Decided to get a GUI (Graphical User Interface) application for NordVPN? We understand the struggle especially if you’re unfamiliar with the command-line interface (CLI) required to connect via the Linux terminal for NordVPN. However, we nonetheless urge the users to learn the ropes of the CLI. That lets you benefit from the latest official NordVPN upgrades. It also ensures that you’re not risking your privacy with third-party applications or the systems’ Network Manager. We presume you understand the potential danger and are willing to take the risk. Therefore, if you’re uncomfortable using the Terminal or want something more eye-appealing, we provided two methods to get a NordVPN GUI for Linux.
Why should you get a GUI for a NordVPN Linux app?
First, here are some reasons to install a NordVPN application for Linux with a graphical user interface (GUI):
- Beginner and user-friendly. You avoid working with NordVPN commands in a CLI that looks outdated and complicated. Instead, you use an intuitive user interface that makes it easier to pick VPN servers and enable or disable features.
- Sense of security. By pushing buttons and clicking options instead of typing commands, you remember whether the VPN (or kill switch, split tunneling, and other features) is activated.
- Lightweight. Although they require a bit more storage than the Terminal app, the applications are still lightweight. Network Manager is also used for other connections, including regular networks and other VPN providers, saving you space.
- Platform-wide experience. Linux Network Manager and third-party apps gradually support more distributions of Linux. Therefore, you’ll have a familiar user-friendly experience across several distros.
- Applications are trusted or open source. Linux Network Manager is a well-known alternative to Terminal. The only independent apps you should use should come from GitHub, meaning they’re open-source and can be inspected.
- Supports custom changes. You can request that developers introduce adjustments to the applications. Even if you don’t, they tend to improve and grow richer in features over time. Also, because they are open-source GitHub apps, you can contribute your development knowledge.
Reasons to avoid getting a Linux application with a Graphical User Interface for NordVPN
To provide counter-arguments, here’s why you shouldn’t get a NordVPN app with a GUI:
- Not official. Until the day NordVPN releases an official GUI version of the app (and they don’t seem to rush or plan to), you’ll use applications from third parties. That’s a hard pill to swallow and theoretically risky.
- Uses slightly more resources. Although not by much, the apps consume more computer resources. This may be unsuitable for low-power Linux-based devices such as older Raspberry Pi models.
- Requires trust in creators and their intentions and skills. By using someone else’s application, you trust they made it for others to enjoy and with good coding skills, and not poorly and for malpractice. Open-source status helps a lot here.
- Not equivalent to native applications. Try as they might, the Network Manager or unaffiliated applications will never be as feature-rich, optimized, and good-looking as the native NordVPN apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and so forth.
- Lacks some features and protocols. Most applications don’t support the full range of NordVPN protocols and features. Thus, the choice may be limited.
1. How to get a NordVPN GUI app using Linux Network Manager
Follow these steps to get a Linux Network Manager to connect to NordVPN with a GUI:
- Download the OpenVPN configuration package for NordVPN and extract the archive anywhere.
- Verify that the Linux Network Manager is installed (and if not, the following command installs it) and up-to-date alongside your system. You can do so by opening Terminal (press the Ctrl + Alt + T keyboard shortcut) and typing this:
sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade -y && sudo apt install network-manager-openvpn-gnome -y
- After the Network Manager installs and is up-to-date, you’ll see a network icon in the top right corner of your Linux desktop. Click it, then select the arrow next to VPN Off in the drop-down menu.
- From the offered options, choose VPN Settings.
- A network configuration window pops up. Click the + icon in the “VPN” section.
- The window asks you whether you want to use OpenVPN, Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP), (potentially other protocols), or Import from file… Pick the last option.
- The menu now asks which file you want to import. Use the “Open” window to find the .ovpn file you downloaded and extracted in step 1.
- Pick the file for the desired VPN server. For example, you’ll see names like us2734.nordvpn.com.udp.ovpn or fr2749.nordvpn.com.udp.ovpn representing the United States and France, respectively.
- Enter your NordVPN account credentials: username and password when prompted. You can find and copy them in the dashboard for your Nord Account under “Advanced configuration”.
- A window with the full VPN configuration in one place will now open. You may rename it under “Name” before clicking the green Add button.
- Connect to the VPN by toggling the gray button next to the name until it becomes green. It will also appear in the drop-down menu from step 3.
2. Use a third-party NordVPN Linux application with a Graphical User Interface to connect
The lack of a user interface among Linux users is a bigger issue than you might think. Thus, people with some development experience decide to create applications that circumvent the Terminal. Due to its open-source nature, MIT or GNU GPL v3.0 licenses, and the possibility of a community effort, many are published on GitHub. Here are three notable examples of third-party NordVPN apps with a GUI:
- GUI NordVPN Linux by insan271 GitHub project
- NordVPN Network Manager GUI by vfosterm
- Nord Manager by byoso on GitHub
To give you an example, do this to install insan271’s GUI NordVPN Linux application on Linux Mint:
- Clone the git by typing:
gh repo clone insan271/gui-nordvpn-linux
- Provide the executable permission to the installation with this command:
cd gui-nordvpn-linux && chmod +x install.sh
- Begin the installation by entering:
- Provide your NordVPN credentials as we explained in step 9 above.
- Right-click the newly generated VPN icon in the tray in the bottom right corner.
- Select Connect to, then pick a NordVPN server, and you’ll see a success message.
Note. We have no affiliation with any developers or their work and are merely trying to help fellow Linux users. These apps are unofficial and thus not recommended by NordVPN.
What are things to remember while installing unaffiliated Linux NordVPN apps?
The things you should remember during the installation of independent Linux applications with a GUI for NordVPN are that each application has an installation guide you must follow, and comes with a list of features and corresponding screenshots. Also, note the supported Linux distros and the time of the last update to ensure compatibility. Additionally, after following the installation steps, you (may) have to:
- Install the official Linux terminal NordVPN application for connecting
- Obtain your NordVPN credentials using step 9 of the method above
- Disable WebRTC to prevent leaks with a VPN in your browser unless the application does so
- Reinstall the application if you mess up your credentials or renew NordVPN. The username and password cannot be changed once entered.