How to Install ProtonVPN in Linux

How to Install ProtonVPN in Linux

How to Install ProtonVPN in Linux

I’ve heard many people complaining of the complexity of installing ProtonVPN in Linux-based OSes. The main focus of the complain is the use of many commands in Terminal to install the CLI (Command Line Interface) of the VPN, followed by its usability.
For those of you not aware, ProtonVPN project is a ProtonMail (one of the popular secure mailing services) “child”, born out of the need for protection of activists and journalists. No worries though, the target groups were the drive to ProtonVPN’s development, so you are, of course, included along with them! ProtonVPN is currently available and supported for Linux, macOS, Windows, Android, iOS && Routers (pretty interesting)!


Check 30 Reasons to Create a Free ProtonMail Account to see benefits of using ProtonMail, besides their Free ProtonVPN! Consider moving your email communications to a secure mail!


Unlike the Windows version of ProtonVPN which is easy and direct to install and operate, the CLI version for Linux has had its downside in the last couple of years, with people complaining of the installation not completing successfully, as well as issues like IPv6 leakages. Well, all these CLI issues are behind us now, reason being that ProtonVPN developers, developed a GUI (Graphical User Interface) for Linux OSes.
Now, it’s not all celebration ’cause the supported Linux OSes are Debian and Fedora based, not all Linux-based OSes.This is still good news for most Linux users, as the the supported OSes are the most used Linux-based OSes (according to statistics), which means that most likely you are sorted! ProtonVPN and the support community are of course working on more distros, and you’ll be eventually sorted (let’s hope)!


Let’s get into the main theme of this article, Installing the VPN on Linux. For this specific article, I’ll focus on Debian-based! More specifically, this installation was performed on Kali Linux. It will definitely work for any debian-based Linux distros.

Step 1: Downloading ProtonVPN GPG key and stable repo

– Fire up Firefox.
– Locate the ProtonVPN for Linux download page via the URL:! (I prefer not to include the actual .deb file, for the simple reason that a new release will be released and if I were not to update the link, then you’d be dealing with outdated software. The link takes you to the page with the latest .deb/.rpm files where you will download the latest release!)
– Download the file and open your download directory.


Step 2: Setting up ProtonVPN GPG key and stable repo

How to Install ProtonVPN in Linux

Open the download directory in Terminal && type in the following command, replacing the file name with your actual file name;

dpkg -i protonvpn-stable-release_1.0.0-1_all.deb


dpkg –install protonvpn-stable-release_1.0.0-1_all.deb


If you did not open Terminal at your download location, you need to include the path to your file, like;

dpkg -i {/path/to/}protonvpn-stable-release_1.0.0-1_all.deb

At this point, ProtonVPN is not yet installed. Trying to run it from any location or searching for it via ‘apt‘ in Terminal proves that!


Step 3: Updating Sources

How to Install ProtonVPN in Linux

The 2nd step created a sort of “sources.list” for the ProtonVPN in the user-defined ‘sources.list’ directory (/etc/apt/sources.list.d/protonvpn-stable.list), and we need to update the actual sources list to include the ProtonVPN repository. For that run;

apt-get update

You should see the new sources included as ‘apt‘ fetches updates;
deb stable main


Step 4: Installing ProtonVPN

While still in terminal, searching for “protonvpn” via ‘apt‘ now returns values for ProtonVPN package as well as its dependencies.

How to Install ProtonVPN in Linux

To install the VPN along with all necessary repositories, use ‘apt-get‘;

How to Install ProtonVPN in Linux

apt-get install protonvpn


Step 5: Running ProtonVPN

Now doing a search via ‘apt‘ will show ‘protonvpn‘ as installed. Asking ‘apt‘ to show details of ProtonVPN will also now generate details of the package.

How to Install ProtonVPN in Linux

To run your VPN, search for it in your Applications, or locate it under “Applications>Usual Applications>Internet”. The first time you run it will require you to log in to your account.
The login details are the same as your ProtonMail login details. If you don’t have an account, create one with ProtonMail at; (allows you to choose your “Subscription/Account Type”), or (allows you to directly create a Free Account!)

How to Install ProtonVPN in Linux

You have to be connected to the Internet to utilize the VPN, of course, but you can activate the “Kill Switch” or the “Permanent Kill Switch” to prevent leakages even when you are offline! If you activate the Permanent Kill Switch feature, even when connected to the internet, if you haven’t connected to a server in your VPN, you will not get Internet access!

How to Install ProtonVPN in Linux

NOTE:// One limitation of ProtonVPN in Linux is that, unlike the ProtonVPN version for Windows OS, you cannot create custom Profiles to connect to free servers of your choice in “USA”, “Netherlands” and “Japan”!

Check 30 Reasons to Create a Free ProtonMail Account to see benefits of using ProtonMail, besides their Free ProtonVPN! Consider moving your email communications to a secure mail!

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are crucial to online Privacy as they mask your identity by tunneling your traffic through dedicated servers, before the traffic reaches its intended destination. Different people choose to use or not use VPNs for various reasons. There are times when you will need to use a VPN while other times you will intentionally disconnect from the VPN, depending on the internet service(s) you are accessing (prolly to avoid trouble with sites that track your location to prevent impersonation, as a security feature!)


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How to Install ProtonVPN in Linux
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