Mac OS X versions 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and above provide native support for connecting to the OUCS Cisco-based VPN service. Alternatively OUCS also provide the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client which also supports OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and 10.7 (Lion).
This document contains instructions on how to configure the native VPN client that comes with Mac OS X 10.6 and above. In order to use the VPN service you will also need to have the necessary Remote Access Services username and passwords - for details see the main OUCS VPN Service page.
Please make sure that you have read the introduction and general requirements, which apply to all VPN clients, before attempting to configure your computer or mobile device to connect to the VPN.
There are a number of requirements necessary in order to use the VPN service on Apple Macintoshes; these are detailed below.
If you are running a version of Mac OS X lower than 10.6 you will need to refer instead to the document on Configuring the AnyConnect Client on Mac OS X Systems.
2. Obtaining the prerequisite information for configuring the inbuilt VPN client
As part of the process of configuring the inbuilt VPN client you will need to
supply some group configuration information. Members of Oxford University can
download a file containing this information from the OUCS Self-Registration
and Downloads web page. Once on this page select
for Linux/Unix from the list and click the
button. You will see a page that asks you to accept the University regulations
relating to the use of Information Technology facilities and the University's
general Disclaimer of Liability. After you have read these documents click the
Accept button to proceed. This will bring you to the
download page where you can click the
vpnc configuration file
link to download the configuration file. A window containing the information
should now pop up on your desktop. Make a note of the
secret as you will need this information later on (it will be
referred to as the shared secret) and then close the window using
the close window link.
You have now obtained the information that you need from the Self-registration web pages.
3. Configuring and using the inbuilt VPN client
To use Mac OS X's inbuilt support for Cisco VPN you will first need to open
[System Preferences], which you can do from the dock, the
[Apple] menu or by finding it in the
[System Preferences] window click the
Network icon to bring up the Network
+at the bottom of the left hand pane to bring up a dialogue window to add a new network interface. Within the dialogue window make the follow changes:
Figure images/addingnewinterface.png [Dialogue to add a new interface within System Preferences Network window]
Createto add the new interface. This will return you to the Network window with the newly added interface ready to configure. To configure the interface make the following changes:
Figure images/addingnewinterface-2.png [Window to configure the newly added network (VPN) interface]
Authentication Settings...button to bring up another dialogue window which requires the following information:
Shared secretradio button and fill in the text field using the information that you obtained earlier
Group Namefield to
Figure images/adding-group-info.png [Window prompting for group information whilst configuring newly added network (VPN) interface]
OK button to return to the Network window. If you
are likely to use the VPN client regularly you may want to include the status of the
VPN connection in your menu bar. If you do want to do this you must tick the check
Show VPN status in menu bar.
Apply button to complete the configuration for this new VPN
interface. The new interface should now appear in the left hand pane indicated
by a locked padlock icon. Note that the status of the interface will show as
Figure images/newinterfaceadded.png [System Preferences Network window showing the newly configured network (VPN) interface]
To make a connection to the VPN service simply click the
found on the Network window. (This can be found underneath the
Authentication Settings... button.) Once the connection has
been established the Network window will show that the status of the VPN
interface has changed to Connected and it will display the connect time
and the IP address.
4. Connecting to the OUCS VPN service using the inbuilt VPN client
Do remember to disconnect from the VPN service once you no longer need it by
Disconnect button within the Network window.
Alternatively, if you chose to include the status of the VPN connection in your menu bar by ticking the box labelled Show VPN status in menu bar during the configuration process you can connect and disconnect using the VPN icon in the top menu bar. Look for the VPN icon in the top menu bar and click the icon to bring up the drop down menu.
Simply choose the
[Connect] option from this menu to make a VPN
connection. You can also use this menu to disconnect your session once you no longer
5. Further Information
For information on firewalls and IP address allocations refer to the OUCS VPN Service technical details page.
If you have problems with the inbuilt client you may prefer to use the Cisco AnyConnect Client. Instructions are available from the Configuring the AnyConnect Client on Mac OS X Systems page.