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Use the following steps to manually setup ExpressVPN on Linux using the Terminal. In general, you’re setting up an OpenVPN connection via Terminal, using ExpressVPN’s configuration files.
Prefer app setup? See the instructions for setting up the ExpressVPN app for Linux.
Download the OpenVPN 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, log 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.
Install and set up the VPN
Start a Terminal session.
In the Terminal, type the following commands.
To install OpenVPN, type
sudo apt-get install -y openvpn
If you are using 14.04, please enter the following additional commands. Otherwise, please skip to the next step.
sudo apt-get install network-manager network-manager-openvpn network-manager-openvpn-gnome
sudo apt-get install openvpn easy-rsa
To configure OpenVPN, type
sudo openvpn --config and then drag and drop the .ovpn file you wish to use from the desktop into the Terminal window. Terminal will automatically capture the path for you.
Connect to the VPN server location
To connect OpenVPN, once the path is loaded, press Enter to initiate connection to the server.
Wait for the connection sequence to finish. Once the connection has been established successfully, you should see something like the screenshot below (Initialization Sequence Completed).
Note: For the VPN to be active, the Terminal window must stay active/open. It can be minimized—just don’t close it!
Disconnect from the VPN server location
To disconnect, press Ctrl + C or close the Terminal window (quit/exit).