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An Important Note

When connecting to the VPN, you must run the OpenVPN software with administrative privileges - please note that it is not sufficient to have logged in to Windows with an Administrator-level account. If you fail to do this, although the software might report that you have connected succesfully, your connection will not work. Please see the troubleshooting section below.

Installing

To set it up on Windows , download and run the OpenVPN installer.

  • You may be asked if you want to allow the program to make changes to the computer: select "Yes".
  • You will be shown a "Welcome to the setup wizard" screen: click "Next".
  • You will be asked to review the licence agreement: Click "I agree."
  • You will be asked to choose components. Leave all the components ticked and click 'Next'.
  • You will asked to choose a location for OpenVPN. Accept the default and click 'Install'.
  • You may be asked to approve the installation of a TAP adapter. If so, click 'Install'.
  • You will see some messages which should end with the line 'Completed'. Click 'Next'.
  • You will be given the option to show the 'README' file. Click 'Finish'.

To configure OpenVPN to connect to the Chemistry department, you will need to download the configuration file for Windows. (Right-click the link and select 'Save Link as...' and save to the hard disk). Copy the file into the 'config' directory within OpenVPN: if you installed to the default location (c:\Program Files (x86)\OpenVPN), that directory will be c:\Program Files (x86)\OpenVPN\config\

Connecting

To connect to the department, find the 'OpenVPN GUI' start icon, right-click it and select 'Run as Administrator'. (If you find it tedious to perform this step every time, download and then run this script to save you the bother.) The icon will appear in the system tray with red computer screens. Right click that icon and select 'connect': you will be asked for your Admitto credentials. The icon screens will change to yellow, then green once you have connected.

The tray icon conveys meaning through colour:

  • Icon with red screens: disconnected.
  • Icon with yellow screens: connecting.
  • Icon with green screens: connected.
  • Icon with orange screens: reconnecting.

Logging in with saved credentials

If you had rather Windows didn't prompt you for a password every time you want to connect, you can set up OpenVPN in a slightly different way using your ChemNet token. This token can be saved on your computer so you don't have to type it in every time. 

  • Download this config file and this dummy credentials file . Put them both into the OpenVPN config directory. You will need to edit the dummy credentials file - see next bullet point.
  • Edit the credentials file in Notepad or another text editor. Replace the dummy credentials with your ChemNet username and token. You can collect the token from https://apps.ch.cam.ac.uk/ssms/collectchemnet . Remember that the ChemNet username is your CRSID followed by @ch.cam.ac.uk
  • When you start OpenVPN you should now have the option of using the 'chemnettoken' profile which should connect without having to type in a password. 

Troubleshooting

The most common problem is not running OpenVPN GUI as administrator: it will not work as an ordinary user. Errors about failing to add a 'route' in the output usually mean that this is the problem.

  • Right-click the tray icon and select 'Exit'.
  • Find the 'OpenVPN GUI' start icon, right-click it and select 'Run as Administrator'. (If you find it tedious to perform this step every time, download and then run this script to save you the bother.)

If you can start the OpenVPN GUI but it does not accept your password, check that you are typing your Admitto password (unless you followed the instructions in the Logging in with saved credentials section above). Your UIS password will not work.

If you can start the OpenVPN GUI but get no 'Connect' option then your installation is missing its config files, or they are in the wrong place, or have been given the wrong names. Download the Windows config file and copy it into the 'config' directory within OpenVPN: if you installed to the default location (c:\Program Files (x86)\OpenVPN), that directory will be c:\Program Files (x86)\OpenVPN\config\

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