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How to Set Up and Use Atlas VPN on Linux?

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Installing the VPN app package via the terminal is the only way to set up and use Atlas VPN on Linux. You can’t set it up using the Network Manager, OpenVPN configuration files, or a GUI.

Likewise, you can only set up Atlas VPN on Ubuntu, leaving other Linux distros without a setup package.

If that’s a dealbreaker, I’ll recommend alternatives to Atlas VPN that offer a better service on top of their immense Linux distro support.

But for now, let’s get into the Atlas VPN setup guide.

How to Install Atlas VPN on Linux?

Installing Atlas VPN on Linux is as easy as downloading and installing the correct packages via the terminal.

Even if you’re not tech-savvy, the steps below will help you quickly get Atlas VPN on your Linux system.

  1. Ensure you’re running Ubuntu. Atlas VPN doesn’t work on any other Linux distribution yet.
  2. Get an Atlas VPN account. You can save on your first account by using these discounts.
  3. Download Atlas VPN from its website. You can also run a command line in the terminal to do this, but it’s easier to download.
atlas vpn for linux download
  1. Go to your browser’s download folder and right-click the file you downloaded.
browser download folder
  1. Go to the root folder of the downloaded file. For Google Chrome, you’ll click “Show in folder.”
  2. Right-click the file in the download folder, then click “Properties” from the pop-up menu.
ubuntu file pop up menu properties
  1. Copy the path information next to “Parent folder.” You can store this in a notes file on your Ubuntu.
atlas vpn parent folder in properties
  1. Next, launch your Ubuntu terminal. You can find it in the app tray or hold CTRL + ALT + T.
  2. Run the command [sudo dpkg -i /path/to/atlasvpn-repo.deb] to let your Ubuntu system know what directory the downloaded file is in. Change /path/to to the path information you copied in Step 7.
change directory on ubuntu terminal
  1. Enter your PC password if prompted.
  2. Run the command below to update the Atlas VPN package to the latest version.
					sudo apt update
  1. Run the command below to upgrade your Atlas VPN package.
					sudo apt upgrade
  1. Then, run the command below to finally install Atlas VPN.
					sudo apt install atlasvpn

If you’ve followed the steps correctly up till this point, you should now get the message “Atlas VPN for Linux successfully installed.”

atlas vpn for linux installation success

To connect to the VPN and perform other tasks, reboot your Linux system and continue below.

How to Connect to Atlas VPN on Linux?

Once you’ve installed the Atlas VPN app, you need to disable IPv6, sign in, and connect to start enjoying the VPN’s services.

Here’s how to do so from your terminal since Atlas VPN doesn’t have a Linux GUI:

  1. Launch your Ubuntu terminal.
  2. Run the command below.
					sudo nano /etc/sysctl.conf
  1. Scroll to the bottom of the file.
  2. Copy and paste these four lines of code at the bottom of the file.
					net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1
net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6 = 1
net.ipv6.conf.lo.disable_ipv6 = 1
net.ipv6.conf.tun0.disable_ipv6 = 1
  1. Press Ctrl + O to write out the file, then exit with Ctrl + X.
    1. The commands to perform these tasks might differ on your terminal. So, it’s a good idea to check.
ubuntu nano file
  1. Run the command below to enforce your changes in the Linux system.
					sudo sysctl -p
  1. Now, test the effect of the changes by running the code below.
					sudo cat /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/all/disable_ipv6
  1. If you get the output “1,” then you’re on track.
output 1 on command testing ipv6 disabling
  1. Run the command below to sign in to Atlas VPN.
					atlasvpn signin
  1. Write your email address, then press Enter.
atlas vpn email address sign in via ubuntu terminal
  1. Go to your email address and copy the login code sent to you. You don’t need to keep this code; it’ll change whenever you want to log in.
atlas vpn sign in code
  1. Paste the code in your terminal, then press Enter.
  2. You’ll get a success message if you’ve signed in with the correct email address and code.
atlas vpn successful signed in on ubuntu
  1. Now, run the command code below to start the connection process.
					atlasvpn connect
  1. Choose an Atlas VPN server type to continue. You can learn more about the different types in this Atlas VPN specialty server guide.
atlas vpn server type
  1. Once selected, you’ll get a list of servers corresponding to your chosen type.
  2. Enter the number of the server you want to connect to. I’ll choose 22 (United Kingdom – Manchester) for this example.
    1. You don’t need to memorize the server numbers. They change as Atlas VPN adds or removes servers.
atlas vpn united kingdom server
  1. Wait for the connection success message.
atlas vpn connected to united kingdom manchester server
  1. Test for leaks to be sure you’ve gotten the correct server plus its corresponding IP address.
atlas vpn ip leak test on uk server

I unblocked BBC iPlayer sports and movies on Ubuntu Linux while connected to Atlas VPN’s UK server.

streaming bbc iplayer on ubuntu linux with atlasvpn

How to Update Atlas VPN on Linux?

