Cisco VPN Mac Client

I needed to get VPN access using a Cisco VPN client over the weekend. I didn’t have access to the PC version so I decided to search for a Mac version if there was one.

Thankfully MacUpdate came to the rescue and I found a Mac flavour of the Cisco VPN client and I was able to use the saved .pcf file I’d been sent.

There was one problem I came up against. I imported the .pcf file and tried to connect to the VPN connection. It failed saying that the IKE Port was already in use by another VPN client. I had been trying to use the Mac OS X VPN client to connect using some of the settings in the .pcf file but that failed, probably due to the encrypted Group Password that I’d have needed.

The solution came from forums about needing to add a setting to the .pcf file. When you’ve imported the .pcf file into the Cisco VPN Client, it copies it into its own profile folder. Close the VPN client and open up a Terminal window and navigate to the profiles directory:

cd /etc/CiscoSystemsVPNClient/Profiles/

Open the .pcf file you wish to use in your favourite text editor (nano for me) and add this extra line to the bottom:

UseLegacyIKEPort=0

Save it and try loading it again.  Worked first time for me!

Now the only trouble is that the Mac Remote Desktop Connection application just can’t handle sending the backslash character from a non US keyboard. The word on the blogs were that even the latest version 2.0 beta didn’t fix the problem after years of it kicking around.  Still its so useful that its not that bad.

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