ProtonVPN is a popular VPN service headquartered in Switzerland. Consider installing and running ProtonVPN on distributions such as Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Elementary OS, Fedora, CentOS, Arch Linux, and OpenSUSE.

NEW: ProtonVPN GUI app is available. Officially, only one Linux operating system is supported – Ubuntu 20.04. The download page provides a deb package for installing ProtonVPN. When using ProtonVPN with a GUI, the developers recommend uninstalling the installed version.

For those who don’t know, a VPN is a virtual private network that establishes a secure encrypted “tunnel” between your device and the VPN server.

How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux

How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux Distributions

ProtonVPN supports IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN protocols. We will describe the installation and launch of ProtonVPN when using the OpenVPN protocol since the use of this protocol is as simple as possible and, at the same time, meets the security canons.

The developers of ProtonVPN recommend using the CLI version of the application, i.e., the version without a graphical interface. Do not be afraid; its installation and further use are not complicated.

Let’s proceed to install ProtonVPN. Run the following commands, depending on the distribution you are using.

Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint

sudo apt install -y openvpn dialog python3-pip python3-setuptools

sudo pip3 install protonvpn-cli

Fedora/CentOS/RHEL

sudo dnf install -y openvpn dialog python3-pip python3-setuptools

sudo pip3 install protonvpn-cli

Arch Linux/Manjaro/EndeavourOS

sudo pacman -S openvpn dialog python-pip python-setuptools

sudo pip3 install protonvpn-cli

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper in -y openvpn dialog python3-pip python3-setuptools

sudo pip3 install protonvpn-cli

How to use the ProtonVPN client on Linux

We need to log in to the ProtonVPN client using the data available on the https://account.protonvpn.com/account page. We are interested in the OpenVPN username and password.

How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux

Enter the command:

sudo protonvpn init

Specify the OpenVPN username and password available at the link above.

How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux

The password entered will not be displayed, similar to the root password.

Then you need to specify your ProtonVPN tariff plan and select UDP or TCP as the transport layer protocol. I recommend using UDP first, and in case of problems, try TCP.

How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux

Note that the ProtonVPN Linux client does not support IPv6, so if you have IPv6, it is recommended that you disable IPv6 on your system to troubleshoot leaks. You can disable IPv6 by using the following instructions.

Disabling IPv6 on Linux:

sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf

At the end of the configuration file, add the following values:

net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1

net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 1

net.ipv6.conf.lo.disable_ipv6 = 1

net.ipv6.conf.tun0.disable_ipv6 = 1

Save and close the file. To save the Nano text editor file, press Ctrl+O, then press Enter to confirm. To exit, press Ctrl+X.

Then apply the changes:

sudo sysctl -p

Launching a VPN Connection with ProtonVPN on Linux

ProtoVPN startup command:

sudo protonvpn connect

You will be asked to select a country. For users with the free ProtonVPN plan, three countries are available.

How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux

Then select a server.

How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux

Select TCP or UDP as the transport layer protocol. I recommend using UDP first. If there is a problem with establishing a VPN connection, try the TCP protocol.

How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux

After a few seconds, the VPN connection will be established.

How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux

DNS-leak test, DNS leak test

How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux

If your ISP’s DNS server appears in the test results, you have a DNS leak. In this case, even though your internet connection is encrypted with a VPN, your ISP still knows which websites you visit. In my case, shown in the screenshot above, there are no DNS leaks.

VPN Connection Speed Test

Many services are available to check the speed of the Internet connection. You can use such popular services as speedtest.net or fast.com.

How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux

ProtonVPN offers pretty fast connection speeds even when using an account with a free data plan.

How to disable ProtonVPN

To disable the VPN connection, run the following command:

sudo protonvpn disconnect

How to Add ProtonVPN to Startup

You may want ProtonVPN to start automatically when you boot up your system. This can be achieved by creating a systemd service module. Use the Nano Command Line Editor to create the next file.

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/protonvpn.service

Add the following lines to this file:

[Unit]
  Description=ProtonVPN Command-Line Client
  After=network-online.target

[Service]
  Type=forking
  ExecStart=protonvpn c -f
  ExecStop=protonvpn disconnect 
  Restart=always
  RestartSec=2

[Install]
  WantedBy=multi-user.target
How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux

Save and close the file. To save the file in the Nano editor, press Ctrl+O, then press Enter to confirm. To exit, press Ctrl+X.

Since this systemd service runs as root, you need to switch to the root user account with the following command:

sudo su -

And initialize the user configuration file:

protonvpn init

Enter your OpenVPN username and password from your ProtonVPN account, choose a default plan and protocol, the same as we did before to connect. Once this is done, you can disable the current VPN connection:

sudo protonvpn disconnect

Now try running ProtonVPN using systemd:

sudo systemctl start protonvpn

And enable ProtonVPN to start automatically during system boot with the command:

sudo systemctl enable protonvpn

You can check the connectivity log by using the command:

sudo journalctl -eu protonvpn

Conclusion:

I hope this article on How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux was helpful. If you’re having trouble using ProtonVPN, feel free to ask your question in the comments section just below.

How to Install ProtonVPN on Linux
Author

Ruby has been a writer and author for a while, and her content appears all across the tech world, from within ReadWrite, BusinessMagazine, ThriveGlobal, etc.

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