Cisco’s 10.4-compatible VPN client is a work in progress…

Right now, if you need your VPN client to work, I’d recommend steering clear of Cisco’s recently-released 10.4 VPN client. When it works, it seems to work fine. When it’s not working, you have to uninstall and reinstall it to get it to work. However, if you’re on 10.4 and you have to use Cisco’s VPN client, here’s what you need to know:

1. Never restart after the installation – if you do, you’ll need to uninstall and reinstall.

2. Don’t change the default settings, then let it go to sleep – if you do, you’ll need to uninstall and reinstall.

3. Here’s how to uninstall and reinstall the VPN client:

a. Login as an administrator account.
b. Open Terminal
c. In the opened Terminal window type: sudo /usr/local/bin/vpn_uninstall and hit enter. This will bring up a prompt to confirm deletion.
d. Type yes and hit enter. A second prompt will come up to confirm deletion of the Client profiles.
e. Type yes and hit enter. – Once the process has completed you will get the following: “Cisco Systems VPN client uninstall completed successfully.”
f. Type exit and hit enter.
g. Quit Terminal.
h. Go into /Library/Receipts and move the following files to the Trash: vpnclient-kext-part1.pkg and vpnclient-kext-part1.pkg
i. Reinstall the Cisco VPN software using the installer that your company/institution/Cisco provided to you.

For those who are saying to themselves, “That’s nuts, it can’t be that busted,” it’s really that busted according to what my testing this weekend showed. On the plus side, Cisco’s uninstall script does take care of everything except the two vpnclient-kext package receipts, so you can uninstall and reinstall pretty quickly.

Update (5/31/2005):

I’ve now been working with the Cisco VPN client a little longer and I’ve found it to work better now than when I first installed it. One of the things I’ve picked up on came from Macintouch’s Tiger Incompatibility and Workaround page, which described a workaround that allows you to fix the VPN client without reinstalling. Here it is:

From the Terminal, run:

sudo kextunload /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext

and then

sudo kextload /System/Library/Extensions/CiscoVPN.kext

I’ve used this workaround a number of times this past week, and it’s worked everytime.

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