Linux support in schools & universities

Daniel Mons daniel.mons at
Sun Sep 20 11:54:47 BST 2009

Hash: SHA1

Sridhar Dhanapalan wrote:
> Perhaps a (messy) way around this would be to run Windows in a virtual
> machine and run the VPN client in there. Then use that VM as a
> proxy/gateway for the host machine.

I work for a big bastard corporate who, by policy, allow connections in
and out only via an ANCIENT Citrix gateway which is not compatible with
the current Linux Citrix clients [1].

My "solution" is as below: to run a Windows VM (under VirtualBox) and
connect back in that way.  This is frustrating for several reasons:

1) I'm still running Windows.  While I don't pay for the licenses (work
supplies that), it's annoying to need to boot Windows for something so

2) My workflow is broken by having my main tools on my Linux system, and
 having direct access only from within a VM.

3) Ironically the Citrix gateway is the only valid way into the business
remotely by their ageing security policy [2].  Somehow I can't help but
wonder if Windows 2000 running Citrix 3.0 is less secure than a modern,
fully patched Linux machine?

More recently I've been required to do quite a lot of after hours work.
 It is now to the point that despite having a company-provided laptop
and remote connection, I still drive into work after hours to perform
more complex operations.  And before anyone has a go at me for not
running a supported SOE in a corporate, I am their Senior Linux/UNIX
sysadmin, and run one of their certified environments for managing
Linux/UNIX systems (i.e.: Ubuntu Linux).

Anyways, less ranting more point: Windows VMs just for remote
connections or VPNs is a pain in the butt.  I find the concept of a
modern University not providing access to non-Windows environments
entirely short sighted in this day and age where almost every University
on the planet with a computer science department has at least one Linux
based course offered in it's curriculum.

- -Dan

[1] Connecting from a Linux machine with a modern Citrix client crashes
the gateway server.  Yes, I can DoS my own company by merely connecting
in remotely.  Brilliant work.


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