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The official ProtonVPN Linux app is now in beta

Posted on November 24th, 2020 by in Service Updates.

Illustration of ProtonVPN Linux client

 

Thanks to our highly engaged user community, we have been able to offer a community-sourced Linux app for the last two years, which has allowed Linux users to secure their internet connections with ProtonVPN.

ProtonVPN is now pleased to announce a new, official command-line Linux app developed by the ProtonVPN team. This new app was produced in-house over several months, allowing us to completely rewrite the code with a focus on improved security.

If you are currently using ProtonVPN for Linux Version 2.0, we recommend that you upgrade to the new official client (there are a small number of user cases where this may not be desirable, which we detail below). 

ProtonVPN for Linux features

Our new Linux app has been rebuilt from the ground up. Its streamlined code improves stability and performance, and provides a firm foundation for future developments.

It also improves security, allowing us, for example, to properly embed an always-on kill switch into the codebase. And because the app minimizes the need to execute code with privileged access, no sudo rights are required.

The new app is initially available for Debian-based systems, such as Debian itself (10+), Ubuntu (18.04+), Mint, or Kali, with support for other distros rolling out over the next few weeks. 

It features DNS leak protection and IPv6 leak protection, and will automatically re-establish the VPN connection when you switch networks (for example when moving between office and home WiFi networks, or when you suspend and resume your laptop session).  

Once our repository has been added to your system’s software sources (see install instructions below), the app will be kept updated by your default package manager. 

Our new client is completely integrated with NetworkManager, and therefore with the GNOME and KDE Plasma desktop environments. It uses OpenVPN UDP by default, but OpenVPN TCP mode is available. This can be useful for defeating censorship.

At launch, the beta app does not support split tunneling, and does not work on headless systems. If these features are important to you, then the community version will remain available until they are supported in the official app. We do, however, recommend upgrading to the official app where possible.

Note: before starting, we recommend running the following command to ensure you system is up to date:

sudo apt-get upgrade

1. Add the ProtonVPN repository to your system’s software sources:

wget -q -O - https://repo.protonvpn.com/debian/public_key.asc | sudo apt-key add - 

Followed by:

sudo add-apt-repository 'deb https://repo.protonvpn.com/debian unstable main'

Note: Once this repo has been added, the app will be kept updated by your default package manager.

2. Install the client:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install protonvpn

How to install the official Linux beta app

Please use the following commands in Terminal to install the Linux beta app. If you already have the community Linux app installed, please follow these instructions to upgrade to the official app.

How to use the official Linux beta app

To start using the client, you must log using your regular Proton/ProtonVPN account details in with the command:

 protonvpn-cli login [ProtonVPN username] 

Please note that these are not the OpenVPN/IKEv2 login credentials used by the older community Linux client.

Then simply run:

protonvpn-cli c 
GIP of ProtonVPN Linux connect

To disconnect, enter:

protonvpn-cli d

The always-on kill switch must be enabled with the following command:

protonvpn-cli ks --always-on

Detailed instructions on how to use our official Linux CLI client are available here, or to see the full list of commands available, enter:

protonvpn-cli -h

We salute the Proton community

Our official new Linux client replaces the community Linux client that we first launched in 2018, but all of our products will always be powered by our community. Because we do not make money from ads, all product development for everything from ProtonVPN for Linux to Proton Calendar and Proton Drive are possible because of user support. 

You have also helped us develop and improve our products through participation in our early access programs, where feedback, bug reports and product suggestions help us build privacy services that are most useful to you.

If you have feedback on the new Linux app, bug reports and suggestions can be emailed to our development team at linux-beta@protonvpn.com

We want to thank all the members of the Proton community. As champions for Proton, you help us to create an internet that values security, privacy, and freedom. 

Douglas is a highly experienced tech writer with a deep knowledge of all things VPN.

Post Comment

25 comments

  1. John Karl Braun Jr

    Simple install and quick connections. New VPN icon next to network icon. The auto kill traffic is sweet. No new traffic will flow unless VPN is connected. Awesome feature.

    Not to mention the reason to use this; Free VPN servers, Secure Core Servers(2 separate VPN IP addresses in different geographies & choose your exit server country), and of course the TOR anonymity. All VPN servers are in hardened secure locations. They do not log anything. They are Swiss based, so Net Neutrality, online freedom, electronic communication and Internet laws are at the proper level the should be globally.

