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The 7 Best VPNs for Linux: A Summary

Linux is generally more secure than other operating systems, but it’s not impervious to online threats. And, it doesn’t protect you from third parties, like your internet service provider (ISP) and hackers, who may track your online activities.

Using a virtual private network (VPN) is one of the best ways to improve the privacy and security of your Linux device. By encrypting your traffic and hiding your IP address, a VPN blocks third parties from tracking your online activity. It also allows you to access geo-restricted content and browse the web freely.

We tested over 20 VPNs to determine the best VPN for Linux. These are our top picks:

  1. Surfshark: A solid VPN with a graphical user interface (GUI), perfect for Ubuntu users
  2. NordVPN: A fast and secure Linux VPN
  3. ExpressVPN: A reliable VPN that supports many Linux distros
  4. Private Internet Access (PIA): A feature-rich Linux VPN client with GUI
  5. CyberGhost: An easy-to-use Linux VPN
  6. Proton VPN: The best free VPN for Linux
  7. Mullvad VPN: User-friendly Linux VPN for privacy-conscious users

We recommend Surfshark over all the others; it has an easy-to-use app (with a nice interface), large server network, can be connected to an unlimited number of devices, and is perfect for streaming or torrenting!

Continue reading to learn all about our best VPNs for Linux.

Linux Logo Laptop

Linux is a top favorite among programmers, scientists, and security-conscious users because it’s open source, less prone to viruses, and rarely crashes. However, once you go online, your data and traffic are at the mercy of third parties.

A VPN protects you from online threats by masking your identity and encrypting your traffic. The bad news? Only a handful of VPN providers have a dedicated Linux app. Even when you find a VPN with a Linux client, some don’t support certain Linux distros or function well.

Our cybersecurity experts took time to examine and test over 20 Linux VPN services. We looked for VPNs that have a working Linux app, robust security and privacy features, fast speeds, an extensive server network, and excellent unblocking ability. Surfshark ticked all these boxes to earn the top spot.

The Best VPNs for Linux

Here’s an overview of the seven VPNs that met our criteria.

FeatureSurfsharkNordVPNExpressVPNPrivate Internet Access (PIA)CyberGhostProton VPNMullvad
Number of serversOver 3,200Over 5,000 Over 3,000Over 33,000Over 9,0001,700Over 600
Number of countries100609484916043
DistrosUbuntu, Debian, and Linux MintUbuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, Elementary OS, OpenSUSE, RHEL, Linux Mint, CentOS, and QubesOS Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Raspberry Pi OS,
Linux Mint, and Arch
Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, Arch and othersUbuntu, Fedora, Mint, Kali, CentOS, and PoP!_OSDebian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, MX Linux, Kali Linux, Elementary OS, Fedora, and Arch Linux / ManjaroUbuntu, Debian, and Fedora
ProtocolsWireGuard and OpenVPNNordLynx, IKEv2/IPsec, and OpenVPNOpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, and LightwayWireGuard and OpenVPNOpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuardOpenVPN, Wireguard, and IKEv2WireGuard and OpenVPN
PriceFrom $2.30 per month (On the two-year plan)From $3.19 per month (On the two-year plan)From $6.67 per month (On the one-year plan)From $2.19 per month (For three years plus three months)From $2.19 per month (For two years plus three months)From $4.99 per month (For the two-year plan)From 5 EUR per month (about $5.44)
PurchaseSave 82% on SurfsharkSave 61% on NordVPNSave 49% on ExpressVPNSave 83% on PIASave 83% on CyberGhost Save 57% on Proton VPNGet Mullvad Now

All these VPNs offer rock-solid AES encryption, various protocols, DNS leak protection, split tunneling, and a strict no-logs policy. Let’s look at each one, starting with Surfshark, the overall best Linux VPN.

