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Use the following rough steps to manually set up ExpressVPN on Linux via Ubuntu Network Manager. The details of these steps will depend on your flavor of Linux.
In general, you’re setting up an OpenVPN connection using ExpressVPN configuration files. Please ensure you’re using the latest versions of Linux before proceeding.
Prefer app setup? See the instructions for setting up the ExpressVPN app for Linux or setup for other Linux distributions.
Download the VPN configuration files
Open the Welcome Email you received when you signed up for ExpressVPN. Click the link in the email.
If you can’t find the link, sign in to your account here.
Once you’ve clicked the link in the welcome email or logged in to the website, click on Set Up ExpressVPN on the Active Subscriptions page. This will take you to the Downloads page.
Click on Manual Config on the left side of the screen and then select the OpenVPN tab on the right. You will first see your username and password and then a list of OpenVPN configuration files.
Find the location(s) you want to connect to (e.g., Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong), then download and save the .ovpn file(s) to your desktop.
Note: Please have your username and password ready, as you will be asked to enter them later in the setup process.
Scroll down to “4. Optional” and click on the download link for your VPN certificates and keys to download your SSL files.
Install and set up the VPN in Network Manager
Extract the downloaded zipped file.
Launch a Terminal session, and then enter the following command:
sudo apt-get install -y network-manager-gnome
Click on your Network Manager icon on your desktop bar Notification Area. This icon can be in the shape of 2 computer screens, a pair of up and down arrows, or a wireless signal meter if you use a Wi-Fi connection.
Click on Edit Connections.
On the Network Manager Applet, click on the Add button.
Select “Import a saved VPN configuration…” and then click on Create…
Browse for one of the *.ovpn files that you’ve downloaded (on Step 2), then click on Open.
After importing the config file, you will need to manually import the User Certificate (client.crt), CA Certificate (ca2.crt) and Private Key (client.key) by using the SSL files obtained above.
Make sure Authentication Type is set to Password with Certificates (TLS) and input the username and password you obtained above.
See example below:
Next, click on the Advanced… button.
Under the General tab, make sure to following boxes are checked:
Use custom gateway port: 1195
Use LZO data compression
Use custom tunnel Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU): 1500
Use custom UDP fragment size: 1300
Restrict tunnel TCP Maximum Segment Size (MSS)
Randomize remote hosts
Under the Security tab, make set the Cipher to “AES-256-CBC” and HMAC Authentication to “SHA-512”
Go to the TLS Authentication tab and enable/check “Use additional TLS authentication”
For the Key File, browse for the “ta.key” file (included in the SSL files that you’ve downloaded under Step 3) and for the Key Direction, set it to 1.
Click OK to finish the setup.
Reboot your computer.
Connect to the VPN
To connect to the VPN, just click on your Network Manager icon, then point to “VPN Connections” and then click on the VPN connection that you have configured.
The icon will blink for around 10-30 seconds. Once the VPN is connected, you will see a message stating the VPN connection has been successfully established. You will also see a “lock” on the top bar of the Network Manager icon.
To check that you’re connected OK, check that you now have an ExpressVPN IP. Also, try going to facebook.com or other sites that are usually blocked for you and make sure they work now.