Updating Atlas VPN on Linux is vital since the app might sometimes not work or install appropriately without the update. And if it does work, you might be missing serious security patches, leaving you vulnerable to the kind of zero-day flaw that affected some Atlas VPN Linux users in 2023.

So that you don’t fall victim to that, here’s how to update the VPN:

  1. Launch your Linux terminal.
  2. Run the code below to update the Atlas VPN package.
					sudo apt update
  1. Run the code below to upgrade the package to the latest version.
					sudo apt upgrade
  1. Reboot the Ubuntu system.
  2. Reconnect to Atlas VPN to start enjoying the VPN’s services with the most recent security patches installed.

How to Disconnect From Atlas VPN Server on Linux?

Since Atlas VPN doesn’t have a GUI, disconnecting from a server might be tricky.

Thankfully, you only need to run one line of code in the terminal to stop the VPN server connection:

  1. Launch the Linux terminal.
  2. Run the command line [atlasvpn disconnect]. You can also run the shorter version [atlasvpn d].
disconnect atlas vpn from united kingdom server
  1. Wait for the disconnection message.
  2. You can run an IP test to confirm that you’re no longer using the VPN’s server.

Atlas VPN Not Working on Linux? (Troubleshooting)

It’s rare that Atlas VPN doesn’t work on your Linux system if you follow the setup guide above.

But if you can’t sign into the VPN, connect to a server, complete the installation, or face other issues, here are some pointers to help.

Disable IPv6

Atlas VPN can’t encrypt IPv6 traffic. So, you might be unable to connect to the VPN or keep leaking data while connected if IPv6 is enabled.

Follow steps 1-8 under the “How to Connect to Atlas VPN on Linux?” section above to disable IPv6.

Uninstall and Reinstall

Before uninstalling, you should first update/upgrade the Atlas VPN Linux setup (as detailed in the sections above).

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to uninstall the Atlas VPN package.

Here’s how:

  1. Launch the Linux terminal.
  2. Run the command below to remove Atlas VPN from the system.
					sudo apt remove atlasvpn
  1. Enter your system password and press Enter.
  2. When prompted, press “Y,” then the Enter key.
confirm atlas vpn removal on ubuntu
  1. Restart your Linux computer.
  2. Follow the installation steps from above again to install the VPN.

Reboot the Linux System

You must reboot your Linux system after installing Atlas VPN, or else it may not work. While the VPN is installed in the background, you won’t be able to connect to its server or sign in.

Hence, once you’re done with the installation, do this:

  1. Click the systems icon tray.
ubuntu log out on systems tray
  1. Click “Power Off/ Log Out.”
  2. Click “Restart…”
  3. Wait for the system to restart.
  4. Log in to your Atlas VPN account and connect to a server.

Atlas VPN Alternatives for Linux Users

Atlas VPN isn’t an ideal VPN for Linux users who work with Debian, Mint, or other Linux distros besides Ubuntu since it doesn’t have an installation package for those.

Likewise, the VPN lacks a graphical user interface (GUI), which makes it harder to quickly select servers, tweak settings, and enjoy the VPN properly. 

That also makes the setup, installation, connection, and disconnection more herculean for users who don’t want to use their terminal for everything.

On top of that, Atlas VPN doesn’t allow you to set up specific servers via the Network Manager.

If these don’t bother you, Atlas VPN is reliable enough to unblock content and ensure optimal privacy on Ubuntu. However, suppose you’re put off by one or more of these limitations. In that case, it’s best to switch to reliable Atlas VPN alternatives instead:

  • NordVPN – Boasts a GUI app for Linux, supports multiple distros, and offers far more servers than Atlas VPN. (Setup guides here).
  • Surfshark – Offers a Linux GUI app for Debian, Ubuntu, and Mint, and it supports every Linux distro with 5 unique setup methods (Setup guides here).
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Atlas VPN doesn’t support OpenVPN configurations on Linux. 

Hence, you can’t install the VPN manually via the OpenVPN client or use the Network Manager to set up its OpenVPN servers.

Atlas VPN uses WireGuard encryption protocol alone on its Linux packages.

This makes it faster than most other VPNs, which rely on their OpenVPN protocols for Linux. However, this might make it tougher for Atlas VPN to connect on restrictive networks or in regions like China and Vietnam.

Install Atlas VPN on Unlimited Linux Devices

Every Atlas VPN plan allows you to install and simultaneously connect to the VPN on unlimited devices. If that excites you, follow the setup guide above to get the VPN working on your Ubuntu Linux devices.

Remember to avoid common mistakes like not rebooting your PC, forgetting to upgrade and update the package after getting it, or missing out on these Atlas VPN discount deals.

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