Remote working: How to set up a VPN connection for Linux


  • A network connection outside of the UCL corporate network e.g. eduroam, broadband connection from home, café hotspot wireless etc
  • A UCL User ID and password.


  • Any local network devices will be unavailable, this will only affect people who have complex home network setups. Examples include wireless printing or wireless storage/backup in the home.

How to

  1. Direct your browser to
  2. Download the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client software appropriate for your version of Linux (i.e. 32bit or 64bit). Make sure this is in a location that you will remember. '/home/username/Downloads' is a common place for Ubuntu Users.
  3. You will need to extract the tarball ('tar.gz') file, including all of its subdirectories. This can be done using the GUI, or via the terminal. The terminal method is outlined below:

    • Open a terminal window.
    • Navigate to the directory containing the anyconnect tarball.(e.g. "cd /home/username/Downloads")
    • Extract the tarball using tar:  tar -xvzf anyconnect-predeploy-linux-x.x.x-k9.tar.gz for 32bit OS or tar -xvzf anyconnect-predeploy-linux-64-x.x.x-k9.tar.gz for 64bit OS. (where x is the version number)
  4. If you used the terminal method described above, you will already have a terminal window open that is in the correct directory, otherwise, open one and navigate there using the instructions above.
  5. Enter the 'ciscovpn' directory: cd ciscovpn
  6. You will need to run the install script using superuser privileges. On Ubunutu (and other Debian) based systems, this is accomplished through the 'sudo' command.  Different distributions may require other commands, such as 'su', or to log in as root:  sudo ./
  7. The license will appear, and the installation is complete.
  8. The Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility client will now be listed in your main menu, usually under 'Internet'.  After launching the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility client, you will be asked for the address of the VPN server you would like to access.  Enter the address ‘’ and click “Connect”.
  9. Click the Select button.  A listing of groups will be provided. From the Group dropdown list select RemoteAccess.  Enter your UCL Internet Username and password into the spaces provided and click Connect.
  10. Please remember you will be working on UCL's network when connected so you will be bound by UCL's policies and guidelines

**To disconnect, right-click on the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility client icon in the system tray and choose Disconnect.  This will disconnect you from the UCL VPN service but will still leave the client running in the background.  Choosing Quit will disconnect you and exit the client as well.

 Further resources