How do I connect to the ESP VPN?

The ESP VPN is used to connect you to departmental resources from off the network. Please follow these steps to access the ESP VPN.

Announcement: Pulse Secure becomes Ivanti Secure Access

Most VPNs at UC Davis including the ESP VPN and Library VPN utilize Pulse Connect Secure (aka Pulse Secure). The product line was purchased by Ivanti in late 2020. In the last few months, we’ve started to see Ivanti rebrand Pulse Connect Secure as Ivanti Secure Access VPN or Ivanti Connect Secure.

The VPN Client might appear asPulse Secure(versions 9 and below) or Ivanti Secure Access Client (versions 22 and above).

Method: Use the VPN Client installed on your computer

  1. Download and install the VPN Client (if not already installed).
    1. On personal computers, follow the same instructions provided on the Library's site to install the VPN Client. Do not connect to the Library VPN.
    2. If you are using a departmental computer, please contact ESP IT to install the VPN Client by emailing
  2. Open the VPN Client:
    Search the Start Menu for Pulse Secure or Ivanti Secure Access Client.
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    Or open the icon in your notification tray.
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  3. Add a new connection (first time only).
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  4. Add a descriptive name like ESP VPN.
  5. Add the Server URL:
  6. Save/Add the VPN Connection.
  7. Connect.
    If it fails to connect, please see the troubleshooting steps at the bottom of this page.
  8. Enter in your credentials (UC Davis Kerberos (CAS) username and password)
    Username: campus login ID
    Password: campus passphrase
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  9. When the secondary prompt requesting your Duo code/command appears, type in the appropriate code/command.
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    1. Push – Enter the word push and click Connect. You will receive a push notification to your Duo app that you must then approve. *This is the recommended method
    2. Phone – Enter the word phone and click Connect. Duo will call your registered phone number for authorization.
    3. Note: For either the push or phone commands, if you wish to have the VPN Client use that method every time you connect, click the save settings box before clicking connect.
    4. Code – Enter your passcode from your Duo hard token or the Duo app and click Connect.
      1. IMPORTANT: Do NOT click save settings when entering a passcode or your next time using the VPN Client will fail because the saved passcode will no longer be valid.
  10. If you don’t use a smartphone for your Duo multifactor authentication, see for the appropriate response based on your setup.
  11. A green checkmark will appear in your Connections list once the connection is successful.

After connecting to the ESP VPN, use your saved RDP file to remote connect to your desktop computer. If it fails to connect, please see the troubleshooting steps below or contact

Troubleshooting Steps

  1. f the VPN client says you have a compliance issue, click the Read instructions for resolving issues.
    1. Follow the steps to resolve the compliance issue.
      Most common issues are pending Windows Updates (e.g. Missing patches).
  2. If the VPN Client gets stuck on the "Securing Connection..." message, restart your computer and try again.
  3. If you receive the error "Credentials were invalid" after the secondary prompt requesting your Duo code/command, log in again, and approve the Duo request.
  4. If the VPN Client says "User input timeout," hit the Retry button and attempt to log in again.
  5. If you still cannot connect, contact ESP IT at with applicable error messages and screenshots.


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