Using Juniper Network Connect on GNU/Linux

Connecting to a Juniper VPN from a GNU/Linux system using Network Connect could be a bit tricky, so here are instructions on how to properly configure your GNU/Linux system for establishing connection to a Juniper VPN using Network Connect.

There is a Juniper KB25230 article, which describes how to install the Network Connect client on GNU/Linux systems, but every time I try installing the client following that KB entry I find myself doing some extra work in order to get everything installed and running correctly.

For that reason, I thought of having this documented somewhere would really help me out when I need to install Network Connect client again in the near future.

The following instructions were tested on a Debian GNU/Linux 7.8 amd64 system.

First, download and unpack the 32bit version of Oracle Java runtime for GNU/Linux. The version that I've used at the time of writing this is jre-8u45-linux-i586.tar.gz. Considering that you've downloaded the archive, we will now unpack and install it.

$ tar zxvf jre-8u45-linux-i586.tar.gz
$ sudo mv jre1.8.0_45 /usr/lib/jvm/
$ sudo update-alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /usr/lib/jvm/jre1.8.0_45/bin/java 10

Juniper Network Connect requires that the 32bit libraries are installed, so let's do that first.

$ sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

Now, let's install the Java browser plugin. Using OpenJDK 7 doesn't work (at least for me), that is why we use OpenJDK version 6 here instead.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install openjdk6-jre icedtea6-plugin xterm

Note, that you will also need xterm installed as the Network Connect client requires xterm as well.

One final thing that you need to take care of is granting your user sudo(8) rights. We will add our user to the sudo group, which we already have on our Debian GNU/Linux system.

$ sudo gpasswd --add sudo <username>

Next thing you do is point your browser to the Juniper VPN URL and connect using credentials.

Written on June 7, 2015