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Support Center / Download and setup / How to install a VPN on Debian

How to install a VPN on Debian

Our app officially supports Linux Debian 10+. It should also work with most distros based on these Linux versions (not Ubuntu Server or Raspbian), but they are not officially supported.

If you are using the community-developed version of our Linux app, we recommend you uninstall it before installing the new app. See the note section at the end of this article for instructions on how to do this.

1. Get the ProtonVPN repo setup DEB package

Download the ProtonVPN DEB package

2. Install the ProtonVPN repository

Double-click the downloaded DEB package to install the repo using your default package manager. 

3. Update the apt-get package list

Open Terminal and enter the command:

sudo apt-get update

4. Install the ProtonVPN Linux app

Last step! Type this command:

sudo apt-get install protonvpn

Linux system tray icon

Our Linux app can show a system tray icon that stays active when you close the main ProtonVPN window and allows you to easily Quick Connect or Disconnect.

To install the system tray icon, open Terminal and enter:

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-appindicator gir1.2-appindicator3-0.1

You might be asked to select your default displays manager. If you are unsure which it is, enter the following command into a new terminal window to find out:

grep '/usr/s\?bin' /etc/systemd/system/display-manager.service

Restart your system.

Once installed, simply log in with your Proton account credentials. If you do not yet have an account, you can sign up for a Free ProtonVPN plan for Linux.

You are now ready to protect your online activity and access blocked content with ProtonVPN.

Note: The system tray icon may not work on Debian 11 because it requires dependencies that have been deprecated.

Learn how to use the ProtonVPN Linux app

Notes

1. Uninstall the official app

To uninstall the official app:

sudo apt-get autoremove protonvpn

Remove any leftover files:

rm -rf ~/.cache/protonvpn

And

rm -rf ~/.config/protonvpn

2. Uninstall the older community ProtonVPN app

To uninstall the older community ProtonVPN app, run:

protonvpn configure

Select option 7) Purge Configuration. Then uninstall through the package manager you used for installation. If the package is installed system-wide, use the command:

sudo pip3 uninstall protonvpn-cli

If not, then use:

pip3 uninstall protonvpn-cli

3. Disable Kill Switch if you have uninstalled the app

The Kill Switch can be easily disabled from within the official Linux app, but this will not be possible if you uninstalled the app first without disabling the Kill Switch. This may result in your system being unable to access the internet. To remove the Kill Switch after the app has been uninstalled:

a) Identify ProtonVPN connection names by running the command:

nmcli connection show --active

This will display a list of all your system’s active connections.

b) Look for any connections with the pvpn- This usually includes pvpn-killswitch and pvpn-ipv6leak-protection, and may include pvpn-routed-killswitch. Delete all these connections using the following command:

nmcli connection delete [connection name]

For example:

nmcli connection delete pvpn-killswitch

c) Re-run the following command to verify that ProtonVPN connections have been deleted:

nmcli connection show --active

If any ProtonVPN connections remain, delete them as described above.

4. Required dependencies

Our Linux app needs one of the following dependencies installed in order to work. Installing both of these dependencies is not recommended as it may cause problems:

  • KWallet or
  • Gnome-keyring

Note that most distros come pre-installed with one of these dependencies, so usually no additional configuration is required. Also required is:

  • systemd

5. Try out the early release version of this app

The early access version of our Linux app gives you access to new features before they are released publicly, but it is still in development. By using the early access version and sharing your feedback, you can help us find and address bugs. If you would like to install the early access version instead of the stable release of this app, please see here.

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