Cisco AnyConnect with Ubuntu server

Cisco has a VPN client called AnyConnect which is used with its SSL VPN products. I don’t know that much about the details of their product line, but I happened to be attempting to use it in a weird situation and ran into some trouble. I’m running an Ubuntu server AMI on Amazon EC2, so it’s a quite minimal install. It seems that pretty much every error with the program comes up as the following:

>> error: Connection attempt has failed due to server certificate problem.

In my case, there were several issues. First of all, it requires several shared libraries. If you run the following, it should take care of all of the shared library requirements missing in the default install:

$ sudo apt-get install libnss3-1d

Next, it actually expects Firefox to be installed, because it apparently messes around with the firefox config store. I installed Firefox to no avail (which downloaded about 300 MB of packages), so I will save you the time and let you know that that was both unnecessary and useless to solve the problem. All you need is a Firefox profile for it to stick some new cert info in. This command (executed from the user’s home dir) should do the trick:

$ mkdir -p .mozilla/firefox/anything.default

And one more thing to mention, various forum posts I saw mentioned not to run the “vpn” program (used to manage the VPN state) as root. So, I ran it as my normal user.

Once I did all of that, everything worked great. Cool.

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