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This tutorial will show you how to set up the ExpressVPN app for Linux.

ExpressVPN is compatible with these Linux operating systems:

  • Ubuntu
  • Debian
  • Fedora
  • Arch
  • CentOS

Note: If you prefer to control the ExpressVPN Linux app with a graphical user interface (GUI), you can do so with the ExpressVPN browser extension for Chrome and Firefox. Install the browser extension after setting up the app.

Prefer manual setupSee the instructions for manual setup for OpenVPN (via the Terminal), OpenVPN (via Ubuntu Network Manager), and PPTP.

Prefer video? You can follow along with the embedded clip or watch the video on YouTube here.

Jump to…

Download the installer
Get your activation code
Install and activate the app
Connect to a VPN server location
Disconnect from the 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
Troubleshoot your connection


Download the installer

Open the Welcome Email you received when you signed up for ExpressVPN. Click “Set Up ExpressVPN.”

Click "Set Up ExpressVPN."

Select your Linux operating system.

Note: Debian users should select Ubuntu, while CentOS users should select Fedora.

Click the red Download button.

Select your Linux operating system, and click “Download.”

Note: You can find which Ubuntu or Fedora operating system you are running. Go to the Terminal, then enter:

uname -m

or

arch

If you see a “64” (for example, “x86_64”), you are using a 64-bit Linux distribution. In this case, you should download the 64-bit installer.

Select Save File. Click OK.

If you cannot find the email, sign in to your account.

Sign in to your ExpressVPN account.

Click the red Download button.

Click “Download for Linux.”

Keep this browser window open. You will need it 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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Get your activation code

To use ExpressVPN on your Linux computer, you will need your activation code.

Sign in to your ExpressVPN account. You will find your activation code on the right.

Click the activation code in the box to copy it to your clipboard. You will be asked to provide it later.

Click the activation code in the box to copy it to your clipboard.

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

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Install and activate the app

Install the app

Note: If you cannot install the app directly with the GUI, you can install it using the command line.

Go to your Downloads folder. Locate and right-click the installer file you downloaded earlier. Click Open with Other Application > Software Install > Select.

Click Install.

Click “Install” to download the ExpressVPN installer file.

Enter your password, then click Authenticate.

Enter your password, then click “Authenticate.”

The installation will start immediately.

After the installation is complete, go to the Terminal.

In the Terminal window, run:

expressvpn

Run command “expressvpn.”

Command line install for the app

In the Terminal window, run:

cd ~/Downloads/

Run command “cd Downloads.”

Depending on your distribution, run one of the following commands:

Ubuntu / Debian:

sudo dpkg -i [installer filename]

Run command to install the ExpressVPN installer file.

Fedora / CentOS:

sudo yum install [installer filename]

or

sudo dnf install [installer filename]

Arch:

sudo pacman -U [installer filename]

Enter your user password to install the file.

For Arch, enter y to proceed with the installation.

Activate the app

Open a new Terminal. Run:

expressvpn activate

Run command “expressvpn activate.”

Paste the activation code you found earlier. Note the code won’t appear on the screen. Press Enter.

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

Type in “y” or “n” to select your preference for helping improve ExpressVPN.

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

expressvpn preferences set send_diagnostics false

Run command to opt out of sending diagnostics.

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

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Connect to a VPN server location

In the Terminal window, run:

expressvpn connect

Run command “expressvpn connect.”

If you are connecting for the first time, ExpressVPN will use the Smart Location feature to select a server location, which is recommended to you based on factors such as speed and proximity.

If this is not your first time connecting, ExpressVPN will connect to the server location you were most recently connected to.

Once you are successfully connected, you will see the “Connected to…” message in green.

You will see the “connected to” message in green.

By default, you will see a notification indicating that ExpressVPN is connected.

A notification indicates that you are connected to the ExpressVPN.

Note: A single ExpressVPN subscription can be used simultaneously on five devices, regardless of platform. If you try to use more than five devices simultaneously with one subscription, you will see the screen below:

You have exceeded ExpressVPN’s device usage limit for this subscription.

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

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Disconnect from the VPN server location

To disconnect from a server location, run:

expressvpn disconnect

ExpressVPN will disconnect from the server it is connected to.

Run command “expressvpn disconnect.”

By default, you will see a message indicating that ExpressVPN is disconnected.

A notification indicates that you are disconnected from the ExpressVPN.

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

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Connect to a different VPN server location

To find a list of recommended locations to connect to, enter the following command in the terminal:

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, enter:

expressvpn list all

Connect to a specific VPN server location

To connect to a specific server location, enter:

expressvpn connect [LOCATION]

or

expressvpn connect [ALIAS]

For example, to connect to USA — New York, enter:

expressvpn connect "USA - New York"

or

expressvpn connect usny

Run command "expressvpn connect 'USA - New York'."

Connect to the Smart Location

To connect to the Smart Location:

expressvpn connect smart

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

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Switch to a different VPN protocol

VPN protocols are the methods by which your device connects to a VPN server. Switching to a different protocol can help you achieve faster connection speeds.

The ExpressVPN Linux client uses OpenVPN in the background. Under OpenVPN, you can switch between the TCP or UDP protocols. By default, ExpressVPN will automatically pick the best protocol for you.

To switch to TCP, run:

expressvpn protocol tcp

To switch to UDP, run:

expressvpn protocol udp

Run command “expressvpn protocol udp.”

If you want ExpressVPN to automatically select the optimal protocol, enter:

expressvpn protocol auto

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

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Open the app manual

To view a full list of the app’s functions, run:

man expressvpn

Run command "man expressvpn."

Different commands will be listed there.

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

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Use the autocomplete feature

After you type a command, hit the tab key twice to see a list of all available options.

For example, typing

expressvpn protocol

and hitting the tab key twice will list all the available protocols.

Run command “expressvpn protocol.”

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

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Use the auto-connect feature

You can set the ExpressVPN app to automatically connect to your last connected location on start-up by entering:

expressvpn autoconnect true

Run command “expressvpn autoconnect true.”

You will see the Auto-connect is enabled message.

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

To disable this function, run:

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 do so with the ExpressVPN browser extension for Chrome and Firefox.

Note: To use the browser extension, make sure to download and activate the ExpressVPN Linux app (Version 2.0 or newer).

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

expressvpn install-firefox-extension

expressvpn install-chrome-extension

Run command “expressvpn install-firefox-extension.”

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

Click “Get Extension.”

Learn more about the ExpressVPN browser extension here.

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:

For Ubuntu: sudo dpkg -r expressvpn

For Fedora: sudo yum remove expressvpn

Run command to uninstall ExpressVPN.

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

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Troubleshoot your connection

If you are experiencing issues with your app, follow these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Download the latest version of the ExpressVPN app for Linux.
  2. Connect to a different VPN server location.
  3. Change your VPN protocol.
  4. Reboot your computer and relaunch the ExpressVPN app for Linux.

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

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