Connect a Linux device to University of Sheffield VPN

Install vpnc either building from source or using a package manager (eg. apt-get)

Edit file /etc/vpnc.conf or /etc/vpnc/default.conf as follows:

  1. IPSec gateway vpn.shef.ac.uk
  2. IPSec ID unishef
  3. IPSec secret unishef
  4. Xauth username [university username]
  5. Xauth password [remote access password]

Use the commands vpnc & vpnc-disconnect to manage the connection.


If you are using a Debian based Linux OS such as Ubuntu, it is also possible to use the graphical user interface to manage your VPN connection. To do this, run the following command - apt-get install network-manager-vpnc-gnome and follow the installation steps. Once the package is installed, the following configurations steps are required:

  1. Using the graphical user interface, go to "Settings" then "Network"
  2. Under VPN, select the "+" icon
  3. Select "Cisco Compatible VPN (vpnc)" from the Add VPN menu
  4. Enter the following configuration
  • Name - UoS
  • Gateway - vpn.shef.ac.uk
  • User name - Enter your University of Sheffield username
  • Group name - unishef
  1. Press the "Add" button
  2. Now test the connection by moving the slider from OFF to ON under UoS
  3. Enter your University of Shaffield Remote Access (RATS) Password
  4. Enter a group password of "unishef"
  5. Press connect

To connect to VPN you will need a remote access password. Click on the link below if you need to request one.

Computer account management