Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Virtual Private Network and Nortel "vpnc"

Hi All,

Sabre - my company has a Nortel Server for maintaining all its VPN connections. They had purchased license in Windows for a client called Contivity [Cant remember the full name.(Its been more than 3 months now after completely migrating to Linux.) I think it is Nortel Contivity Client].

As usual there is no such client in Linux platform. My company is rich enough and it bought Linux Licenses too. This time for a client called Apani Networks.

I did not want to use a licensed version in my Debian Lenny. So I decided to go with a free VPN packaged [Software] called vpnc.

Note that if you are reading this post and you want to configure your vpnc for a nortel server, there is a particular SVN branch that has Nortel server supported vpnc. You need to google that out and download the same. You will find the link as well as the file for download in one of the Ubuntu forums.

So the ending parts:

1. Extract the zip file into a folder.
2. Check there are no previous vpnc instances in your system. If present, uninstall them. Use your package manager for more un-installing. In Lenny, you can give "dpkg -e vpnc"
3. Give the command "make install"[without the quotes].
4. Type vpnc from your console to check if vpnc is installed or not after step 3.
5. Or issue the command 'whereis vpnc'
6. Copy the 'vpnc-script' script to /etc/vpnc/ or to your installed folder
7. cd to /etc/vpnc
8. Create a file called vpn_connect.conf
9. Enter the following details:-
1. IPSec Gateway your_gateway_ip
2. IPSec ID your_group_id
3. IPSec secret your_group_password
4. Xauth username your_username
5. Xauth password your_password
6. Vendor nortel
10. Enter the following above lines without the numbers and replacing your* with your details.

Note that during step 3 above, there are some dependencies issues which you need to sort out by installing the suitable packages.

Finally to connect ---> issue the command
"vpnc --dpd-idle 0 /etc/vpnc/vpn_connect.conf"

Or simply "vpnc-connect"

This will prompt you to enter your passcode. Use the digits from your SecureID and enter them.

If it throws some XAuth type packed missing errors, try to give your "password+SecureID_numbers"

In the connect command, dpd idle option is to keep vpnc connected for ever without timing out.

You can as well write a shell script that will fetch the conf file and run the vpnc.

Hope you got some help by this post.

Ananth Gouri

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