    Owners built company with online privacy and security as the foundation. Staff and executives are online freedom advocates with diverse backgrounds. The founders went to the finest schools Support is great and they are always rolling out new updates and products.

    There is no VPN service as powerful as ProtonVPN. Of course, available on all platforms under one account so you have the same logins for all devices!

    If you are looking here, don’t forget about ProtonMail. Strong encryption without the hassle of setting it up like most email services. There is a ProtonMail fully encrypted free account too.

    You can’t go wrong with ProtonAG products. They have truly made complicated highly technical products simple and easy for anyone to use!

    I run an IT MSP operation on the east coast in the U.S. and have no affiliation with ProtonAG. I recommend to all my clients, associates, & friends.

  2. Richie Koch

    Thank you for the kind words John!

  3. anothermintuser

    Thank you proton team!! I use mail and VPN and it has amazing support for linux!

  4. LB

    Anyone who takes online freedom and privacy seriously uses linux, should be windows thats in beta. But anyhow, good work look forward to the gui.

  5. philippe

    Merci, très bonne appli !

  6. david

    works well. A GUI would really be appreciated.
    A few tips for installing the software:
    at first you have to make sure that you have the add apt repository feature installed or your will get an error. type : sudo apt-get install software-properties-common.
    Second: le command line sudo add-apt-repository ‘deb https://repo.protonvpn.com/debian unstable main’ never worked for me and ended in some kind of python error. You still can install with the main repository manager adding the address https://repo.protonvpn.com/debian unstable main to your list of repos. Then finish the install via terminal.

  7. fsfboy

    Works on Pinebook Pro! Thanks

  8. Isbebu Tfbae

    Very interested in the Protonmail client for Arch. Currently, I use TOR over a vpn service to access ProtonMail web iinterface. So,I look forward to seeing it in the Arch repository.

  9. zelfir

    This looks promising.
    I use two different distros one Debian based and one Red Hat based.
    As soon as you manage to distribute your client on more distros (Using Flatpak would be a good idea IMHO), I’ll take a subscription to your service 😉

  10. StevenCM

    Thank you very much for your work, I look forward to trying this new CLI client. I am pleased to read that you are working on a GUI version. Will it be developed under GTK-4? Is the source code open source?

  11. Richie Koch

    Hi Steven,
    Yes, our code is open source. You can review it here: https://github.com/ProtonVPN.
    Cheers

  12. abdolbary

    Thanks for best vpn app team.

  13. Ani

    Merci beaucoup !

  14. Ricky

    Installed it a few days ago (Ubuntu 20.04). Seems great and reliable so far.
    Very much appreciate the Linux love, looking forward to seeing more support keep on rolling in.
    (Maybe a GUI at some point in future? I certainly don’t shy away from the terminal myself, but I always love seeing stuff on Linux becoming less “terrifying” over time for my less-tech-headed friends that are otherwise considering Linux ^_^ )

  15. Richie Koch

    Hi Ricky, you bring up a good point, and we want to make our apps as accessible as possible. We do plan on adding a GUI to our Linux app in the future, we simply don’t have a timeline yet.
    Cheers.

  16. Black Cat

    Thank you.

  17. richard

    hello ,

    please leave the older instructions online as those new seem readily available only for debian users.
    thanks.

  18. Anon

    Is there any way to run this program on Arch Linux?

  19. Douglas Crawford

    Hi Anon,

    At present, the beta app runs on Debian systems only. We will be rolling out support for other distros (including Arch) moving forward.

  20. John

    Any rpm packages or repository? Or only Debian/apt?

  21. Douglas Crawford

    Hi John,

    At present, the beta app runs on Debian/apt systems only. We will be rolling out support for other distros moving forward.

  22. Hanesh

    Proton is best vpn client for windows and android. Now it’s Available for Linux. Thanks Proton VPN for your best Service.

  23. DJViking

    How goes the work on the GUI desktop client?

  24. Richie Koch

    We are working on a GUI for our Linux app, but at the moment we don’t have a timeline.

  25. john galt

    thank you!

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