Linux Debian Installation Instructions

Summary How to install the Cisco Systems VPN Client on Linux Debian kernel.
These instructions were provided by an end-user and are untested.
  1. Use preferred package management tool (aptitude, apt-get, synaptic) to download kernel source of your current kernel (this can be deduced by typing:

    uname -r

    ... at the shell. Then e.g. use search command of whatever of the mentioned package managers to find packages containing the string returned by 'uname' command).

  2. Install downloaded kernel source package. Installing source package will only put the source tarball (something like 'linux-source-x.x.xx.tar.bz2') in '/usr/src' directory. You need to extract this using:

    tar -xjvf linux-source-x.x.xx.tar.bz2

    This will create a linux kernel subdirectory in '/usr/src' (e.g. /usr/src/linux-source-x.x.xx/')

  3. Enter the kernel source directory and do

    make oldconfig

    ... and afterwards:

  4. The tedious part: in the same directory as in 3. do:

    make modules

    (In fact, vpn installation only needs a modinst file in mod/ subdirectory, so after this after you see that modinst is compiled you can abort this lenghty compilation. Of course, this will leave your sources half-compiled so might not be wise to do unless you know and remember what you have done.)

  5. Download vpn client from web site.

  6. Do:

    tar -xzvf whateveryoudownloaded.tar.gz

    (z in xzvf means uze gzip, j means use bzip)

  7. Enter the newly created directory and do:


    If this does not work do:

    chmod u+x vpn_install
  8. Install should run smoothly. Do

    depmod -a

    Add cisco_ipsec to /etc/modules, for automatic installation of the module at boot. modprobe cisco_ipsec also works.

  9. Now follow carefully the instructions from the site and everything should work ok.


  • If you have a custom built kernel, it's probably already setup as it should, but if something during the compilation of 'vpnclient' goes wrong, try to play around with step 3) and maybe 4). Observe the error messages (warnings not so important) issued by make/gcc/...
  • Here I didn't say which commands should be run as a superuser which is important for newbies to linux.