VPN My MBP to prove to the PC guys

TheBlackLabEdge

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 4, 2013
40
2
Our server is running off Red Hat linux; normally our software support has us download power term & openvpn & we're off to the races. They said power term is very expensive for macs & recommended I install parallels, windows 7 & they can go from there.

My cousin, who is 3 states away said the MBP basically has everything I need, it just needs configured. Someone please tell me it can be done.....& point me in the right direction.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,149
1,114
Pennsylvania
Our server is running off Red Hat linux; normally our software support has us download power term & openvpn & we're off to the races. They said power term is very expensive for macs & recommended I install parallels, windows 7 & they can go from there.

My cousin, who is 3 states away said the MBP basically has everything I need, it just needs configured. Someone please tell me it can be done.....& point me in the right direction.
Power Term looks like Terminal, which is pre-installed on OS X. For Open VPN, you'll have to download Tunnlblick and configure it.

Of course don't expect them to help if something doesn't work.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,366
978
New England
Power Term looks like Terminal, which is pre-installed on OS X.
Really. Why would you have to install a unix terminal emulator in Parallels on a Mac instead of running a unix terminal?

What do you use Power Term for in this case anyhow, ssh? If so, there are other native options beyond Terminal.

B
 

TheBlackLabEdge

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 4, 2013
40
2
Ok, I smarter than the average Joe, but stupider than the average geek. The windows machines use power term to emulate a vt220 & connect to the "front end" called turnkey - http://www.turnkeynet.com. Basically, using their menuing system. I can query the db with ODBC through Excel/libreoffice base.

I don't buy their "we can't do it securely" from a mac. My research did lead me to tunnelblick, but didn't pursue configuring it. I can get all the settings for the vpn from my old pc laptop (which I have mainly kept around because of this). I figured a linux or OS X machine should be easier than a win machine for this type of thing.
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,631
476
Estonia
OS X also has a decent VPN client bulit in, that just needs to be configured. You need to know the VPN protocol and parameters beforehand, to succeed at that. Here's an illustrated guide:
http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/network/vpn/macosx-native/
Pay attention, it describes configuration for their particular service, so you need to be creative or just google for instructions for the exact VPN protocol that you need to configure.
 

priitv8

macrumors 68040
Jan 13, 2011
3,631
476
Estonia
Thanks, I will get to studying!!
BTW if you or your organization were to own OS X Server, you could download VPN-enabling configuration profiles to all your clients in a blink of an eye.
That way your network admin needs to enter VPN parameters only once and distribute the profile via e-mail or web download, for example. End users would only need to double-click the downloaded profile and setup would happen automagically.
 

mac8867

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2010
457
22
Saint Augustine, FL
Honestly, it sounds like your IT people are so backwards, and quite lazy. I recommend you follow their original instructions and go with a Windows Virtual Machine --- but not for the same reason they used. Personally, I would never let my nice clean OSX anywhere near a loggin to that infrastruture. What do I care if they contract a massive virus and it smashes my virtual machine?

If that sounds appealing, try Virtual Box, http://www.virtualbox.org, it's openware. Make your idiot IT guys give you license keys for windoze and whatever else you need on it.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,766
5,262
There is a number of vt220 emulators for mac, just google for one. OS X also supports a number of VPN protocols out of the box (priitv8 posted a guide). There is no reason why this should not work - unless they are using a different kind of VPN, in which case you would need a specific VPN client.
 

laurihoefs

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2013
792
22
There is a number of vt220 emulators for mac, just google for one. OS X also supports a number of VPN protocols out of the box (priitv8 posted a guide). There is no reason why this should not work - unless they are using a different kind of VPN, in which case you would need a specific VPN client.
The OP mentioned OpenVPN, which is not supported by OS X natively. If any of the protocols supported by the built-in VPN client can be used, I agree it would be more handy. If OpenVPN is absolutely required, Tunnelblick is the best (and only) option.

Honestly, it sounds like your IT people are so backwards, and quite lazy. I recommend you follow their original instructions and go with a Windows Virtual Machine --- but not for the same reason they used. Personally, I would never let my nice clean OSX anywhere near a loggin to that infrastruture. What do I care if they contract a massive virus and it smashes my virtual machine?
I...don't even know where to begin. Are you really calling them lazy, because they have an infrastructure that sets certain requirements to client computers, and they don't have the budget to buy hugely expensive software licenses for a single user that happens to want to use unsupported hardware/software instead of what is readily available? And the virus BS... come on. I can't tell if you were being serious, or not.
 