1. Surfshark VPN: A solid VPN with a graphical user interface (GUI), perfect for Ubuntu users

Download a VPN for Linux website page, Surfshark


  • 3,200+ servers in over 100 countries
  • Compatible with Ubuntu, Debian, and Linux Mint distros
  • OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols
  • Unlimited devices
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

If you’re not a fan of operating apps via commands on the Linux terminal, Surfshark is the VPN for you. It has a dedicated Linux app with a graphical user interface (GUI). The Surfshark Linux app works like its Windows and Mac apps. With the click of a button, you can access Surfshark’s myriad features, choose servers, change protocols, activate multi-hop and static servers, and so much more.

We recommend Surfshark for Ubuntu users since the GUI was designed primarily for that distro. However, it’s also available for Debian 11 and newer, as well as Mint 20 and newer versions.

Starting at $2.30 per month for two years, Surfshark is a cheap VPN, but you can even drive the cost down by sharing your account and splitting the cost with others. Surfshark supports an unlimited number of devices per account.

Surfshark is offering 82 percent off and two months free on its Surfshark One two-year plan. This plan includes a VPN, antivirus, identity theft protection tools, and more.

Read our in-depth Surfshark review to learn more about this VPN and how it performed in our tests.

2. NordVPN: A fast and secure Linux VPN

Download NordVPN app for Linux website page


  • 5,000+ VPN servers in 60 countries
  • Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, CentOS, Elementary OS, OpenSUSE, RHEL, Linux Mint, CentOS, and QubesOS distros
  • NordLynx, IKEv2/IPsec, and OpenVPN protocols
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Six simultaneous connections
  • Fast speeds

NordVPN is our overall best VPN. However, it’s not number one on this list because while it has a dedicated Linux app, it doesn’t have a graphical user interface (GUI). Still, it’s easier to install NordVPN on Linux compared to many of the Linux VPNs we tested.

NordVPN’s Linux app is compatible with all the major Linux distros. This includes Debian-based and RHEL-based systems like Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Qubes OS, and Elementary OS. The NordVPN Linux app is open-source, adding confidence and transparency to the app.

This VPN performed impressively well in our VPN speed tests. NordVPN’s lightning-fast speed makes it one of the best VPNs for performing data-heavy activities on Linux — like binge-watching the best Netflix shows or downloading torrents.

Another proof that NordVPN is an all-rounder is its security features. It offers three VPN protocols: NordLynx, IKEv2/IPsec, and OpenVPN. This gives you a wide range of options for speed and security. NordVPN allows easy switching between those protocols — which is not always easy on Linux.

NordVPN is offering a huge discount on its two-year plan.

We’ve put NordVPN through the wringer and assessed every aspect of its performance. To learn more, check out our NordVPN review.

3. ExpressVPN: A reliable Linux VPN that supports many distros

ExpressVPN the best VPN for Linux website page


  • 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
  • Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Raspberry Pi OS, Linux Mint, and Arch distros
  • OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, and Lightway protocols
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Five simultaneous connections

ExpressVPN was one of the earliest VPNs to launch a command-line interface for Linux in 2016. Since then, it has expanded to cover a wide range of Linux distros, including Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Raspberry Pi OS, Linux Mint, Peppermint, Kali, Parrot Security, Qubes, and Arch.

We were pleased to find that ExpressVPN is compatible with and provides detailed installation guides for lesser-known distros such as Lubuntu, Korora, Zorin, and Maui Linux. If you use any of these, ExpressVPN is worth a shot.

During our tests, it was easy to install and use ExpressVPN on Linux. There are no bells and whistles, just a couple of commands that allow you to choose your server and connect.

Unlike Surfshark, the ExpressVPN Linux app doesn’t have a GUI, but there’s a workaround — you can use ExpressVPN’s browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge to browse on Linux. The only downside is that traffic from the other apps on your device won’t be routed through the VPN tunnel.

At $6.67, ExpressVPN is more expensive than most VPNs on this list. But you can take advantage of this discount offer and pay half price.

Check out our ExpressVPN review to learn more about ExpressVPN and discover why it is one of our top VPNs.

