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About Virtual Private Networks (VPN)

From wikipedia: A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running across a VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network. Encryption is a common though not an inherent part of a VPN connection.

Usage requiring VPN connections

  • All remote desktop access (RDP) from off-campus
  • Access to campus license servers for UA licensed software
  • Access to UA network drives (not including Box)

How to request VPN access

  • Active faculty & staff have it by default
  • Students and third-parties (vendors, consultants, research partners) need to get faculty to request approval of department head. Then department secretary can request via this web form:


Here's a PDF with the steps to complete the web form:

Accessing the VPN

Accessing the UA VPN requires use of the Cisco AnyConnect application which can be found in the Tech tab of myBama.
Access is limited to:

  • active faculty and staff
  • students enrolled in a VPN-enabled course
  • students with approval of a department head or Dean
  • third-party vendors, contractors, or collaborators with OIT approval

Connecting the VPN via Linux terminal VPN

  • Install the "openconnect" package by whatever method that would be done on the end user's distro. On SUSE/openSUSE that would be done with "zypper install openconnect"
  • Once that is installed, open a terminal.
  • If running as root, or if you have already switched to root: openconnect --authgroup=oitadmin uavpn.ua.edu Enter LDAP username Enter password At the second password prompt, enter "push" for Duo.
  • If as a regular user: sudo openconnect --authgroup=oitadmin uavpn.ua.edu Enter local password to sudo Enter LDAP username Enter password At the second password prompt, enter "push" for Duo.

Two factor authentication (DUO)

DUO is required to access the campus VPN. This includes UA students, faculty and staff; anyone using VPN. When you connect to the campus VPN, you will be prompted for your username, password and second password. In the second password field, you can enter the word “push” to receive a push notification to your smartphone, or you can enter a passcode through the DUO app, via SMS text, or through the OIT self-service feature. Additional instructions for using DUO with VPN is available above under your operating system. More information about DUO can be found on OIT's DUO page.