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Manual Chapter: Clients for Linux
Manual Chapter
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About Linux clients

Access Policy Manager® (APM®) supports two Linux clients, a CLI and Network Access client components for browser-based access. On the CLI for Linux, APM supports logon with user name and password only and does not support any endpoint security features.

On the client component for Linux, APM supports all of the primary Network Access features, except for Drive Mappings and some endpoint security features. For endpoint security support for the web client for Linux, refer to BIG-IP® APM® Client Compatibility Matrix on AskF5™ at http://support.f5.com/. For information about Network Access features, refer to BIG-IP® Access Policy Manager: Network Access on AskF5™ at http://support.f5.com/.

About browser-based connections from Linux, Mac, and Windows clients

For Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows-based systems, the Network Access client component is available for automatic download from the BIG-IP® system.

Note: The client component supports secure remote web-based access to the network. It is not the same as the customizable client package that is associated with the connectivity profile.

The first time a remote user starts Network Access, APM® downloads a client component. This client component is designed to be self-installing and self-configuring. If the browser does not meet certain requirements, APM prompts the user to download the client component and install it manually.

Requirements for client installation and use on Linux

The table lists requirements for installing Network Access client components on a Linux system and using them for web-based access.

Requirement Specification
Browser Use Firefox for installing the client component. The browser must support the installation of plugins.
Firewall settings If you have a firewall enabled on your Linux system, you must enable access on IP address 127.0.0.1, port 44444.
PPP The system must support PPP. (This is usually the case.) The user must have permission to run the PPP daemon.
Installation privilege The remote user must have superuser authority, or, must be able to supply an administrative password to successfully install the Network Access client.

About Network Access features for Linux clients

Access Policy Manager® (APM®) supports two Linux clients, a CLI and Network Access client components that support web-based access. On the CLI for Linux, APM supports logon with user name and password only and does not support any endpoint security features.

With the web-based client components for Linux, APM supports all of the primary Network Access features, except for Drive Mappings and some endpoint security features. For endpoint security support for the web client for Linux, refer to BIG-IP® APM® Client Compatibility Matrix on AskF5™ at http://support.f5.com/. For information about Network Access features, refer to BIG-IP® Access Policy Manager: Network Access on AskF5 at http://support.f5.com/.

Specifying applications to start on a Linux client

You can specify applications to start when the client begins a Network Access session. You might do this when you have remote clients that routinely use Network Access to connect to an application server, such as a mail server.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Network Access > Network Access List .
    The Network Access List screen opens.
  2. In the Name column, click the name of the network access resource you want to edit.
  3. To configure applications to start for clients that establish a Network Access connection with this resource, click Launch Applications on the menu bar.
  4. Click Add to add an application list.
    A screen opens showing the Add Application To Launch area.
  5. In the Application Path field type an application to launch.
    For example, type /usr/bin/mozilla to start Mozilla.
  6. In the Parameters field, type a parameter.
    For example, type http://www.f5.com.
  7. From the Operating System list, select Unix.
  8. Click Finished to add the configuration.
Now, when remote users with assigned resources make a Network Access connection, the application you configured starts automatically.

Overview: Installing and using the CLI for Linux

The BIG-IP® Access Policy Manager® includes a CLI for Linux. With the CLI, users can initiate VPN connections through APM® from the command line. You can download and deploy this client to your organization's Linux desktops.

Task summary

Downloading the Linux command line client

You can download the BIG-IP® Edge ®command line client for Linux installer, as a gzipped .tar file, and distribute it to clients for installation.
  1. On the Main tab, click Access Policy > Secure Connectivity > Client Downloads .
    A list of available client downloads displays.
  2. Click BIG-IP Edge Command Line Client for Linux.
    The file linux_sslvpn.tgz is downloaded to your local directory.
The Linux command line client is ready to be installed.

Installing the CLI for Linux

Install the command line interface for Linux so that users can start and stop Network Access sessions from the command line.
  1. Extract the file linux_sslvpn.tgz to your local directory.
  2. Extract the file linux_sslvpn.tar to your local directory.
  3. Run the install script Install.sh under the root account.
The following text appears when installation is complete:
--> f5fpc is installed in /usr/local/bin

--> Please check f5fpc --help command to get started

--> Uninstaller located in /usr/local/lib/F5Networks/uninstall_F5.sh

Importing a certificate to the local trust store

You can import an untrusted certificate to the local trust store and change it into a trusted certificate.
  1. Using operating system commands, place the certificate in any folder in the operating system.
    For example, /etc/certs.
  2. Change the directory.
    For example, cd /etc/certs.
  3. Type the command c_rehash ./.
The certificate is installed.
Note: Alternatively, instead of installing the certificate, you can specify the --cacert option to import a certificate to the local store.