4. Private Internet Access (PIA): A feature-rich Linux VPN client with GUI

Download VPN for Linux, Private Internet Access website page


  • 33,000+ servers in 84 countries
  • Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, Arch, and other distros
  • WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections

Private Internet Access is one of the best VPNs for Linux because of its open-source app with a graphical user interface. The PIA app is compatible with major Linux distros, including Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and Arch.

Thanks to its GUI, you can fiddle with the settings of the Linux PIA app, just like on Windows and macOS. You can easily activate features such as split tunneling and configure your DNS servers from the app. This is not easy to do with many Linux apps.

PIA is also a good choice if you need an IP address to unblock Netflix US. It has 50 servers in the US and plenty of servers in 83 other countries across the globe. PIA supports unlimited simultaneous connections too! And, at just $2.19 monthly, it’s a bargain. But it gets better.

PIA’s vast server network is its biggest selling point, but there’s more to this VPN. Read our PIA review for a deep dive into this VPN.

5. CyberGhost: An Easy-to-use Linux VPN

CyberGhost for Linux website page with added logo in the corner


  • 9,000+ servers in 91 countries
  • Ubuntu 19.04, 18.04, and 16.04; Fedora 29, 30, and 31; Mint 19, Kali, CentOS 17, and PoP!_OS distros
  • WireGuard, OpenVPN, and IKEv2 protocols
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

CyberGhost has a reputation for being a beginner-friendly VPN. While the CyberGhost Linux app doesn’t have a GUI, it’s still easy to use. We could install the VPN on Ubuntu, Fedora, and Mint using a few commands.

Unlike the VPNs above, CyberGhost supports only five Linux distros: Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, Kali, CentOS, and PoP!_OS. CyberGhost is one of the few VPNs that supports PoP!_OS — a Linux distro popular among STEM and creative professionals.

CyberGhost has been making improvements to its Linux app. After the January 2023 update, “Ghosties” can now access WireGuard on the CLI app. Plus, you get to choose from over 9,000 servers in 91 countries.

If you’re still unsure about CyberGhost for Linux, read our CyberGhost review. Otherwise, you can take CyberGhost for a test run using its 45-day money-back guarantee.

6. Proton VPN: The Best free Linux VPN

VPN app for Linux, Proton VPN website page with added logo in the corner


  • Free VPN service
  • Unlimited data
  • Has a Linux GUI App
  • OpenVPN, Wireguard, and IKEv2 protocols
  • Free server locations in the USA, Japan, and the Netherlands
  • Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, MX Linux, Kali Linux, Elementary OS, Fedora, Arch Linux / Manjaro distros

Short on cash? You can use the Proton VPN Linux app without paying a dime. Proton VPN is arguably the best free VPN for Linux. The fact that it has a dedicated Linux app with GUI is noteworthy, as even some paid VPNs only support command-line on Linux.

Proton VPN is available for many Linux distros. You can use Proton VPN for Linux distros like Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Kali Linux, and Fedora. Proton VPN also offers unlimited data, which is rare for a free VPN. It’s a great choice if you want to stream movies, watch live sports, or download torrents.

However, as with all free VPNs, Proton VPN has limitations. It only gives free Linux users access to three VPN server locations: the USA, Japan, and the Netherlands. Given that it’s completely free and doesn’t have any bandwidth limit, Proton VPN is a top option for Linux.

If you want access to Proton VPN’s 1,700+ servers in over 60 countries, you need to pay for the premium service. It’s worth noting that you can’t unblock Netflix with the free version of Proton VPN. We’ve detailed all of Proton VPN’s features and capabilities in our Proton VPN review.

7. Mullvad VPN: User-friendly Linux VPN for privacy-conscious users

Mullvad VPN for Linux website page with added logo in the corner


  • 600+ servers in over 40 countries
  • Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora distros.
  • OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols.
  • Doesn’t require an email during signup
  • A popular choice for torrenting

Mullvad is a privacy-focused Linux VPN. You don’t have to worry about whether Mullvad’s no-logs policy is true because the VPN collects barely any data about you. In fact, you don’t even need an email to sign up, and you can pay with cryptocurrency. This is why Mullvad is one of the top VPNs Reddit users recommend.

