Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Google Chrome, Ubuntu, and Cisco AnyConnect

I need to use Cisco's AnyConnect VPN client. It's worked quite well with FireFox on Ubuntu, although I had to forgo the upgrade to 9.10 because the VPN client wouldn't work with the kernels that came with 9.10. (That wasn't the only reason I didn't go to 9.10, so I wasn't really bothered by it.)

I've been using Google Chrome for the last few weeks instead of FireFox. It is noticeably faster on my Lenovo x300. Going back to FireFox seems excruciatingly slow. I decided to try Chrome with the Cisco VPN client. It's not officially supported, but both FireFox and Chrome are supposed to support standards, so what could be the problem?

It worked on my Lenovo with Ubuntu 10.04, but when I tried it on my netbook with Ubuntu Netbook Remix 10.04, it didn't work. It would get to the point where the client is supposed to actually start, and then nothing would happen.

I finally noticed that on the Lenovo, I had the IcedTea plugin installed, whereas on the netbook I was trying to do exactly what was supported by Cisco (Sun Java and some fiddling to get the plugin working). So I installed IcedTea on the netbook, and it worked just fine.

To install IcedTea, start System-> Adminstration-> Synaptic Package Manager, enter your password, then put "icedtea" in the "Search" field. Right click on "icedtea6-plugin", select "Mark for installation" and then click on the "Apply" button. Or, if you like the Terminal, type "sudo apt-get install icedtea6-plugin" in a terminal.

(Update for Ubuntu 11.04: the package to install is called "icedtea-plugin" now. No version number.)

It's always fun when you try to do something exactly by the book and it doesn't work, and then you do it the way you think should work, and it does.

Unfortunately, Exchange 2010 Outlook Web Access doesn't support Chrome, so I'm forced to use the crippled "Lite" interface. So I'll probably end up using FireFox anyway.

2 comments:

Avinash Agrawal said...

Exchange 2010 Outlook Web Access works on google Chrome browser on windows, but not on Google chrome OS notebook

Larry Reid said...

Good point. Most of the non-MS browsers on Windows can run the IE browser within a window, so they don't have the compatibility problems.