Using PrivatVPN on Ubuntu Linux

After the Hide My Ass fallout and niggling doubts about AceVPNs logging policies, I’m trying out some recommended VPN services I found via TorrentFreak. The great thing about VPN providers is most of them allow you to purchase a limited time from 1-12 months, I decided to try out PrivatVPN who state apart from username and password, they don’t log anything.

PrivatVPN appears to be a small outfit operating out of Sweden offering servers in Sweden, US, UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands. I can’t tell if they are owned by anyone or just hosted by iLandsgruppen however their service is very barebones, with a small control panel, software download and instructions. The service is relatively cheap to – about £4 for 30 days.

They technically don’t have a Linux client, only configuration files to download, which seem to be outdated. Unlike that ‘other’ OS – where they offer a full client and countries to connect to, Linux only contains the address of their Swedish server and the wrong port number (21003). I found this out after the OpenVPN connection not working on Ubuntu so instead fired up my Windows VM just to see if it worked and it did. A quick gander at connection logs showed me the different port.

I notified their tech support, but for anyone who had problems like me with the following error,

read UDPv4 [ECONNREFUSED]: Connection refused (code=111)

Here are the correct IP address and Port numbers to connect to PrivatVPN servers. Let’s hope they update their documentation and config files:


PrivatVPN provide instructions for starting from the CLI, however if you prefer the GUI (I do purely for the networking icon to remind me I’m connected with a tiny lock) simply follow these steps:

  • Go to Network Manager, VPN Connections, Configure VPN…
  • Click on Import
  • Navigate to “/etc/openvpn” and select “privatevpn.conf”.
  • Then add your username and password
  • Check the IP address is the same as the one above and the port no. (under “Advanced” option)
  • You may want to configure multiple vpns so change the name too, to something like “PrivatVPN Sweden/US/UK…”
That’s it, you’re done. Enjoy your anonymity and freedom!

2 thoughts on “Using PrivatVPN on Ubuntu Linux

  1. Your tutorial doesn’t work. Using Ubuntu 10.04.

    When importing it said:

    The file ‘privatvpn.conf’ could not be read or does not contain recognized VPN connection information

    Error: unknown error.

  2. @deadbeef

    So a few questions:

    Did you follow install instructions as per the tutorial provided by PrivatVPN first?
    Did you install OpenVPN? I’m assuming that because it didn’t recognise the conf file, that this might be the problem.
    Did you run from the command line, and did you run it as root?
    What happens if you try the following command:

    sudo openvpn /etc/openvpn/privatvpn.conf

    Check the contents of the conf file. It should be laid out as follows:

    remote [ip address] [port]
    dev tap
    proto udp
    resolv-retry infinite
    ca /etc/openvpn/ca.crt
    auth-user-pass /etc/openvpn/privatvpn.login
    ns-cert-type server
    verb 3

    Let me know the results from checking the above.

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