Set up the VPN

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Setting up the VPN can be somewhat tricky, as the installer for the Juniper client does a couple of stupid things.


First of all, if you try to install it from the VPN webpage, you are prompted with a dialog box that asks you for the root password. If you're running any Ubuntu installation, you should know that there is no root password. While this can be a nice security feature, the folks at Juniper haven't figured this out and you cannot sudo the necessary commands.

Second, if you are running a 64-bit implementation of java, then you're going to run into even more problems. On Windows, there is a 64-bit version of the Network connect client! However, for some reason beyond my comprehension, the client still requires the usage of a 32-bit java implementation. This, obviously, makes no sense. I have not tried to obtain a 64-bit version of the Network connect client for Linux, but I had enough trouble with the Windows version that it's likely not worth my time.

Solution... sort of

A very nice person by the name of Paul Smith has created a script to run the network connect client and configure it nicely for you. If you're running a 32-bit OS and Java, then you're good and that should work just fine for you. However, I was getting an issue where it would not let me continue past a certain point (specifically that it "Failed to set permissions on /home/username/.juniper_networks/network_connect/ncsvc"). This would then result in a connection time of 0 seconds and a "Session timeout" error when trying to run the applet.

My solution

We run an ever so slightly tweaked version of the junipernc script provided by Paul, which will be uploaded soon. Note that this will ONLY run on the Mines network. The big thing is that it deals with the REALM for you instead of trying to figure it out.

Follow all the directions on Paul's site up until the step where you run junipernc for the first time.

cd to the folder ~/.juniper_networks/network_connect/. In the directory above, a file called "ncLinuxApp.jar" resides.

jar xf ../ncLinuxApp.jar

This should extract the files from the .jar into the network_connect directory.

Run the following commands in succession

sudo chown 0:0 ncsvc
sudo chmod 06711 ncsvc
sudo ldd ncsvc

The last one is to ensure that the required libraries are installed. If they aren't, I assume you can install them, but I did not have to.

Finally, run junipernc. Everything should work now!

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