It doesn’t offer much in the way of distros; it only supports Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora. Installing and setting up Mullvad VPN on Linux is easy.

After creating an account and getting your login details, you can download the Mullvad Linux repository from its website. Then, open the app and choose a server. Mullvad’s user-friendliness makes this VPN ideal for newbies to Linux.

Mullvad is a great Linux torrenting VPN. Downloading torrents with this VPN is fast, and it comes with instructions on how to secure your BitTorrent client.

Mullvad costs €5 per month (about $5.44), which is a bit pricier than most VPNs. But this price gives you a stable, reliable, and user-friendly VPN for Linux.

For more pros and cons of this VPN, check out our exhaustive Mullvad review.

How We Picked the Best VPNs for Linux

We assessed more than 20 VPNs to determine the best Linux VPNs. For every VPN we examined, we asked the following questions:

Factors to consider when choosing the best VPNs for Linux
  • Does it have a functional and easy-to-use Linux app? Most Linux VPNs are operated via Linux command line. We checked how easy it was to install and use these VPNs using commands. It’s even better if a VPN app has a graphical user interface (GUI) because you control it easily without entering commands.
  • Does it support multiple Linux distributions? The best Linux VPNs support popular distros, including Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora. They are also available for lesser-known ones, including OpenSUSE and PoP!_OS.
  • How large is its server network? Any VPN worth its salt should have hundreds of servers in multiple countries. This gives you multiple IP choices and reduces the chances of server congestion.
  • What security features does it offer? AES encryption, a kill switch, and OpenVPN protocol are the bare minimum. Other helpful features include double VPN servers, obfuscation, and an ad/tracker/malware blocker.
  • Is it fast? Every VPN will reduce your internet speed, but the best ones have negligible impact. Without a fast VPN, you’ll experience slow-loading pages and seemingly endless buffering.
  • Can it unblock streaming sites and allow torrenting? We ran tests to see which VPNs could unblock major streaming providers like Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus. We also checked to see if they allow torrenting.

Setting up a VPN on Linux

We’ll walk through how to install a VPN on Linux. The installation steps might vary depending on the VPN and your Linux distro. For this setup process, we’ll use Linux Mint. These steps are generally the same regardless of the VPN you’re installing.

Graphical user interface app installation

Follow the steps below to install Surfshark’s GUI app on Linux:

  1. Open the Software Manager from the menu on the toolbar.

    Linux Software manager interface
  2. Search for “Surfshark” and click “Install.” You’ll need to provide your password to approve the installation.

    Linux Software manager, search and install Surfshark
  3. When it’s done, you should be able to click Launch from the Software Manager page to open the app.

    Partial screenshot of Linux Software manager, Launch Surfshark
  4. Once you log in, you can connect to a server within seconds.

    Surfshark interface, client connected to Portugal server

Command-line interface

Here’s how to install NordVPN on Linux using commands. The steps below are specifically for installing NordVPN’s CLI app on Linux Mint.

  1. Install the app by opening the Linux terminal window and typing in the following command “sh <(curl -sSf”

    Linux terminal, Install NordVPN command
  2. If it installs successfully, there should be a NordVPN app on your device. When you click it, this page should appear.

    Linux terminal, NordVPN app
  3. If you get an error message when you click the NordVPN app, Nord recommends doing this: “Additionally, if you receive the following issue: Whoops! Permission denied accessing /run/nordvpn/nordvpnd.sock, all you need to do is write the following command: sudo usermod -aG nordvpn $USER and then reboot your device.” This worked for us!
  4. Click enter to close that terminal window.
  5. Open a new terminal window and type “nordvpn login.” You should see the page below.

