Accessing Departmental Resources via VPN

Please note, this document discusses the use of the Astronomy VPN Group in order to connect to the department as if you were physically on campus. The Astronomy VPN Group is not the same thing as the regular UF VPN Service, which is required to remotely login to our servers. A brief discussion of the use of the UF VPN to login to our systems is at the bottom of this document.

Astronomy department users can use the campus VPN to access on-campus resources from remote locations. The advantages of using VPN are that users could print to departmental printers, samba mount their home directory, or directly access various hosts without ssh'ing through the bastion server.

In order to use the VPN, you must first be a member of the Astronomy VPN group. Send an email to admin at with a request that you be added to the VPN group, and the Astronomy systems administrators will submit a request to CNS. This process usually takes no more than one business day. You will need to provide your Gatorlink ID.

Once you have received confirmation that you have been placed in the Astronomy VPN group, you will need to install the VPN software on your local computer. You can download it from the network-services web-page at

There are full instructions for setting up the VPN client at the network-services web-site. However, when you connect to the VPN you will need to append /astro to your gatorlink username; this lets the VPN server know that you are attempting to authenticate into the Astronomy VPN group. So, if your gatorlink userid was roosevelt you would specify your account as

Once you have authenticated to the Astronomy VPN group you can then access all departmental resources as if you were on campus. For example, you could "samba" mount your home directory from woodstock. Under Windows you would right click on my computer, select map network drive and then type \\\username, where username is your Astronomy username. Under OS-X you would press command-K from the finder and then type smb://

If you have any comments or questions about using the Astronomy VPN Group in conjunction with the VPN service, please send a note to admin.

Logging in using UF VPN

For security reasons, remote access via SSH into the Astronomy network is now restricted to people using the UF VPN. This is completely different than using the Astronomy VPN Group, which the previous contents of this document covered.

In order to login from remote, you must first download and install the UF VPN client from Once you have activated the VPN client, you can then use the SSH client of your choice to login to from remote.

If you have troubles with the UF VPN client, you should contact the UF Computing Help Desk at (352) 392-HELP for help.