If you are a student at the University of Bergen (UiB), you might have discovered that UiB now uses Cisco AnyConnect instead of their own, self-hosted alternative like before. Personally, I find the Cisco AnyConnect app to be very privacy invading, demaing all these different privileges… so I started looking for alternatives. Luckily, I found an open-source alternative, OpenConnect.

Step 1: Installation

Firstly, you need to install OpenConnect.

Linux
sudo apt update
sudo apt install openconnect
macOS
brew install openconnect

Step 2: Getting your VPN certificate

  1. Login on vpn3.uib.no, with your UiB credentials (abc001)
  2. Right-click anywhere and click Show page info
  3. There should be a “tab” named Security, click that
  4. Click Show Certificate
  5. In Firefox, under Miscellaneous, you should be able to find a section that says “Download”, choose PEM (cert) and save it to your downloads folder (~/Downloads)

Step 3: Setting up the certificate

Now that you have managed to retrieve your VPN certificate, you need to setup the certificate so that you will be able to use it.

I created a folder in my home directory (~/) called .cert, so that it is hidden whenever I navigate my files via the File Explorer/Browser.

You can also do that, just do the following:

cd ~/
mkdir .cert
mv Downloads/vpn3-uib-no.pem .cert/

Now the certificate is ready to be used when we connect with OpenConnect

Step 4: Creating an alias (shortcut)

To save yourself from writing a long command everytime you need to use the VPN, we can create an alias.

This will depend of which shell you are using, I am using ZSH, but the steps are similar for BASH as well.

  1. nano ~/.zshrc
    • .bashrc if you are using BASH
  2. Paste this at the end of the file, and change the username:
    • alias vpn="sudo openconnect --user=abc001 --cafile=~/.cert/vpn3-uib-no.pem vpn3.uib.no"
  3. To save and exit out of nano, press CTRL+X and then Y (for yes) and then Enter to write the changes.
  4. Run source .zshrc

You should now be able to run the command vpn to connect to UiB VPN.

Step 5: How to use

  1. Run vpn
  2. Input your computer-password
  3. Input your UiB password
  4. (Optional) Input your Microsoft 2FA code
  5. Sucess!

Disconnecting

Press CTRL+C

Suggestions and/or questions

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!