Tag Archives: VPN

Notify-send command

So the other day I was looking around and discovered the notify-send command. It basically sends notifications to the desktop. Pretty useful now adays.

[11:49:13] xavi@thinkpad: ~ $ sudo dpkg -S `which notify-send`
libnotify-bin: /usr/bin/notify-send
[11:49:15] xavi@thinkpad: ~ $

It is installed with libnotify-bin via aptitude.

[11:50:35] xavi@thinkpad: ~ $ sudo aptitude install libnotify-bin

So, once installed lets create a practical script. On my job I need to have a permanente VPN connection. Once in a while the VPN connection drops and we have to connect again. Lets create a simple script that notifies us when the connection drops.


# Check tunnel interface
while "true"; do
        /sbin/ifconfig tun0 &> /dev/null
        while [ $? -ne 0 ]; do
                notify-send -t 5000 "VPN" "VPN is down"
        sleep 300

We save and copy the script, give it execution permissions with chmod and send it to background.

[11:55:47] xavi@thinkpad: ~ $ chmod +x /tmp/check-vpn.sh; /tmp/check-vpn.sh &
[1] 15613
[12:00:43] xavi@thinkpad: ~ $

Here is a screenshot of it working.

vpn notify-send


Configuring VPN client under Linux

Due to my work I sometimes have to VPN to my job from home. But I use a Linux PowerPC laptop and have to log in to a Cisco box. Cisco doesn’t provides support for Linux on PowerPC. So where is the solution? The solution is VPNC. How do we install it? Easy:

shell$ sudo aptitude install vpnc

Now we need to configure the config file. We are going to modify /etc/vpnc/example.conf.

shell$ sudo cp /etc/vpnc/example.conf /etc/vpnc/connect.conf
shell$ cat /etc/vpnc/connect.conf
#IPSec gateway
#IPSec secret
#IKE Authmode hybrid
#Xauth username

We need to replace the gateway entry with the IP/hostname of the server we want to connect to, the ID with the group you belong to, the secret with the password for the group you belong to and the username with your username. Once configured you just have to fire up vpnc.

shell$ sudo vpnc /etc/vpnc/connect.conf
Enter password for username@server:
Connect Banner:
| Connecting to VPN.

VPNC started in background (pid: 4566)…

Now you should be able to see a tun interface when executing /sbin/ifconfig.

shell$ /sbin/ifconfig tun0
tun0 Link encap:UNSPEC HWaddr 00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00-00
inet addr: P-t-P: Mask:
RX packets:2 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:2 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:500
RX bytes:290 (290.0 B) TX bytes:154 (154.0 B)

Enjoy your VPN connection. More info here and here.