Installing OpenVPN + PIA on Debian Jessie

So I started using the vpn service Private Internet Access, and I am very pleased with them, but their downloadable software is mainly for Ubuntu, and often does not work well with other distros. So I found instructions on PIA’s website about how to make it work for virtually any Linux. I love Debian, so here we go!

first you will need to install openvpn, either from source, or by package manager, on Debian systems the command to do this is:

sudo apt-get install openvpn

Once that installs, you will need to download a package from the PIA website that contains openvpn config files for various network routes.

cd /etc/openvpn

Then download the file with the command:

sudo wget

Extract those files with:

sudo unzip

view the files, and decide which one is best for you to use, based on where you are with the command:

ls -l

Then use some variant of the command sudo openvpn ‘config-filename-goes-here.ovpn’
where config-filename is the ovpn config file you chose based on location, I used US WEST.ovpn, so my command was:

sudo openvpn 'US West.ovpn'

please note the single quotes, you will need them in order to avoid using escape characters for the space between US and West.

Please note, that it is best to issue this command from inside the /etc/openvpn directory in order to make it easier for openvpn to easily access other needed files.


Then, it will ask you for your PIA assigned username, and your self assigned password from when you signed up for an account at PIA.


Hit Enter…


If it does not crash or give an error message about process terminated, you will have the above screen, with the Initialization Sequence Completed, then you are logged onto the vpn network and are protected.

Personally I like to leave the process open and floating in the terminal window, and do other command work in another terminal window. I like this mainly because if I ever need a rapid disconnect, I can just go into the terminal in question, and hit CTRL+C.

If you wish to verify if you are protected you can do so at the PIA website, you should see something like this when you load up that page…


and you are running vpn on Debian Jessie through PIA.


About woh3

I now live in Hayward, CA. I am a Laboratory Manager in San Francisco, In my spare time I enjoy Chess, Birdwatching, walking and biking, I am working on my undergrad degree in Applied Math-Operations Research
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