Ubuntu 12.04: Networking Setup

For the most part, networking just works on the installation.  The network manager works nicely and is your key to managing network connections.  My laptop has handled switching between wireless networks fairly nicely as well as connecting to a USB Network device (my docking station).

This post will look at

  • Adding VPN connections
  • Remmina

Cisco VPN

Network Manager icon in notification area > VPN Connections > Configure VPN

Adding a VPN — Cisco VPN is not an option.

If you search for vpn in Ubuntu Software Center, you will find a number of vpn options.  You have to click on the link to display the technical items.  My particular one at the moment is the Cisco VPN, so I installed vpnc.  I need the package that says network manager in it to control it from the network manager.

Now, I have the Cisco VPN in my list when I try to Add a VPN:

But, instead of adding a connection, I have a PCF file with all of the settings in it.  I used the import button to load all of the settings.  After choosing the file, I get this dialog:

Finally, I usually visit http://whatismyipaddress.com/ after configuring any VPN to make sure that Split Tunneling is setup.  If the location shows my city, then I know my normal network traffic is not going through the VPN.  If the location show my remote location, then all of my network traffic is going through the VPN, which I don’t usually want.

Another Microsoft VPN

I have another location that I use VPN to connect, and I am pretty sure they are using Microsoft Window’s VPN server.  I added a new VPN connection the same way as above, but this time I chose the PPTP option.

On the first tab, I found I had to enter the Gateway and the User Account information (user name, password, and Windows domain).

On the Advanced tab, I found that I had to select the “Use Point-to-Point encryption” or it wouldn’t connect.

On the IPv4 Settings, I had to tweak the DNS settings.  I think this might just be because the server is not configured correctly.  I set the “Method” to Addresses only so that I could override the “DNS Servers” and “Search Domains”.

Then, to make split tunneling work, I added a default route and told it to use the connection only for resources on it’s network.

Using Google DNS

I have had issues with one of the DNS setups in the past.  The easy fix has been to use Google’s DNS.  You can see how to set it up on their homepage.

Google Developers: Using Google Public DNS

I simply put their DNS servers on the IPv4 Settings tab of the Connection Properties.

Remmina

I have finally decided to completely switch to Remmina from Gnome RDP.  So, I am not even installing Gnome RDP.  Both programs offer a great way to easily connect to remote systems.  They support Windows Remote Desktop, SSH, and VNC connections.

First, I restored ~/.remmina in order to keep my settings.  I also restored ~/.ssh to keep my keys for SSH connections.

I found that Remmina was already installed in the Software Center.  After reading several blog articles (I Love Ubuntu and OMG!Ubuntu!), I found that Remmina is the new default Remote Desktop and VNC client.  So, it is installed by default.

Since installing Ubuntu 12.04, I have had a few issues:

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