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Fri, Jul 27, 2018 11:07 pm

Determining if the system is connected to a VPN from the command line under OS X

I connect to a work Virtual Private Network (VPN) from home using a MacBook Pro laptop running OS X El Capitan (10.11.6) and was curious if there was a way that I could determine whether the system was connected to the VPN or disconnected from a VPN using a command-line interface (CLI), i.e., a Terminal window, other than by checking the IP address that external systems see for the system, e.g., by visiting WhatIsMyIP.com. At How can I tell if OS X is connected to a VPN network from the command line?, I found someone suggesting using the scutil command scutil --nc list and piping the output to the grep command looking for the word "Connected", i.e., scutil --nc list | grep Connected. However, that didn't work when I attempted to discern whether the laptop was connected to the VPN via that method, since the scutil command always produced the following output whether or not the system was connected to the VPN:

$ scutil --nc list 
Available network connection services in the current set (*=enabled):
$

However, I was able to determine if the system was connected to the VPN by using the method listed in the post by the person who posed the question. I.e., I could use the ifconfig command and count the number of occurences of "utun0," since the count was zero if the system was not connected to the VPN and one if it was connected to the VPN. E.g., if the system was not connected to the VPN, I would see the following output.

$ ifconfig | grep utun0
$ ifconfig | grep -c utun0 
0
$

When the system was connected to the VPN, I would see the following output:

$ ifconfig | grep utun0
utun0: flags=8051<UP,POINTOPOINT,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1400
$ ifconfig | grep -c utun0
1
$

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