Using the Caltech VPN Client on Linux

The following instructions assume you have a working Cisco AnyConnect client. If you haven't installed the client yet, links to instructions can be found on the right-hand menu.

Connecting with the AnyConnect Client

Linux users will find the AnyConnect menu item in the Applications menu, then in the Internet sub-menu.

If you are using the new Unity window manager, the easiest way to locate the AnyConnect client is to click on Dash Home, and do a search for Cisco AnyConnect. You can then launch the client. Once you've used AnyConnect, it will appear in the Most Recently Used section of More Apps.

Once you've selected the AnyConnect menu item, the client window will appear on the screen. The window will indicate that the client is ready to connect and the button will read Connect. Click on the Connect button to begin connecting to the VPN.

The login dialog will appear on the screen. The Group drop down menu will appear. Click on it if you would like to select a different connection profile. The Username field will be filled in with your username. The Password field will be blank. Enter your access.caltech password in the Password field and click on the OK button.

After a few seconds, the connection will be established. The client window will disappear but the connection will remain active. The AnyConnect icon will appear in the Notification Area in the upper right corner.

In the Unity interface, you'll need to click on Dash Home, and then on More Apps. The AnyConnect icon should appear in the Most Recently Used section.

Left click on the icon to bring up the client window.

You can see that the connection has been successful.

Testing the VPN Connection

You can test your VPNconnection to verify that it is working correctly. Click on this Caltech link. You should see that you have an IP address starting with Then click on this link. You should see that you have your normal IP address as assigned by your ISP (if using Tunnel-Caltech-Traffic-Only), or a Caltech IP address starting with (if using Tunnel-All-Traffic).

Disconnecting the AnyConnect client

To disconnect the AnyConnect client, Right-click (Windows) or left-click (Linux and Mac OS X) on the lock icon in the System tray or Menu Bar.

If the client window is minimized, Disconnect and Quit will behave exactly the same. The VPNconnection will be terminated and the client program will quit. If the client window is not minimized, Disconnect and Quit behave differently. Disconnect will terminate the VPNconnection, but leave the client window on the screen. Quit will terminate the VPNconnection and close the AnyConnect client, removing the window from the screen.

You can also use the client window to disconnect the AnyConnect client. When the connection is established, the window will change as in the following illustration.

To disconnect the AnyConnect client, click on the Connection tab near the top of the window. The button at the bottom of the window will change to Disconnect. Click on it to terminate the VPN connection.

The client window will remain on the screen. You can quit the AnyConnect client by clicking in the Close box of the window.

Preferences Settings

The AnyConnect client has several preference settings that can be adjusted. To see them, launch the client from the Start menu. In the client window you'll see a small square icon next to the Connect to: drop down menu. It looks like two small "gears". In this illustration, there is a orange outline around the icon. Click on the "gear" icon.

In the Preferences window, there are 4 settings that can be changed.

The Connect on start-up option will launch the client as soon as you have logged into your computer.

The Minimize on connect option will cause the client to automatically minimize after it has successfully connected.

The Enable local LAN access allows the user to access local resources (such as a printer). You may want this if you are connecting from home, but turn it off while traveling.

The Auto reconnect option will attempt to reconnect to the VPNservice if a connection is dropped.

Updating the AnyConnect client

The AnyConnect client has an auto-update feature. When new versions of the client are released, the updated clients are placed on the VPNserver. Then, when a client connects, it checks to see if there is a newer version of the client. If a newer version is found, it will download the update and apply it. You may see a window like this when you connect:

If you see this window, wait for it to finish before doing anything else. Don't interrupt the process. The installer will finish the process and the connection will proceed as normal.

Deleting the AnyConnect Client

Linux users can delete the AnyConnect client as follows:

In a terminal window, issue the following commands:

cd /opt/cisco/vpn/bin
sudo ./

You should get a message indicating that the AnyConnect client was successfully removed.