How to Set Up and Use the ExpressVPN App for Linux

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This tutorial will walk you through the steps to set up ExpressVPN for Linux.

Prefer video? You can follow along with the embedded clip.

Can’t access YouTube? Watch the video here.

Jump to section

Download the installer for your version of Linux
Install the app
Connect to a server location
Disconnect from a server location
Choose a different server location
Switch to a different VPN protocol
Open the manual
Use the autocomplete feature
Uninstall your app
Troubleshoot your installation


Download the installer for your version of Linux

Open the Welcome Email you received when you signed up for ExpressVPN. Click the link in the email.

open the welcome email

If you can’t find the link, log in to your account here.

login

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.

set up expressvpn

Click on Linux on the left side of the screen and download the correct installer for your version of Linux onto your machine.

Copy the activation code. You will need to provide it later when activating the app. To copy, click on the copy information icon on the top right corner of the box.

download correct linux distribution

Note: You can find out which version of Ubuntu you are running by going to the terminal and inputting uname -m or arch

If there is mention of “64” (for example “x86_64”), it means you are using a 64-bit Linux distribution. In this case, download the 64-bit installer.

suggest protocol

For information on downloading the PGP key and verifying the signature, see here.

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

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Install the app

To install ExpressVPN for Linux using the command line for Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS:

Navigate to the folder where you downloaded the installer file. For example: cd ~/Downloads/

Once inside the folder, run one of the following commands, according to your distribution:

Ubuntu / Debian 64-bit: sudo dpkg -i expressvpn_1.1.0_amd64.deb

Ubuntu / Debian 32-bit: sudo dpkg -i expressvpn_1.1.0_i386.deb

Fedora / CentOS 64-bit: sudo yum install expressvpn-1.1.0-1.x86_64.rpm

Fedora / CentOS 32-bit: sudo yum install expressvpn-1.1.0-1.i386.rpm

installer command

To activate the app, open a new terminal. Run the following:

expressvpn activate

and paste your activation code from the Downloads page.

activate expressvpn

You can help us by sharing anonymous information! Enter Y to accept or n to decline.

sharing information

If you chose to send diagnostics but want to opt out later, run the following:

expressvpn preferences set send_diagnostics false

ubuntu diagnostics off

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

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Connect to a server location

In the terminal, run the following:

expressvpn connect

ExpressVPN will connect to the server you were previously connected to.

If you have not connected to a server before, ExpressVPN will connect to a recommended location for you.

expressvpn connected

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

device-policy

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

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Disconnect from a server location

To disconnect from a server location, run the following command:

expressvpn disconnect

ExpressVPN will disconnect from the server location to which it is currently connected.

expressvpn disconnected

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

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Connect to a different 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.

all-locations

Connect to a specific server location

To connect to a specific server location, enter:

expressvpn connect [LOCATION]

or

expressvpn connect [ALIAS]

For example, to connect to the US Santa Clara server, enter:

expressvpn connect "USA - Santa Clara"

or

expressvpn connect ussc

Connect to a specific country

To connect to a specific country, enter:

expressvpn connect [COUNTRY]

For example, to connect to a server location in Germany, enter:

expressvpn connect Germany

Connect to Smart Location

To connect to the Smart Location:

expressvpn connect smart

smart-connect

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 the following command:

expressvpn protocol tcp

To switch to UDP, run the following command as shown in the screenshot below:

expressvpn protocol udp

protocol switch

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 manual

To view a full list of the app’s functions, run the following command: “man

man expressvpn

all-commands

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

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Use the autocomplete feature

When entering commands, you can get a list of all functions by clicking the “tab” key twice.

For example, typing expressvpn protocol and then clicking the “tab” key twice lists the protocol options available.

all functions

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

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Uninstall your app

To uninstall the ExpressVPN app, run the following command:

sudo dpkg -r expressvpn

uninstall expressvpn

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

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Troubleshoot your installation

If you see the error message Cannot connect to expressvpn daemon, enter the following command to restart ExpressVPN:

sudo service expressvpn restart

expressvpn restart

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

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