For obvious reasons, Linux tends to attract users who are more tech savvy and privacy aware than most Windows or macOS users, which makes a VPN a pretty natural fit for the operating system.
Unfortunately, only a few VPN providers actually offer dedicated software clients for Linux, and if you don't opt for one of them you'll be stuck fiddling around in the system console (not that that's anything new to Linux users, of course...). With that in mind we've rounded up the best VPNs for Linux with a dedicated app, along with a few that don't.
What to look for in a Linux VPN
As we've already mentioned, the first thing you probably want to consider is whether your VPN of choice has a dedicated Linux app, which will make it much easier to set up, run, and troubleshoot when things go wrong. Remember to check that the app is compatible with your distro (Ubuntu support is pretty standard, but it varies beyond that) and check the version numbers to see if the Linux app is updated as regularly as the Windows and Mac versions.
If there isn't an app - or it just isn't compatible with your distro - then you'll want to check if the VPN offers setup instructions for the command console - again, ideally with specific instructions for your distribution, though this is likely to be easier to adapt. Check out our guide to the best Linux distributions if you're looking for an excuse to switch things up anyway.
Beyond that, the big concerns are the same for any VPN: how many servers there are, how many countries they cover, and what the company's policies on user data logging are - which is particularly important if they're in one of the '14-eyes' countries, in which case they have a legal responsibility to share data with law enforcement under certain circumstances.
Take a look at our main VPN guide for more information on how to use a VPN or what to look for, or read on for our advice on VPNs for Linux.
Linux VPN reviews
ExpressVPN is our favourite VPN that boasts a specific Linux client, with a dedicated app and installer that should work for Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS. If you run something else - or just prefer a manual setup - the company also offers text and video instructions to set up the VPN by yourself.
Once you've got it up and running, you've got access to more than 1,700 servers in 94 countries, one of the biggest server lists from any VPN provider anywhere.
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is a bit of a grey area when it comes to the '14-eyes' group of countries that share cyber-intelligence, but since ExpressVPN promises zero logging this shouldn't be a concern.
At full price it's not the cheapest VPN around, but if you don't mind committing you can get 15 months for the price of 12, which makes things much more affordable.
Private Internet Access
The other major VPN we've reviewed that provides a dedicated Linux app, Private Internet Access's Linux interface is pretty sparse - but don't feel shortchanged, that's by design and is exactly the same as other platforms.
The company offers visual installation instructions for Ubuntu, but it's not clear which other distributions the app will work for - though you can always opt for a manual setup if you prefer.
In terms of what you get, there's a massive list of 3,250 servers in 25 countries, a kill switch for extra security, an ad blocker and malware blocker, and there's DNS leak protection available.
The biggest downside is that it's based in the US, which will rule it out for some proper privacy nuts - make your own mind up on that one.
It is at least cheap though: a two-year subscription costs just £2.10/$2.91 per month, while a year is £2.40/$3.33 per month or a single month is £5/$6.95.
Nord is usually our number one VPN recommendation, and the only reason it falls lower on this list is that there's no dedicated Linux software available.
Still, the company provides detailed setup guides for both the OpenVPN and PPTP protocols, so anyone comfortable with delving into the console should find it easy enough to get Nord up and running - and you can always install the apps on any other non-Linux devices you want to cover too.
With more than 3,500 servers across more than 60 countries you're pretty likely to find one that suits your needs, and because Nord is based in Panama it's well outside the 14-eyes information sharing countries. Thanks to obfuscated servers, Nord is also one of the few VPNs that works in China and the Middle East.
Right now you can get Nord for as little as £2/$2.75 per month if you commit to three years ($99 total). Otherwise there's a two year plan for £2.40/$3.29 per month, a one year plan for £4.15/$5.75 per month, or if you want to commit to just one month it's £8.60/$11.95.
Goose is a great VPN, and although it doesn't offer a dedicated Linux client, we think it's worth considering regardless.
Although there's no app, it does provide users with instructions for setting the VPN up manually within Linux, using the OpenVPN protocol. Although that's the only protocol it offers official support for, impressively Goose promises that if you'd prefer to user another one then you can contact customers support and one of the developers will install another protocol on your device through TeamViewer.
Goose has servers in 77 cities across 27 countries, which is relatively few, but both speed and reliability impressed us during our testing - though there's no kill switch, which is a bit of a downside.
Goose is based in the Netherlands, one of the 14-eyes countries, and while it's normally strictly no-logging, it will log a specific user's behaviour when presented with evidence of serious criminal activity by the authorities.
On the upside, there's a 30-day trial, and a no-quibble 30-day money back guarantee, and if you're happy prices go as low as £2.99/$4.17 per month for a 50GB 1-Month Plan.
PureVPN is another solid VPN that doesn't have a Linux client, but does offer some of the best command console setup instructions of any VPN.
The company's Linux setup guide covers the PPTP, SSTP, and OpenVPN protocols on Ubuntu and Mint, and just PPTP instructions for Debian, Fedora, and CentOS.
There are more than 750 servers in 141 countries, and while there is some logging, it's limited solely to the time at which the connection is made. It's also based in Hong Kong, outside the 14-eyes, though that might put it closer to China than some users are comfortable with.
It's also incredibly cheap if you don't mind signing up for three years at once: we have a special offer which costs you just £1.40/$1.95 per month over three years, though you can also pay for just six months (£5.20/$6.95 per month) or one month (£8.20/$10.95).