VPN on Linux

On Linux systems either the Cisco AnyConnect-Client or the free vpnc can be used to connect to the VPN. Since vpnc can be integrated in the NetworkManager and can automatically connect to the VPN if it is connected to a certain ssid e.g. GuestOnCampus it is more convenient to use vpnc if NetworkManager is used anyway.

Cisco AnyConnect-Client

To use the Cisco AnyConnect-Client on Linux you first have to install some dependencies. On Debian based distributions this can be done with the following command.

sudo apt-get install zlib1g zlibc libgtk2.0-0 libgdk3.0-cil libpango-1.0-0 libpangox-1.0-0

After installing these dependencies visit vpn.gwdg.de and follow the installation process as described on the Cisco AnyConnect page.

NetworkManager with openconnect

This tutorial is designed and tested for Ubuntu 18.04 systems. For other distributions the necessary packages and the user interface may differ.

To install the necessary packages run the following command.

sudo apt-get install openconnect network-manager-openconnect network-manager-openconnect-gnome


Afterwards log out of your current session and log back in, to activate the newly installed plugin.

To configure the VPN-Connection open the settings menu and navigate to the network section. In the Network Section click on the plus icon next to the VPN section title.

In the next menu select the option Cisco AnyConnect Compatible VPN (openconnect). In the following menu enter a title for the vpn connection and enter vpn.gwdg.de in the gateway field. Leave all other fields blank and click on Add.

Now, that the connection is configured, you can activate the connection by clicking on the switch next to the newly configured connection.

Afterwards the following login prompt will open:

Enter your username and password as described in the Cisco AnyConnect article and click on login. Afterwards your can activate and deactivate the VPN connection via the NetworkManager menu in the top right corner of the screen.

NetworkManager with vpnc

This tutorial is designed and tested for Ubuntu 14.04 systems. For other Linux distributions the package names and layouts of the user interface may differ.

The vpnc plugin for NetworkManager and the graphical frontend are contained in the packages network-manager-vpnc and network-manager-vpnc-gnome. To install those packages on a Ubuntu 14.04 system run the following command in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install network-manager-vpnc network-manager-vpnc-gnome


After installing the plugin klick on the network manager icon in the tray and select VPN Connections and then Configure VPN. Now click on the Add button and then select Cisco Compatible VPN (vpnc) and click on create.

Now enter the group name, group password and the Gateway as seen below. The name of the connection can be chosen freely. As username and password enter your gwdg username as described below and the corresponding password.

<user.name>@stud.uni-goettingen.de students
<user>@gwdg.de GWDG employees
<user>@uni-goettingen.de university employees

After entering your username and password click on save. Now you can connect to the VPN by clicking on the NetworkManager icon, selecting VPN Connections and then clicking on the name of the configuration you just created.

If you just want to connect to the VPN manually you are done now but if you want to connect automatically if you use the GoeMobile VPN follow this tutorial until the end.

To configure the automatic VPN connection right click the NetworkManager icon and select Edit connections. Then select GoeMobile in the Wi-Fi section and click on Edit. Now select the General tab and check the box Automatically connect to VPN when using this connection and in the drop down menu below select the VPN connection you created before.

Now your computer will automatically connect to the VPN if you are connected to GoeMobile.