    Linux terminal, NordVPN login command
  6. When you copy the link and paste it into a browser, you should see the NordVPN login page. Enter your details to log in to your account.

    NordVPN login page, Brave browser
  7. You can either open a Linux terminal window or click the NordVPN app to open it. When you type “nordvpn connect,” you’ll be automatically connected to the fastest server.

    Linux terminal, NordVPN connect to fastest server

Other settings

You can activate various features as well. Here are a few examples:

  • Type “nordvpn disconnect” to disconnect the VPN.

    Linux terminal, NordVPN disconnect from server command
  • Type “nordvpn set killswitch on” to activate the kill switch.

    Linux terminal, NordVPN set kill switch on
  • Type “nordvpn c double VPN” to use NordVPN’s double VPN feature. In our case, our traffic was routed through the UK and France.

    Linux terminal, double VPN connection, NordVPN
  • To connect to any NordVPN server, type the country’s initials after “nordvpn connect.” For example, write “nordvpn connect uk” to connect to a server in the United Kingdom.

You can find other commands, including switching between protocols, in this guide from NordVPN.

Conclusion: What is the Best VPN for Linux?

Most websites you visit track you to deliver ads. Your ISP, hackers, and other third parties also track you across the web. Using a VPN is a great way to protect your privacy and avoid falling into the snare of threat actors.

With a simple graphical user interface app, excellent security features, an affordable price tag, and support for unlimited devices, Surfshark is easily the best Linux VPN. Plus, it can unblock streaming services and bypass censorship in repressive countries.

You’ll find our top VPN picks for other operating systems in the articles below:

The Best VPN for Linux: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about the best VPNs for Linux? Check out the FAQ section below for answers.

What is the best VPN for Linux?

Based on our tests, these are the five best Linux VPNs:

  1. Surfshark: A solid VPN with a graphical user interface (GUI), perfect for Ubuntu users.
  2. NordVPN: An exceptionally fast and secure Linux VPN.
  3. ExpressVPN: A reliable Linux VPN that supports many Linux distros.
  4. Private Internet Access (PIA): A feature-rich Linux VPN client with GUI.
  5. CyberGhost: An easy-to-use Linux VPN.
Does Linux have built-in VPN?

Linux doesn’t have a built-in VPN, so you have to download one. In our experience, Surfshark is the best VPN for Linux. The GUI of the Surfshark Linux app makes it very user-friendly. Plus, the VPN offers fast speeds, top-notch encryption, many protocols, fast speeds, and plenty servers. We couldn’t ask for more! Read our comprehensive Surfshark review to learn more about this VPN.

How do I connect to a VPN with Linux Network Manager?

The process might differ depending on the VPN provider and protocol you choose. Your best bet is to contact the VPN provider’s website for step-by-step instructions and the necessary setup files. For example, if you intend to connect over OpenVPN, look for the OpenVPN configuration files.

After downloading it, follow the installation guide on the VPN provider’s website. If you face any issues, contact their customer support.

How to set up a L2TP VPN connection on Linux?

First, check if the VPN supports the L2TP/IPSec protocol. If it does, you should find setup guides in your VPN’s help center. In most cases, you’ll set up L2TP using the command line. Afterward, you can add a connection using the Linux Network Manager.

Leave a comment

  1. andrew_t

    I’ve been using Linux as long as I can remember and I couldn’t imagine using any other operating system now. Although as probably any other user of technology gadgets I was concerned about not getting hacked and keeping my info safe (and also being able to torrent movies in high quality), which is the main reason I decided to get a vpn. My friend was using Surfshark and he recommended for me to try it out from his account, which of course I couldn’t refuse. After reading more about it (and trying it out) I decided that it worked quite decently for torrenting and it claimed to have advanced security systems, which is why I ended up getting the subscription. So far so good, haven’t had any major problems!

    • Priscilla -

      Thank you for sharing! We have nothing but good experiences with Surfshark, so we can only agree with you. It’s definitely one of the top VPN providers we’ve tried!

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