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Outline VPN self installation


Outline is freeware from a Google subsidiary that specialises in privacy. Its creators use secure protocols that are difficult to detect, while standard VPN tools are much more vulnerable to traffic analysers. A proprietary server also protects you from user data collection. Outline software has been tested by two independent information security auditors: Radically Open Security and Cure53. Outline VPN differs from its competitors in its ease of deployment: the server part with the entire environment is packaged in a Docker container and installed on any Linux virtual machine with a single command. The Outline Manager application, with its intuitive interface, can be used for configuration and administration. To connect to the server, you need to download Outline Client for PC or mobile phone.

Step 1: Order a virtual server (VPS)

To use Outline, it is sufficient to choose a Linux VPS with minimal configuration. We recommend using Ubuntu Linux and all further instructions are given for this operating system.


Detailed instructions on how to order a server for new users can be found here, and for registered users, here.

In 15-20 minutes, a notification that the server is ready for use will be sent to the email address provided during registration. It will contain the IP address of the VPS, as well as the login and password for connection.

Step 2: Connect to the VPS via SSH from the command line with root privileges.

To do this, you need to launch the terminal emulator (in Windows: Start >> Utilities >> Windows >> Command Prompt or Win+R >> cmd).

Then type the following command:

where XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX is the IP address of the VPS specified in the Server Readiness email and in the Network tab of the Invapi control panel.

Older versions of Windows may not support the SSH command. In this case, you can install PuTTY and use it to connect to the server via SSH:

Once connected, it is worth updating the software installed on the server with two commands (this step can be skipped):

apt update
apt upgrade

You should also change the root password sent to you in the mail with the passwd command.

After typing it in the Linux command line, press Enter, then type the new password root (via Enter) twice in blind mode (you cannot see the characters you are typing). A successful password change message will appear on the screen.

Step 3: Install Docker on the VPS

The server part of the Outline software is deployed automatically. Before starting the configuration, you need to install Docker using the following command:

curl | sh

The script downloaded from the site detects the version of the Linux distribution itself, connects to the software repositories and installs the necessary packages, which can be updated later using the apt utility:

Step 4: Configuring VPN using Outline Manager

You need to download it from the official website, install it on your computer and run Outline Manager for Windows, MacOS or Linux:

In the main programme window, select Set up Outline anywhere (bottom right corner).

After pressing the SET UP button, an instruction screen containing a long command will be displayed:

You must copy this command from field 1 and paste it into the virtual server's command line.

bash -c "$(wget -qO-"

This completes the installation of the Outline VPN Server part. All that remains is to copy the line highlighted in green from the results of the installation script, paste it into the special input field of the Outline Manager application and press DONE button:

The Outline VPN server is configured and ready to go, no more command line needed: the Outline Manager client on a PC or mobile device is used for further administration.

Step 5. Creating Access Keys for VPN Clients

To access the Outline VPN server, users need special keys generated in Outline Manager. This key is created during the installation process, but we recommend that you only use it for administration purposes. To add a new key, click on the appropriate button and rename it:

This menu also allows you to delete a user key or set a traffic limit for it. Next to it is the Share button, which opens an invitation window:

All you have to do is copy the invitation and send it to the user via a reliable communication channel.


For security reasons, it is recommended that keys, access codes and unique links used to connect to the server are kept secret and not shown to outsiders. You should also not give access to the VPN to people you do not fully trust. Firstly, exceeding the 3TB monthly traffic limit will result in additional charges. Secondly, and more importantly, there are potential legal risks. If a third party commits an illegal act over a VPN, the connection owner may be held criminally or administratively liable. In such a situation, it will be difficult to prove your innocence to law enforcement authorities.

Step 6: Set up the Outline VPN client on your smartphone

To connect to the VPN server, open the unique link from the invitation in your browser, click Connect this device, copy the access code and click Install Outline if the client application is not already installed (otherwise click Add Server):

Then install the Outline client application for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS or Android, and then run it, paste in the copied access code and click Add Server:


On mobile devices, the first time you connect, you must agree to add the VPN configuration by pressing the OK button: