Linux/BSD - Network Manager

Use of the VPN is required to access department resources from off-campus. This provides greater security than if department-operated systems were exposed directly to the Internet.

NetworkManager is a common network configuration tool that is present in many Linux distributions. It presents an easy to use GUI to configure your network settings, including various VPN services such as the one leveraged by the department.

Required Dependencies

The NetworkManager and NetworkManager Applet are usually installed by default in most Linux distributions, but the plugin for OpenVPN is not. The exact package names can vary from distribution to distribution, but here are some common ones, along with their easy copy/paste install lines.

Debian/Ubuntu and derivatives

sudo apt install network-manager-openvpn-gnome


sudo dnf install NetworkManager-openvpn-gnome

Arch and derivatives

sudo pacman -S networkmanager-openvpn

Using your distribution’s package manager, install the package and proceed to Create the VPN Entry.


You may need to restart your NetworkManager instance before the plugin will be detected. Depending on how your system is configured this could be as simple as logging out of your session and back in, or may require to restart the service via systemctl. If you don’t want to worry about which way it’s configured, you can reboot your entire system.

Create the VPN entry

Download this configuration file by right-clicking on it and selecting “Save Link As”. This file should go in a known location, such as your Downloads directory. You will use this file in a couple of steps.

Right click the NetworkManager Applet icon – which will look similar to either the “NetworkManager Applet (Wired)” (NetworkManager Applet (Wired)) or “NetworkManager Applet (WiFi)” (NetworkManager Applet (WiFi)) depending on if you’re using Ethernet or WiFi.

In the new menu that pops up, select Edit Connections which will open a new window similar to this:

NetworkManager Connection List Window

Click the + icon in the lower left hand corner to have it open a new window where you can select the type of connection to create:

NetworkManager New Connection Window

Select Import a saved VPN Configuration... from the drop down list, and click the Create... button in the lower right hand corner.

A file browser dialogue should appear, allowing you to browse to the configuration file downloaded earlier.

NetworkManager Edit Connection Window

Select the file and click the Open button in the lower right-hand corner of the dialogue.

The configuration file should be imported into a new profile, and a dialoge window should appear verifying the settings. Please enter your Computer Science username and password combination here, and click Save.

NetworkManager Edit Connection Window

Connect to the VPN

Left-click the NetworkManager Applet icon, and hover over the VPN Connections menu entry to reveal the newly created VPN connection, which should be called CSCI-VPN. Select it from the list, and a connection should be established.

If your connection is successful, you will see a new lock icon (NetworkManager VPN Active Lock Icon) that overlays on top of your NetworkManager Applet icon in the lower right hand corner:

Disconnect from the VPN

When work has been completed, left-click on the NetworkManager Applet icon, then disable the VPN with the switch/slider at the top of the VPN Connections menu section.