Linux/BSD - Network Manager

NOTE: As of 10/29/2021 the university requires MFA to access the system. Steps to leverage this are currently unclear. If you are in need of accessing CSCI resources from Linux, please leverage the CSCI VPN (link to instructions are to the left of this page) or the openconnect-sso directions.

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 WWU.

WWU’s VPN service is powered by Cisco AnyConnect, but the common client for Linux is an opensource compatible client that NetworkManager has a plugin for, known as OpenConnect. OpenConnect can also be leveraged from the command line.

Required Dependencies

The NetworkManager and NetworkManager Applet are usually installed by default in most Linux distributions, but the plugin for OpenConnect 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-openconnect-gnome


sudo dnf install NetworkManager-openconnect-gnome

Arch and derivatives

sudo pacman -S networkmanager-openconnect

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

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 Cisco AnyConnect or openconnect (OpenConnect) from the drop down list, and click the Create... button in the lower right hand corner.

The new window that is created will allow you to edit your connection settings.

You will need to set these settings:

  1. An appropriate name for the connection. In the screenshot above, I have set it to WWU Split VPN because I will create a second connection for the Full VPN.

  2. Set the Gateway field to

Click the Save button in the lower right hand corner, and the window will close.

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. Select it from the list, and a connection window will appear:

NetworkManager Connection Window

You will need to set these settings:

  1. Set the group to your preferred tunnel type. Split-tunnel will only send traffic destined for WWU over the VPN. Full-tunnel will send all traffic over the VPN regardless of where its final destination is. Here, I have selected the Split-tunnel because I will make a second connection for Full-Tunnel.

  2. Enter your WWU Universal Account username.

  3. Enter your WWU Universal Account password.

  4. It is suggested that you click the save passwords box, or it will prompt you for all of the above each time you connect.


Your username does not include the that your email address does.

Once everything is entered, click the Login button to connect. If you accidentally click the Close button, you will need to repeat the above steps from Connect to the VPN.

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.