Snow Leopard and (uninstalling) Cisco VPN

I mentioned reinstalling Shimo when I upgraded to Snow Leopard and that works really nicely for controlling my Cisco VPN connection but for that to work, you still need to install the official Cisco VPN client.

I also use VMware Fusion and find both this and the Cisco VPN client have a propensity to step on each others toes in the networking department, my hunch is it’s most likely because both create and monitor virtual network interfaces. The usual symptoms are that my virtual machines lose network connectivity or cannot access the VPN, or that I can’t bring the VPN connection up in the first place. Sometimes I can restore order to the VPN by restarting it with the following in the Terminal:

$ sudo /System/Library/StartupItems/CiscoVPN/CiscoVPN restart

Anyway, while I was tethering my Mac to my mobile phone I was fiddling with the Network preferences and noticed Snow Leopard gained native support for CIsco VPN connections:

Cisco VPN Interface Screenshot

This was probably in the release notes which I didn’t read, (well-known male trait), but anyway adding this new interface and configuring it with the right settings got it working first, second, third time once I remembered the correct password. It even feels quicker.

That left me with little need for Shimo or the Cisco VPN client. Uninstalling Shimo was easy, I removed it from my Login Items under Accounts preferences and then dragged it from the Applications folder to the trash.

Uninstalling the Cisco VPN client was harder as that came from an .mpkg file but then I remembered something about these leaving package receipts somewhere. Sure enough, under /Library/Receipts was a handful of vpnclient-*.pkg files. A bit of a google suggested each contains a .bom file that you can inspect with lsbom(8), I found the following worked in the Terminal:

$ lsbom /Library/Receipts/vpnclient-api.pkg/Contents/Resources/vpnclient-api.bom
.	40755	502/0
./Library	40755	502/0
./Library/Frameworks	40755	502/0
./Library/Frameworks/cisco-vpnclient.framework	40755	502/0
./Library/Frameworks/cisco-vpnclient.framework/Headers	40755	502/0
./Library/Frameworks/cisco-vpnclient.framework/Headers/vpnapi.h	100644	502/0	20265	1156317900
...

Delete any Cisco-specific files, (obviously don’t delete things like /Library/Frameworks) and then reboot to make sure there’s no stale daemons running or kernel extensions loaded.

Using the built-in VPN support doesn’t seem to cause any conflicts with VMware, I started the VPN while it was running and the virtual machines then had access to hosts on the remote network with no obvious problems. JFW, as they say.

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2 Responses to “Snow Leopard and (uninstalling) Cisco VPN”

  1. Thanks for this excellent article. My MBP 2011 was crashing due to the Cisco client conflicts with VMware. Using the native solved it.

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