Problems with Cisco Anyconnect on Ubuntu 14.04 (Breaks Internet Connections)

This blog is about resolving an issue I had after installing Cisco Anyconnect, the U of L’s VPN client.

This is an aide memoire for me, but might be useful to others. The information comes from, with the first being most useful for this particular case:

The symptoms

The U of L uses Cisco Anyconnect as its VPN client. I installed it two days ago (stupidly, while travelling). This produced a problem where I couldn’t access the internet: I could log in to a SSD, but couldn’t ping any sites, and none of my webbrowesers could resolve or connect to any hosts.

#h3(#diagnosis). The diagnosis

The problem is that anyconnect rewrites /etc/resolv.conf.

The original /etc/resolv.conf is a link to /run/resolv.conf/ and /run/resolvconf/resolv.conf@ contains a local address nameserver (in my case, others report

Anyconnect backs this file up (whew!) as /etc/resolv.conf.vpnbackup and replaces it with a new resolv.conf that contains a number of different nameservers in the uleth domain (i.e. 142....).

The solution

Things that don’t work

These are the things I tried that don’t work (in the order I tried them).

  • rebooting
  • switching to windows logging into the SSD, then returning to ubuntu and doing it again (this once reset things for me a few years ago when I had trouble)
  • deleting the anyconnect directory
  • reinstalling the anyconnect directory and then using // (I should have done it in the other order, but I was tired). Doesn’t work anyway, and both and need access to something at

What works

Because anyconnect backs things up, all you need to do is the following:

  1. cd to /etc/
  2. check that the situation matches what I’m reporting (i.e. that there are two resolv.conf files, resolv.conf and resolv.conf.backupvpn or similar.
  3. rename the current resolv.conf: mv resolv.conf resolv.conf.CISCO
  4. rename the current resolv.conf.backupvpn (or similar): mv resolv.conf.backupvpn resolv.conf
  5. check that the (now) current resolv.conf is a link to /run/resolvconf/resolv.conf by running ls -l resolv.conf on /etc/ (if it is a link, the line will include an arrow showing what it is pointing at).
  6. check that the nameserver in resolv.conf is a local address (127...).

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