NordVPN on Linux: a comprehensive review

Without any doubts, NordVPN is one of the greatest VPN service provider worldwide, counting 6500 servers in 59 countries. If you didn’t alredy, check out my installation guide. Let’s see how NordVPN fares on Linux.

1. Using NordVPN on Linux

1.1 …

account
Shows account information.

   cities
       Shows a list of cities where servers are available.

   connect, c
       Connects you to VPN.

   countries
       Shows a list of countries where servers are available.

   disconnect, d
       Disconnects you from VPN.

   groups
       Shows a list of available server groups.

   login
       Logs you in.

   logout
       Logs you out.

rate
           Rate your last connection quality (1-5)

       register
           Registers a new user account

       set, s
           Sets a configuration option.

       settings
           Shows current settings.

       status
           Shows connection status.

       whitelist
           Adds or removes an option from a whitelist.

       help, h
           Display syntax for the given operation. If no operation was supplied, then
           the general syntax is shown.

nordvpn cities
Usage: nordvpn cities [country]

Use this command to show cities where servers are available.

Example: ‘nordvpn cities United_States’

Press the Tab key to see auto-suggestions for countries.

Example 1. Connect to a recommended server
$ nordvpn connect

   Example 2. Connect to a server in a specific country
       $ nordvpn connect Australia
       $ nordvpn connect Switzerland
       $ nordvpn connect Greece

   Example 3. Connect to a server in a specific city
       $ nordvpn connect Sweden Stockholm
       $ nordvpn connect Australia Sydney
       $ nordvpn connect Japan Tokyo

   Example 4. Connect to a server in a specific country using the country code
       $ nordvpn connect US
       $ nordvpn connect JP
       $ nordvpn connect AU

   Example 5. Connect to a server in a specific group
       $ nordvpn connect P2P
       $ nordvpn connect The_Americas
       $ nordvpn connect Dedicated_IP

   Example 6. Connect to a server in a specific group and country
       $ nordvpn connect --group P2P Germany

   Example 7. Disconnect from VPN
       $ nordvpn disconnect
	   
	   
	   Example 8. Set a protocol
           $ nordvpn set protocol UDP
           $ nordvpn set protocol TCP

       Example 9. Enable Kill Switch
           $ nordvpn set killswitch enabled

       Example 10. Enable CyberSec
           $ nordvpn set cybersec enabled

       Example 11. Enable auto-connect
           $ nordvpn set autoconnect enabled

       Example 12. Enable auto-connect to specific country or city
           $ nordvpn set autoconnect enabled
           $ nordvpn set autoconnect enabled Australia
           $ nordvpn set autoconnect enabled Sweden Stockholm

       Example 13. Enable obfuscation
           $ nordvpn set obfuscate enabled

       Example 14. Enable notifications
           $ nordvpn set notify enabled

       Example 15. Change technology
           $ nordvpn set technology NordLynx
           $ nordvpn set technology OpenVPN

1.2 …

NordVPN on Linux pros & cons

NordVPN pros
  • Best-in-class network and speed
  • NordLynx implementation (NordLynx)
NordVPN cons
  • Only .deb and .rpm installation packages
  • No graphical user interface (GUI)

How to install NordVPN on any Linux distribution

In this guide, we’ll cover installing NordVPN on any (supported) distributions via the official NordVPN application or through native OpenVPN network managers.

NordVPN only provides .deb and .rpm packages. As of November 2020, there are no Snap or Flatpak files available. For this guide, I installed and tested the NordVPN Linux package on a Debian-based distribution (Ubuntu 20.10) and and on an RPM-based Linux distro (Fedora 33).

1. Installing NordVPN on Linux

NordVPN recommends installing its services via the NordVPN application.

NordVPN only provides .deb and .rpm packages. As of November 2020, there are no Snap or Flatpak files available. For this guide, I installed and tested the NordVPN Linux package on a Debian-based distribution (Ubuntu 20.10) and and on an RPM-based Linux distro (Fedora 33).

1.1 NordVPN on Debian-based Linux distributions

This installation procedure works on Ubuntu, Linux Mint, MX Linux, elementary OS or any Debian-based distribution.

If you want to install the .deb package via you distribution Software Manager, feel free to do so. As NordVPN offers no graphical user interface (GUI) on Linux anyway, I would recommend to use a shell.

Open a Terminal and paste the following command to download the Debian Package. Use the Linux middle-click-paste to insert any previously selected text in terminal windows, or right-click within the terminal to paste:
wget -qnc https://repo.nordvpn.com/deb/nordvpn/debian/pool/main/nordvpn-release_1.0.0_all.deb

Run the following command if wget is not installed on your system:
sudo apt install wget

Now install the NordVPN package and refresh the package list:
sudo dpkg -i nordvpn-release_1.0.0_all.deb
sudo apt update

NordVPN on Linux - Command line installation

If the installation was successful, remove the Debian package, as it is not needed anymore:
rm nordvpn-release_1.0.0_all.deb

The .deb package only installs the NordVPN repositories – now we still have to install the NordVPN native application:
sudo apt install nordvpn

NordVPN on Ubuntu

NordVPN should be installed now. You will be greeted by this useful message:

NordVPN for Linux successfully installed!
To get started, type 'nordvpn login' and enter your NordVPN account details. Then type 'nordvpn connect' and you’re all set! If you need help using the app, use the command 'nordvpn --help'.

To go on with this tutorial, jump to the Using NordVPN section.

GPG error: no public NordVPN key

If you get the following error:
GPG error: https//repo.nordvpn.com: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY

Add the NordVPN GPG public keys with the following command:
sudo wget https://repo.nordvpn.com/gpg/nordvpn_public.asc -O - | sudo apt-key add -

NordVPN installation troubleshooting

On Ubuntu, I had a small problem after downloading the NordVPN .deb archive from the NordVPN Website. Opening the package with the default Ubuntu “Software Install” application resulted in the following error: “Failed to install file: not supported”.

NordVPN on Linux - Ubuntu installation - Open .deb file with default installer
Error message - Failed to install file: not supported

This error happened with Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla”, while I had no problems with Linux Mint 20 “Ulyana”. The solution is to use the command-line installation, follow the instructions here.

1.2 Install NordVPN on RPM-based Linux distributions

In the following part, check whether your distribution uses YUM or DNF:

  • DNF is currently used in Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL), CentOS 8, Oracle Linux 8 and Mageia 7/8
  • YUM is used in the older RHEL/CentOS/OLversions 6.x nd 7.x

Download the NordVPN client package via the NordVPN Linux Download page or via with this command:

wget -qnc https://repo.nordvpn.com/yum/nordvpn/centos/noarch/Packages/n/nordvpn-release-1.0.0-1.noarch.rpm

If wget is not installed, install it with one of the following command:

sudo dnf install wget

sudo yum install wget

Or use curl instead:

curl -sO https://repo.nordvpn.com/yum/nordvpn/centos/noarch/Packages/n/nordvpn-release-1.0.0-1.noarch.rpm

1.3 Install NordVPN on other Linux distributions

Using NordVPN on Linux

NordVPN on Linux pros & cons

NordVPN pros
  • Best-in-class network and speed
  • NordLynx implementation (NordLynx)
NordVPN cons
  • Only .deb and .rpm installation packages
  • No graphical user interface (GUI)