mobility.**.psu.edu (where ** is your campus abbreviation eg, mobility.up.psu.edu for Main or mobility.bk.psu.edu for Berks)
    4. Group Name: pennstate
    5. User Password: *** (your psu access account password)
    6. Group Password: pennstate
    7. Select saved for both of the password boxes.
    8. User name: abc1234 (your access account username)
    9. Domain: (leave blank)
    10. Encryption Method: Secure (default)
    11. NAT Traversal: Cisco UDP

  1. Click apply and restart your computer (if you don't you'll get a Cannot connect to VPN 'pennstate'. No valid VPN secrets were found).
  2. When your computer boots up, connect to the pennstate wireless network (not the 2.0 network) and it should automatically connect the VPN.  If not select it from the VPN Connections.
There you have it!  Now hopefully you'll never get stuck without internet.

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