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Important: ExpressVPN does not officially support Ubuntu Studio and will not provide fixes for any issues encountered. You are recommended to use the ExpressVPN Linux app on these supported distros: Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Mint, Arch, and Raspberry Pi OS.

This guide will show you how to set up the ExpressVPN Linux app on Ubuntu Studio.

If you prefer to control the ExpressVPN Linux app with a graphical user interface (GUI), you can use the ExpressVPN browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. To use the browser extension, you will first need to set up the ExpressVPN app.

Jump to…

1. Download the app installer
2. Install the app
3. Activate the app
4. Connect to a VPN server location
Disconnect from a VPN server location
Choose a different VPN server location
Switch to a different VPN protocol
Open the app manual
Use the autocomplete feature
Use the auto-connect feature
Use the ExpressVPN browser extension
Uninstall the app


1. Download the app installer

Go to the ExpressVPN setup page. If prompted, enter your ExpressVPN credentials and click Sign In.

Enter your account credentials, then click "Sign In."

Enter the verification code sent to your email.

On the right, select Ubuntu 64-bit or Ubuntu 32-bit. These files are also suitable for installing ExpressVPN on Ubuntu Studio. Click Download.

Click "Download."

If you want to install the app via the GUI (graphical user interface), click Open with > OK.

If you want to install the app via Terminal, click Save File > OK.

Click “Open with” or “Save File.”

Keep this browser window open. You will need the activation code for the setup later.

You will need the activation code for the setup later.

Optional: Learn about downloading the PGP key and verifying the signature.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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2. Install the app

Follow the instructions below based on your installation method:

After the download is complete, a new window will open. Click Install.

Click “Install.”

Enter the password for your device. Click Authenticate.

Click “Authenticate.”

The installation will start immediately. Proceed to the next section to activate the app.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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After the download is complete, open Terminal Emulator.

Open “Terminal Emulator.”

Run this command:

sudo dpkg -i [file path/file_name]

If prompted, enter the password for your device. Note that the password will not appear on the screen. Press Enter.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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3. Activate the app

In the Terminal window, run this command:

expressvpn activate

Run “expressvpn activate.”

Paste the activation code you found earlier. Note the code will not appear on the screen. After that, press Enter.

You will see the message “Activated.”

You can help improve ExpressVPN by sharing anonymized diagnostic reports. Enter Y to accept or n to decline.

You can help improve ExpressVPN by sharing anonymized diagnostic reports.

If you want to opt out of sending diagnostics to ExpressVPN in the future, run this command:

expressvpn preferences set send_diagnostics false

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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4. Connect to a VPN server location

In the Terminal window, run this command:

expressvpn connect

Run “expressvpn connect.”

If this is your first time connecting to the VPN, you will be connected via the Smart Location feature, which recommends a server location to you based on factors such as speed and proximity.

If this is not your first time connecting to the VPN, you will be connected to the location you last connected to.

After you are connected to the VPN, you will see “Connected to…” in green.

You will see “Connected to…” in green.

You will also see a notification saying “VPN connected.”

You are connected to ExpressVPN.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Disconnect from a VPN server location

To disconnect from a VPN server location, run this command:

expressvpn disconnect

Run “expressvpn disconnect.”

You will see the word “Disconnected.” You will also see a notification saying “VPN disconnected.”

You are disconnected from ExpressVPN.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Choose a different VPN server location

To see a list of recommended locations to connect to, run this command:

expressvpn list

By default, ExpressVPN will suggest the location that provides the most optimal experience for you, called Smart Location, at the top of the list.

To see a list of all available locations, run this command:

expressvpn list all

Connect to a specific VPN server location

To connect to a specific server location, run this command:

expressvpn connect [LOCATION]

or

expressvpn connect [ALIAS]

For example, to connect to USA – New York, run this command:

expressvpn connect "USA - New York"

or

expressvpn connect usny

Run “expressvpn connect usny.”

Connect using Smart Location

To connect using Smart Location, run this command:

expressvpn connect smart

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Switch to a different VPN protocol

Important: Disconnect from the VPN before switching to another protocol.

VPN protocols are the methods by which your device connects to a VPN server. For the best experience, ExpressVPN recommends using the Automatic protocol option. This is selected by default and automatically picks the protocol most appropriate for your network.

In some cases, switching to a different protocol can give you faster connection speeds.

To switch to Lightway – TCP, run the following command:

expressvpn protocol lightway_tcp

To switch to Lightway – UDP, run the following command:

expressvpn protocol lightway_udp

To switch to OpenVPN – TCP, run the following command:

expressvpn protocol tcp

To switch to OpenVPN – UDP, run the following command:

expressvpn protocol udp

Run “expressvpn protocol udp.”

To use the Automatic option, run this command:

expressvpn protocol auto

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Open the app manual

To see a full list of the app’s functions, run this command:

man expressvpn

Different commands will be listed there.

The ExpressVPN Linux app commands manual.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Use the autocomplete feature

The autocomplete feature shows all available options for commands that have the same beginning. To use this feature, type a command and press the tab key twice.

For example, type

expressvpn protocol

Then press the tab key twice. This will show all the available protocols.

The auto-complete feature shows all the available options for commands that have the same beginning.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Use the auto-connect feature

To set the ExpressVPN app to automatically connect to your last connected location on start-up, run this command:

expressvpn autoconnect true

Run “expressvpn autoconnect true.”

You will see “Auto-connect is enabled.”

If this is your first time connecting to the VPN, ExpressVPN will connect using Smart Location.

To disable this function, run this command:

expressvpn autoconnect false

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Use the ExpressVPN browser extension

Important: If you installed your browser from the Ubuntu Software Center, follow these steps instead to get the browser extension.

If you prefer to control the ExpressVPN Linux app with a graphical user interface (GUI), you can use the ExpressVPN browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. Learn more about the ExpressVPN browser extension here.

Note: The browser extension requires the ExpressVPN Linux app to run on your distro. Make sure to install the app (Version 2.0 or newer) first.

To get the ExpressVPN browser extension, run one of the following commands:

Firefox
expressvpn install-firefox-extension

Chrome
expressvpn install-chrome-extension

Run “expressvpn install firefox extension.”

This will open the page for downloading the ExpressVPN browser extension. Click Get Extension.

Click “Get Extension.”

For users who installed their browser from the Ubuntu Software Center

If you installed your web browser from the Ubuntu Software Center, you may find that the ExpressVPN browser extension is unable to communicate with the ExpressVPN Linux app. To resolve this issue:

  1. Back up your browser settings and bookmarks.
  2. Go to the Ubuntu Software Center and uninstall your browser.
  3. Open the Terminal.
  4. Enter $ sudo apt update
  5. Depending on your browser, enter $ sudo apt install chromium-browser or $ sudo apt install firefox
  6. Open your browser by entering $ chromium-browser or $ firefox
  7. Get the ExpressVPN browser extension by entering expressvpn install-firefox-extension or expressvpn install-chrome-extension

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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Uninstall the app

To uninstall the ExpressVPN app, run this command:

sudo dpkg -r expressvpn

Run “sudo dpkg -r expressvpn.”

If prompted, enter the password for your device. Note that the password will not appear on the screen.

The ExpressVPN app is now removed from your device.

Need help? Contact the ExpressVPN Support Team for immediate assistance.

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