Linux client commands

The following commands are supported by the Linux command line client. All commands that are invoked on the Linux command line client begin with the command f5fpc.

To start a VPN connection, type either of the following commands:

  • f5fpc -- start [arguments]
  • f5fpc - s [arguments]
Note: This requires the --host or -t argument at the minimum.

Use the following table to assign arguments to the Linux commands.

Arguments Description

--nonblock
                -b
              

Returns the command line interface immediately after the command.

--host [https://]hostname[:port]
             -t [https://]hostname[:port]
              

The host name to which the client starts the VPN connection. This is required.

--user username
              -u username
              

The optional user name for the connection.

--password password
                p password
              

The optional password for the connection.

--userhex hex-encoded-username
              -U hex-encoded-username
              

The optional hex-encoded user name for the connection.

--passwordhex hex-encoded-password
                -P hex-encoded-password
              

The optional hex-encoded password for the connection.

--cert certificate
              -r certificate
              

Specifies an optional client certificate.

--key certificate_key
                -k certificate_key
              

Specifies the key for an optional client certificate.

--keypass SSL_certificate_password
                -y SSL_certificate_password
              

Specifies the password for an optional SSL certificate.

--cacert trusted_CA_certificate
                -a trusted_CA_certificate
              

Specifies a certificate from a trusted certificate authority (CA). If --cacert or --cacertdir is specified, then the server certificate validates for trust against the specified certificate or directory. If --cacert or --cacertdir is not specified, then the default location /etc/ssl/certs is checked to verify trust. The --nocheck option can be specified if a server certificate check is not desired, though this is not recommended.

--cacertdir trusted_CA_certificate_directory
                -d trusted_CA_certificate_directory
              

Specifies a certificate directory that contains a certificate from a trusted CA. If --cacert or --cacertdir is specified, then the server certificate validates for trust against the specified certificate or directory. If --cacert or --cacertdir is not specified, then the default location /etc/ssl/certs is checked to verify trust. The --nocheck option can be specified if a server certificate check is not desired, though this is not recommended.

--nocheck
                -x
              

Specifies that the trusted CA certiicate is not verified for trust at all. If --cacert or --cacertdir is specified, then the server certificate validates for trust against the specified certificate or directory. If --cacert or --cacertdir is not specified, then the default location /etc/ssl/certs is checked to verify trust. The --nocheck option can be specified if a server certificate check is not desired, though this is not recommended.
To stop the VPN connection, type either of the following commands:
  • f5fpc -- stop
  • f5fpc --o
To display the connection status, type either of the following commands:
  • f5fpc -- info
  • f5fpc --i
To display the command line client help, type either of the following commands:
  • f5fpc -- help
  • f5fpc --h

Info command status and error codes

The following status codes and error codes might be displayed when you run the --info command.

Error code/command status Hex value Shell value Description
CLI_ERROR_SUCCESS 0x0 0 The command line operation was successful.
CLI_ERROR_USERS_DISCONNECT 0x150 80 The user was disconnected
CLI_ERROR_LOGON_FAILURE 0x151 81 Login failed due to incorrect authenticaion information or login errors.
CLI_ERROR_ATTENTION_REQUIRED 0x154 84 The user's attention is required.
CLI_ERROR_GENERIC_FAILURE 0x155 85 An error occurred in the system API.
CLI_ERROR_UNKNOWN_PARAMETER 0x156 86 An incorrect or unknown parameter was passed to the command line.
CLI_ERROR_WRONG_VALUE 0x157 87 This is an undefined error.
CLI_ERROR_UNKNOWN_SESSION_ID 0x158 88 An unknown session ID was encountered. The user should reconnect to the server.
CLI_ERROR_NO_PROFILE 0x15B 91 No such profile exists.
CLI_ERROR_MSGQ_OPEN_FAILURE 0x15D 93 The system failed to open the message queue.
CLI_ERROR_OPERATION_IN_PROGRESS 0x15F 95 An operation is in progress, please retry.
kss_Initialized 1 1 The session is initialized.
kss_LogonInProgress 2 2 The user login is in progress.
kss_Idle 3 3 The session is idle.
kss_Established 5 5 The session is established.
kss_AttentionReq 6 6 The session requires the user's attention.
kss_LogonDenied 7 7 Login was denied.
kss_LoggedOut 8 8 The user is logged out of the server.

Editing the log level for Edge Client on Linux

You can edit log settings in the configuration file on Linux systems.
  1. In the /usr/local/lib/F5Networks directory, open the f5networks.conf file.
  2. Edit the settings to change the log level.
    By default, the values are 0 (zero). For debugging purposes, set the values to 5.

VPN component installation and log locations on Linux

On Linux operating systems, the client installs the VPN components and writes VPN logs to the locations listed in the table.

Category Location
VPN component /usr/local/lib/F5Networks
VPN logs ~/.F5Networks
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