SSH Connection Manager

I previously wrote a quick post on using a connection manager in Linux. Link here:

Linux tabbed SSH connection manager

I have used for the most part something called the Gnome Connection Manager. However it is poorly maintained and had a few small annoyances also.

I revisited a utility called PAC Manager (link here

So far it does pretty much everything I need as far as maintaining details for server names and SSH login information. It does have tabbed windows, organize in groups and an amazing number of customization features. It also integrates pretty nicely with KeePass to maintain passwords with.

It would be better if the main distros include this tool but it does at least have .deb and .rpm packages.

I also gave a current version of Remmina another try as it seems best maintained of the bunch but it still gave me unexpected behavior. Like a SSH window just disappearing etc.

Network Manager VPN Connections

I have documented previously that the Linux network manager can be used to connect to several different VPN gateways.  There are several network manager plugins available for the different VPN solutions.  The pptp plugin is used frequently but for newer Cisco gateways you should use the network-manager-openconnect-gnome plugin. You should use the network-manager-vpnc plugin to connect to older Cisco gateways.

The vpnc plugin also happens to work for Palo Alto GlobalProtect concentrators.  For the vpnc plugin to work with Palo Alto GlobalProtect gateways you need to:

– Enable X-Auth on your VPN gateway. You will also need the group name and password from the VPN administrator.

– Create a “Cisco compatible” VPN when creating your network manager connection.


Auto Login and Sudo Security Cheat

Sometimes you have a VM that you just don’t care about security.  I do the following to cheat a little on login and sudo.

Update shadow password file will enable tools like gksudo to work.  gksudo is what is used for prompts you get when using System Administration etc…  You don’t have to type your password just hit enter.

It has to be this specific string “U6aMy0wojraho” you set.

# grep rrossouw /etc/shadow

Give yourself some sudo privileges.  For instance sudo -s won’t need a password. Use visudo tool to update sudo policies.

# grep rrossouw /etc/sudoers

Enable Auto Login: System Settings -> User Accounts -> Unlock -> Authenticate (No need for password now) -> Click Automatic Login

I also disable my screensaver and password lock on the VM since my host has that enabled through an Active Directory policy already.