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VPN Providers with Custom Clients for Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Software

Virtual Private Networking providers and company are more than you can shake a stick at these days. While there's always installable client software for Windows, Android and usually MacOS and whatever the mobile version is called not all are offering desktop clients for Linux distributions. Even if they do it's usually non-GUI, you know, with the excuse that Linux nerds love and want the power of the command line, with stripped-down functionality, or even a browser extension only which might work on a Chromebook but not on any other OS if you actually want to channel your entire traffic. And no, a proxy is not a replacement for a proper VPN.

Another constraint is the various packaging formats Linux and GNU/Linux distributions are using. Most providers only offer packages for Debian and Ubuntu-like distributions. RPMs are typically Fedora and/or CentOS but do not work on SUSE. On other distributions like Slackware and Arch you're basically on your own. You can hope that someone has provided a build on sbopkg for Slackware or in the AUR for the Arch base or that it can be transformed with the alien packaging tool but these are not official packages.

Then we have the issue of different init systems in use all over the Linux install base. When exploring Artix Linux I discovered that custom desktop client software is written to work with distributions that are using systemd to handle services and networking. Wanting to use them with OpenRC or Runit presents a bit of a challenge. It can be done but you got to know your init system's run levels or ask a distro developer to package it for you. Thankfully I since discovered that the software of at least two companies I'm perusing supports SysVinit. Their packages worked flawlessly on Devuan 3.0 so all is not lost if you're not running systemd but still want to use your providers client instead of the Networkmanager OpenVPN plugin. Even more so since NM does not seem to work without systemd, haha. They also play nicely with Wicd, no conflicts there. They're not integrated but they don't integrate with NM either.

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