Simple ways to get your computer connected to SSH and VPN servers in GNOME.

26 Sep

Since i’ve been studying in CSE@UNSW. Almost all the jobs are connected with SSH servers and VPN servers(OpenVPN as an example here). If you are using Linux and the Gnome Environment, it is pretty easy for you to get all things fixed in simply a few steps. And this article is meant to guide you how to do it.

Note that the system involved in this tutorial is Ubuntu 10.10 beta, yet I believed that you won’t find many differences when configuring under other distributions of Linux.

1. Get your computer connected to the SSH server.

Go to Places -> Connect to Server

select type: SSH, type in the server address, port(usually 22), and your username and hit connect. (You may leave the folder to be blank, or if you want to enter a specific folder like /, you can input in the corresponding text-box.)
You can also right click on the panel, select Add to panel, and then select “Connect to Server” applet, and hit Connect.

After a prompt in which you enter your password, you can see a mounted folder on your desktop.  All done.

2. Get your computer connected to the VPN server using OpenVPN

First you need to install the openvpn application via using the following command typed in terminal: (or you can search OpenVPN in synaptic package manager)

sudo apt-get install openvpn

Second, you need to install a small applet using the following command:

sudo apt-get install network-manager-openvpn

After all these things done, you can  click on the network applet on your panel, and scroll down to the VPN menu, then click “Config VPN”. Now you shall see a “Network Connection” dialog. If you have already configured an wireless.conf file, you can simply hit “Import” from the dialog, and import the previous configuration. After all these things done. Click the applet icon again, scroll down to VPN menu, and hit the name of VPN. Since now, everything is done.

Yet, you may face a little problem in Ubuntu 10.10 beta. When i try to do this , i was informed that the VPN server could not be connected because invalid key secrets. If you are sure that the wireless.conf file are legal and you can start the openvpn service using command line, you may try the following:

Open a terminal and type: sudo gedit

Now you see a gnone text editor running under root privileges, open the file located at /etc/dbus-1/system.d

and add the following four lines into the file right between the two policy tags:

<policy user="at_console">
<allow own="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.vpnc"/>
<allow send_destination="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.vpnc"/>
Now your file shall look like this:
<!DOCTYPE busconfig PUBLIC
“-//freedesktop//DTD D-BUS Bus Configuration 1.0//EN”
<policy user="root">
<allow own="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.openvpn"/>
<allow send_destination="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.openvpn"/>
<policy user="at_console">
<allow own="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.vpnc"/>
<allow send_destination="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.vpnc"/>
<policy context="default">
<deny own="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.openvpn"/>
<deny send_destination="org.freedesktop.NetworkManager.openvpn"/>
restart the computer, and connect it again, everything shall be just fine!

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