How to setup ExpressVPN OpenVPN using Ubuntu Network Manager


Need a VPN for Linux?

Get ExpressVPN Now

Use the following rough steps to setup ExpressVPN on Linux. The details of these steps will depend on your flavor of Linux. In general, you’re setting up an OpenVPN connection using our configuration files.

Jump to…

Download the VPN configuration files
Install and setup the VPN with Network Manager
Connect to the VPN

Download the VPN configuration files

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.

log in to

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. 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.

download openvpn configuration files

Scroll down to “3. Optional” and click on the download link for your VPN certificates and keys to download your SSL files.

linux download zip files

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

Back to top

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-openvpn


Click on your Network Manager icon on your desktop bar Notification Area. This icon can be in the shape of 2 computer screens computer screen icon or arrows arrows icon or a wireless signal meter wi-fi icon if you use a Wi-Fi connection.

Click on Edit Connections.

edit connections

On the Network Manager Applet, click on the Add button.

import saved vpn configuration

Select “Import a saved VPN configuration…” and then click on Create…

create connection

Browse for one of the *.ovpn files that you’ve downloaded (on Step 2), then click on Open.

open .ovpn file

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 in Step 3. See example below:

edit vpn settings for linux ubuntu

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

copy the settings from this tab

Under the Security tab, make set the Cipher to “AES-256-CBC” and HMAC Authentication to “SHA-512

set cipher and hmac authentication

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.

tls authentication

Click OK to finish the setup.

Reboot your computer.

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

Back to top

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.

vpn connections

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.

vpn login message

To check that you’re connected OK, go to and check that you now have one of our IPs. Also, try going to or other sites that are usually blocked for you and make sure they work now.

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

Back to top

Was this article helpful to you?39 3 Undo

Not an ExpressVPN user yet? Sign up today so you can start using our apps!

Install ExpressVPN on all your devices!

windows apple android ios linux chrome ebooks phones consoles router nas share