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Reason: Better to use the upstream definition than simply saying its a VPN using OpenVPN, its unhelpful! (Discuss in Talk:ProtonVPN)

ProtonVPN is a VPN provider that utilizes the OpenVPN protocol.



Install the openvpn package, then follow the OpenVPN setup.

Official ProtonVPN clients

Install one of the following packages:

You must also use NetworkManager and install network-manager-applet, otherwise the VPN will not connect. You can still use your current network manager, although running multiple network managers is not recommended (see note).

Note: For protonvpn-cliAUR, either GNOME/Keyring or KDE Wallet is required, as described here.


OpenVPN setup

Download one or more OpenVPN configuration files from ProtonVPN Downloads page.

Copy the *.ovpn client configuration files into /etc/openvpn/client/ and make backup of original.

Follow OpenVPN#The update-systemd-resolved custom script to make sure that all your network traffic uses VPN (Note: The steps mention a client.conf file, which corresponds to the *.ovpn files.) If you use systemd older than 229, follow OpenVPN#The update-resolv-conf custom script.

Note: If you install openvpn-update-systemd-resolvedAUR in the step above, remember to delete the lines in the *.ovpn referring to /etc/openvpn/update-resolv-conf, as the script is placed in /usr/bin/update-systemd-resolved instead

For usage instructions, see Using OpenVPN.


Using OpenVPN

Connect to the VPN:

# openvpn /etc/openvpn/client/client_config_file.ovpn

Provide OpenVPN / IKEv2 Username from the ProtonVPN Account page.

Press Ctrl+c to close the VPN connection.

Official command-line interface


# protonvpn-cli login <your_protonmail>

Connect to the VPN:

# protonvpn-cli connect

You should see a detailed country list with all available servers. Select preferred server and click OK.

Then select UDP or TCP protocol and click OK again.

If connection was successful, you will see following output:

Setting up ProtonVPN.
Connecting to ProtonVPN on <SERVERNAME> with <PROTOCOL>.

Successfully connected to ProtonVPN.

Where <SERVERNAME> is the servername that you have selected to connect to and <PROTOCOL> is the protocol used to connect to the server.

To automatically connect to the fastest server, use:

# protonvpn-cli c -f

A list of all options is available on the github repo

Tips and tricks

Enable VPN on boot

For systemd service configuration, see OpenVPN#systemd service configuration.

Only run certain applications through VPN with network namespaces

vopono supports automatic configuration file generation for ProtonVPN, and allows you to run applications inside temporary network namespaces so only those run through the VPN.

Save login information

To retain VPN credentials for subsequent connections, create the following file with your own login information on two lines and place it in the directory where you will run the startup script listed above.


Then add the line auth-user-pass login.conf to any relevant *.ovpn files.


For the system/tray indicator to work, ensure you have installed libappindicator-gtk3 and gnome-shell-extension-appindicator.


Official client will not connect

You may see an error message like “Unknown reason occurred.” when attempting to connect.

Install NetworkManager (and configure if needed) then install network-manager-applet. Both need to be running for ProtonVPN official clients to connect, whether you are using the GUI or CLI application.