Many of the resources available through the FASRC cluster must be accessed through VPN (virtual private network – a sort of tunnel into the Harvard network) to protect sensitive data and prevent unauthorized access. When working outside the Harvard network, a VPN connection is generally necessary. This page describes the process for installing software and connecting to the RC VPN.
If you are just SSH’ing in to our login nodes, VPN is not required. But it is needed for many other services. Some (but not all) examples are:
- Mounting shared drives to your laptop/desktop
- Accessing VDI
- Accessing level 3 environments
- License server access
- You will need an FAS Research Computing (aka “FASRC”) account to connect to the VPN. If you do not have an FASRC account, please see How Do I Get a FAS Research Computing Account?
- Once you have an RC account, you will need to set your FASRC password and set up your two-factor authentication token (OpenAuth).
- You will need to install the Cisco AnyConnect client before proceeding
VPN Software Installation
The Cisco AnyConnect client can be installed from our VPN portal: https://vpn.rc.fas.harvard.edu
Note that you need to add @fasrc after your username in order to login.
If the automatic installation fails, you should then be offered an option to download an installer.
After downloading the software, click on the executable to run the AnyConnect installation wizard.
If you are unable to install the client from this page, you can download the current client (Windows and Mac) here: https://downloads.rc.fas.harvard.edu (requires your FARSC username and password)
Mac OSX 10.15 and higher: Please make sure the client version that is installed is version 4.8 or higher. As of OSX 10.15 (Catalina) earlier clients will not connect properly. The latest version is available at https://downloads.rc.fas.harvard.edu
Linux users: You can install the Cisco AnyConnect client using the instructions above, or see our alternate guide to using OpenConnect for VPN.
Start Cisco AnyConnect and enter the FASRC VPN server name:
Enter your credentials and click OK to connect:
- USERNAME: When connecting to the VPN you will use your username + @ + VPN realm name. For most people, this will be @fasrc (example: jharvard@farsc ). If you are in the NCF, this will be @ncf
- PASSWORD: The password you will enter is your FASRC account password as noted above
- TWO-STEP VERIFICATION CODE: You enter your OpenAuth token code here
Once connected, you will have normal Internet and Harvard network access as well as access into the FASRC environment.