Last edited:

willgreene99

macrumors regular
Dec 16, 2010
217
15
DFW
The OP mentioned OpenVPN, which is not supported by OS X natively. If any of the protocols supported by the built-in VPN client can be used, I agree it would be more handy. If OpenVPN is absolutely required, Tunnelblick is the best (and only) option.
I have used several Mac VPN clients, of which OpenVPN was one and there is a great guide located at OpenVPN Mac.

I would suggest to follow their guide and enter your host name to get the client to install. Since you have used it on a Windows PC, then the rest should be straightforward.

As for a good terminal program, I use ZOC6. It is my favorite terminal app that provides many of the features I have used from my Windows days such as SecurCRT and WinSCP. Then I use FileZilla for anything ftp, sftp, ftp over ssh, etc. These two apps along with the VPN client gives me everything I need to get my work done on any Unix, Linux server.
 

laurihoefs

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2013
792
22
I have used several Mac VPN clients, of which OpenVPN was one and there is a great guide located at OpenVPN Mac.

I would suggest to follow their guide and enter your host name to get the client to install. Since you have used it on a Windows PC, then the rest should be straightforward.

As for a good terminal program, I use ZOC6. It is my favorite terminal app that provides many of the features I have used from my Windows days such as SecurCRT and WinSCP. Then I use FileZilla for anything ftp, sftp, ftp over ssh, etc. These two apps along with the VPN client gives me everything I need to get my work done on any Unix, Linux server.
This.

When I said Tunnelblick was the only option, I was both not thinking straight, and not being specific enough. Tunnelblick is the only free client that I'm aware of, but that does not even matter: they are running OpenVPN, so they already have it licensed and can use the provided Mac client.

Sorry for the confusion, and thanks for pointing the OP to the right direction!
 

mac8867

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2010
457
22
Saint Augustine, FL
Are you really calling them lazy, because they have an infrastructure that sets certain requirements to client computers, and they don't have the budget to buy hugely expensive software licenses for a single user that happens to want to use unsupported hardware/software instead of what is readily available?
Yup... that is exactly right. There are options which do not have to be hugely expensive. If you read the OP's first entry, they blew him off. A good tech would have explored options. So, yes ---- LAZY
[/QUOTE]

And the virus BS... come on. I can't tell if you were being serious, or not.
Call it what you want. I don't let my OS interact with infrastructures I don't trust.
 

laurihoefs

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2013
792
22
Yup... that is exactly right. There are options which do not have to be hugely expensive. If you read the OP's first entry, they blew him off. A good tech would have explored options. So, yes ---- LAZY
Huh. I haven't heard anyone being called lazy just because they don't bend the rules for a single user. Interesting. What's your definition of hard working then? I'll make a quess: 'Having recless disregard of common good practices and rules.'

Call it what you want. I don't let my OS interact with infrastructures I don't trust.
Then... magical elves must have carried your reply to Macrumors.com servers. Or you are connected to one huge blob of untrusted infrastructure. Good luck with that.

P.S. Upvoted your post: very entertaining ;)
 

iPaintCode

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2012
136
34
Metro Detroit
Sometimes the help desk or IT guys/gals have to follow company policy or they risk losing their job. Are some lazy or single minded? Absolutely, but end of day company policy is company policy.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
If OpenVPN is absolutely required, Tunnelblick is the best (and only) option.
Not true. Viscosity is also a useful and nice OpenVPN client, though commercial ($9).

PrivateTunnel is another free Mac OpenVPN app, compiled directly by OpenVPN, and available on their website (just click on the Apple logo at the bottom to get it).


I...don't even know where to begin. Are you really calling them lazy, because they have an infrastructure that sets certain requirements to client computers, and they don't have the budget to buy hugely expensive software licenses for a single user that happens to want to use unsupported hardware/software instead of what is readily available?
No, he's calling them lazy because the IT department clearly provided incorrect information in the hopes that the Dumb Mac User would just go away, or install an OS for which they already have configuration scripts for and can mindlessly configure. When a couple minutes of searching could've shown that there's less effort required here.

And the virus BS... come on. I can't tell if you were being serious, or not.
If an IT department is dismissing users with "we can't securely connect our VT220-based system to your UNIX-underpinned Mac," then I'd be questioning their competency level, too. If they can't figure that out, who knows what else they can't figure out?
 

TheBlackLabEdge

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 4, 2013
40
2
Thanks for the good ideas. I'm sure I will have to start with getting OpenVPN configured. IT is actually from the company of the software we use. We're not big enough to require our own IT.

They are easy to get along with, but the kind that joke with me that the easiest way would be to return the Mac & get a PC. Believe me, yesterday when they were working with the secretary on a problem I had her tell them if it was a mac she wouldn't be having the problem.
 
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