HowTo: Connect to the SUTD's VPN using (Arch) Linux as a Student

I’ve recently came across the problem of connecting to the SUTD VPN server from overseas. SUTD’s IT support for (Arch) Linux at the time of writing is none, and after a bit of research I’ve found a quick and easy solution.

SUTD runs Pulse Connect Secure (PCS) server, a commercial solution known as Juniper SSL VPN. Luckily there is an open-source client that supports PCS named OpenConnect. Arch has an openconnect package and a NetworkManager plugin called networkmanager-openconnect. Install both packages trough your package manager.

Then you can use the (user-friendly?) NetworkManager GUI to add the new VPN setup. Use the openconnect profile and all the default options (eg: no need of Realm, and Certificates). Point your Gateway to https://sutdvpn.sutd.edu.sg/dana-na/auth/url_0/welcome.cgi and your GUI screen should look like this:

SUTD VPN Student

Then save it and you will be prompted to accept a certificate. Once you accept it you can enter your username (student_id eg: 1001234) and passwords (same as the SUTD_Student network’s one). Once you are connected your GUI should present you a message to confirm that. You can manually check it using ifconfig and route commands. If you encounter problems try to have a look here or post a comment below.

P.S. Thanks to Nils’s post from which I’ve started my research, this post should update it with an easier setup!

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Daniele Antonioli
PhD in Computer Science, MS and BS Electronics and Telecom Engineering

My research interests include distributed robotics, mobile computing and programmable matter.

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