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How to set up manual OpenVPN connection using Linux Terminal?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to set up an OpenVPN connection on your Linux device. This is an alternative way of connecting to Surfshark servers that will come in handy if the Surfshark VPN app can not be installed on your device or it does not perform as expected.

You will need a device running the Linux operating system and an active Surfshark subscription. If you don’t have the subscription yet, you can get it here.

 

 

This tutorial uses Ubuntu distribution. Please note that some configurations may vary depending on the Linux distribution you are using.

 

Get your credentials

 

You will need Surfshark service credentials to connect to the VPN using a manual OpenVPN connection. Do not confuse these with your regular credentials, namely your email address and your password.

Here is how you can get Surfshark service credentials:

  1. Go to this page where all the details required for manual connection are stored.

    You may need to log in before proceeding to this page. In that case, enter your email address and your password, then click Log in.

  2. Click on the Credentials tab. You will find Surfshark service credentials there.

    It is a good idea to keep this page open for now. You will need these credentials a bit later.

    Manual_credentials.png

 

 

Install the OpenVPN package

 

  1. Open the terminal window.

    You can do that by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T keys or navigating to it in your apps menu.

    Screenshot_1.png

  2. Enter the following command to install all the necessary packages:

    sudo apt-get install openvpn unzip

    You may need to enter your computer password to confirm this process. In such a case, enter the password and press Enter.


    install_necessary_packages_and_enter_password.png

Download configuration files

 

  1. Navigate to the OpenVPN directory. You can do that by entering this command:

    cd /etc/openvpn

    navigate_to_the_directory.png

  2. Download the Surfshark OpenVPN configuration by entering the following command:

    sudo wget https://my.surfshark.com/vpn/api/v1/server/configurations

    navigate_to_the_directory_and_download_configurations_-_Copy.png

  3. Extract the configurations.zip by entering this command:

    sudo unzip configurations

    unzip_configs.png


  4. Enter the following command to see the list of all the available servers:

    ls


    see_the_full_list.png

 

Connect to the VPN

 

  • Choose one server from the list that you want to connect to and copy the hostname (URL) representing this server's hostname.

    copy_the_name_of_config_file.png

  • Connect to your chosen server by entering this command:

    sudo openvpn paste the server name here

    For example, if you'd like to connect to the us-slc server, this would be the command:

    sudo openvpn us-slc.prod.surfshark.com_udp.ovpn

    connect_to_this_server.png

  • Before you can be connected to the server, you should enter Surfshark service credentials.

    Enter the credentials that you collected in the 'Get your credentials' part, and press enter.

    enter_credentials.png

  • If you can see the 'Initialization Sequence Completed' line in your terminal, you have successfully connected to Surfshark!

    connected.png

  • To disconnect from the OpenVPN connection, open the terminal and press Ctrl + C.

    disconnect_from_the_VPN.png

 

Make sure your connection was successful

 

It's always recommended to check whether your connection was successful after setting up a VPN for the first time. This can be easily done by doing an IP leak test and a DNS leak test which is available on our website. Click here to find out how to make sure your connection was successful.


Congratulations - you have successfully configured OpenVPN manual connection! As long as you’re connected, your location is private, and your sensitive data is secure.

 


If you have any further questions, our customer success team is here to help you 24/7 over live chat or email.

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