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Linux - Setting up manual OpenVPN connection through the Terminal - Knowledgebase / Technical / Troubleshooting / OpenVPN - PIA Support Portal

Linux - Setting up manual OpenVPN connection through the Terminal

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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 PIA VPN servers that will come in handy if the PIA VPN app can not be installed on your device or it does not perform as expected.

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 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 PIA VPN service credentials to connect to the VPN using a manual OpenVPN connection.  This was sent to the same email you used when you purchased and registered for the PIA VPN subscription. You may look for an email with the subject "Private Internet Access Account Activated" From "Private Internet Access - Support Dept ''. 


Install the OpenVPN package

 Step 1:  Open the terminal:

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

Step 2:  Install Openvpn: 

• Enter the following command to install all the necessary packages:

sudo apt-get install openvpn unzip

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

Download configuration files

Step 3:  Change Directory:

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

cd /etc/openvpn

Step 4:  Download the zip file:

• Download the PIA OpenVPN configuration by entering the following command:

sudo wget

Step 5:  Unzip the file:

• Extract the by entering this command:

sudo unzip

Connect to the VPN

Step 6:  Connect:

  • Choose one server from the list that you want to connect to and copy the hostname (URL) representing this server's hostname.
  • Enter the following command to see the list of all the available servers:


  • 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-california server, this would be the command:
    sudo openvpn us_california.ovpn

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

 Some networks are configured to be more restrictive than others, which can sometimes interfere with VPN connections. In the event the default files do not work, please try redoing the config file portion of the OpenVPN install and replace the file with one of the URLs listed below; please try each set until one of them works:


OpenVPN Configuration Files (Recommended Default windows only plus block-outside-dns)





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