The Aruba VIA Client for Linux Debian packages are... not good.

First of all, there's no package repository. The instructions say that it can only be downloaded from Aruba's web site, behind a login. Also the instructions are outdated; they mention version, but the file on the site is version

Now that we've downloaded it, let's see what we've got.

$ dpkg -s via
Package: via
Status: install ok installed
Priority: optional
Section: net
Installed-Size: 10336
Maintainer: dl-team-via <>
Architecture: amd64
Replaces: clearpass-onguard, via
Depends: libtdb1
Recommends: libc6 (>= 2.17), libdbus-1-3 (>= 1.0.2), libgcc1 (>= 1:4.1.1), libglib2.0-0 (>= 2.37.3), libgnome-keyring0 (>= 2.22.2), libnm-glib-vpn1 (>= 0.7.999), libproxy1 (>= 0.4.7), libqt4-network (>= 4:4.5.3), libqtcore4 (>= 4:4.7.0~beta1), libqtgui4 (>= 4:4.8.0), libstdc++6 (>= 4.1.1), libtdb1 (>= 1.2.7+git20101214), libxml2 (>= 2.7.4), zlib1g (>= 1:1.1.4), gdebi, iproute, traceroute, iptables
Conflicts: clearpass-onguard
 /etc/init.d/via-vpn 27e1a3a9063887e510955ddf234b77db
 /etc/dbus-1/system.d/nm-viavpn-service.conf 2fe93d527bb7b4eb86f30437d1627f4f
 /etc/xdg/autostart/via-auto.desktop 6311f7d10405e313a9889c904ace7f2f
 /etc/bash_completion.d/via-cli cc2f708b4bf1ccb01df9723a77ec67cf
 /etc/NetworkManager/VPN/ 977b940c3a95ce629a82d0216cd1f48e
Description: The Virtual Intranet Access (VIA) Client

Already we see some package smells:

  1. The package declares itself in the Replaces field
  2. The package's dependencies are in the Recommends field. This means that the package manager isn't able to do its job of making sure that all the package's dependencies are actually installed.
  3. Why does the package depend on gdebi? That makes absolutely no sense!

  4. Many of these dependencies are obsolete. Qt4 is not present on modern distributions; the libnm-glib was deprecated in NetworkManager 1.0 (2015) and hasn't been build by default since NetworkManager 1.12! (I created the via-deps package to work around some of these issues).

  5. An init script, in 2019? Where's the systemd service?
  6. The nm-viavpn-service should be in /usr/lib/NetworkManager/VPN.

Let's take a look at the maintainer scripts...

From via.postinst:

From via.postrm:

Mercifully, via.prerm is entirely generated by Debhelper and therefore quite sane.

To be continued, as I gain the patience to document how awful this PoS is to use, let alone install... ArubaVIASucks (last edited 2020-04-17 10:47:49 by sam)

© Sam Morris <>.
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