Officiel protonvpn version doesn't work with Qubes OS

Before, proton vpn was maintained by the community and was working fine in a appVM in QubesOS.
But since last year, it’s possible tu use the officicial version of protonvpn, and I since then I never make it to work in a appVM in QubesOS for both debian 10 and fedora 33. But it’s working fine in a normal debian 10 OS and fedora 33 OS without QubesOS

The tuto is from here : How to use the official ProtonVPN Linux CLI

Debian 10

sudo apt-get install ./protonvpn-stable-release_1.0.1-1_all.deb -y
sudo apt-get update 
sudo apt-get install protonvpn-cli -y
user@debian-test:~$ protonvpn-cli login openvpnid
Enter your ProtonVPN password: 

org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name org.freedesktop.NetworkManager was not provided by any .service files

Fedora 33

sudo dnf install ./protonvpn-stable-release-1.0.0-1.noarch.rpm -y
sudo dnf update
sudo dnf install protonvpn-cli protonvpn -y
[user@my-new-qube ~]$ protonvpn-cli login openvpnid
Enter your ProtonVPN password: myopenvpnpwd

org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name is not activatable

You can use qubes-tunnel then download the ovpn configuration in the protonvpn.

Step in ProtonVPN

Get the ProtonVPN config files:

  • Download the desired configuration files
    • Log into your ProtonVPN dashboard at
    • Select Downloads on in the left navigation bar
    • Find the OpenVPN configuration files section and chose
      • Platform: Linux
      • Protocol: UDP (recommended) / TCP if you experience slow VPN speeds (this utilizes port 443)
    • Click the download icons for the server you wish to download

If you selected “Download All configurations”, extract the zip file to your desired location

Find your OpenVPN credentials:

For increased security, ProtonVPN is set-up with two separate credentials to authenticate a connection.

Learn more about how two pairs of credentials increase the security of ProtonVPN.

Log in to the ProtonVPN dashboard and click on Account tab. Here you will see your two type of credentials.
The credentials ProtonVPN Login are used in our applications . OpenVPN / IKEv2 Username is used on manual connections . So please configure the OpenVPN credentials to your preference as you will need to use them to establish a Linux VPN connection. Note : to use our NetShield DNS filtering feature, append the suffix +f1 to your username to block malware, or +f2 to block malware, ads, and trackers (for example 123456789+f2).

Step in qubes-tunnel


Install qubes-repo-contrib package using apt-get or dnf in template. Then, install qubes-tunnel in the same way.


  1. Create an AppVM, called for example sys-vpn , with the provides network option enabled using a template with the previously installed qubes-tunnel package. Make a choice for the NetVM setting, such as sys-firewall .
  2. In sys-vpn settings Services tab, add qubes-tunnel service.

Note: There is no need for adding network-manager service.

  1. As root or using sudo , in sys-vpn execute /usr/lib/qubes/qtunnel-setup --config :
root@sys-vpn:/home/user# /usr/lib/qubes/qtunnel-setup --config

Enter VPN/tunnel login credentials.
Leave blank if not required...

Username: OpenVPN / IKEv2 Username
Password: OpenVPN / IKEv2 Password

Login info saved to /rw/config/qtunnel/tunneluserpwd.txt

Next, copy or link your config file to /rw/config/qtunnel/qtunnel.conf
  1. Following what’s the last sentence said, still as root or using sudo , in sys-vpn copy the OpenVPN config file from your service provider, for example called user_config.ovpn to /rw/config/qtunnel/qtunnel.conf.conf :
root@sys-vpn:/home/user# cp user_config.ovpn /rw/config/qtunnel/qtunnel.conf

Restart sys-vpn . This will autostart the VPN client and you should see a popup notification ‘LINK IS UP’!

Regular usage is simple: Just use sys-vpn as NetVM for other VMs and start them!


If when you restart sys-vpn instead you receive continuous popup notifications stating ‘Ready to start link’, you may need to troubleshoot the connection. To troubleshoot the connection, you can monitor the systemd service that controls the vpn client with journalctl -u qubes-tunnel and view any errors that appear.

If you follow corretly, you should be able to connect.


Thanks you all of the above information that you just bring so fast.
It’s indeed a good way to do it, but I need for my use case to often switch between country and server and so I was wondering how I can do that manipulation fast enough with qubes-tunnel ? Because if I need to switch each time the openvpn file, I don’t know if this method is for me :slight_smile:

Why not make 2 sys vpn / more ? i think it doesn’t need a lot source for sys-vpn 1 core 400 mb should be enough ? then you can just switch net vm.

I think this is good for any other VPN service right? What i’ve read network-manager is great if you’d like to check if the service is running correctly. How can you check without network-manager if the VPN is working great?

you should see a popup notification ‘LINK IS UP’! when connection is connected,


Does it indicate if the connection is down?

It should tell, see here :

su - -c 'notify-send "$(hostname): LINK IS DOWN !" --icon=dialog-error' user


Actually, there was an issue logged for recent template versions, and the side-effect it had on notifications (blocking or delaying them at VM startup) could result in the VPN startup being delayed. If it seems stuck on startup, it should come up after a couple minutes with the notification.

I thought this had been resolved but I guess I was mistaken. Back then I had put a workaround in Qubes-vpn-support that let the service start regardless of the notification state; I should add it qubes-tunnel as well.

If you’re inclined, you can change the following line

su - -c 'notify-send "$(hostname): LINK IS UP." --icon=network-idle' user

to this:

echo \'"sleep 2; notify-send \"$hostname: LINK IS UP.\"" --icon=network-idle\' | xargs su - user -c &

That will run the startup notification as a separate process and allow the VPN service to complete the connection.

Yes, this… I am also wondering about… How can you set up some killswitch maybe? Or that it always reconnects… It’s always good to know when you surf unencrypted, and use passwords on non HTTPS sites and so on. Can anyone answer this? The other VPN guide in qubes have a killswitch. I don’t know about this technique with using a VPN.
How would you set up it, if itäs not already implemented in this technique?

MIssed that one… I do not even get a LINK UP… Need to fix something i did wrong…

Edit the qtunnel-connect file and search for

su - -c 'notify-send "$(hostname): TEST LINK IS UP." --icon=network-idle' user


echo \'"sleep 2; notify-send \"$hostname: LINK IS UP.\"" --icon=network-idle\' | xargs su - user -c &


su - -c 'notify-send "$(hostname): LINK IS DOWN !" --icon=dialog-error' user


echo \'"sleep 2; notify-send \"$hostname: LINK IS DOWN.\"" --icon=dialog-error\' | xargs su - user -c &

I made it simple for myself and installed the official protonvpn-cli in sys-net. It can run with nice features like secure core, fastest vpn server selection and permanent kill switch. The standard installation for Fedora from ProtonVPN website worked like a charm.

My goal is to permanently use the VPN connection on sys-net so I need to figure out the best way to start this on startup of the VM sys-net.

I followed the guide provided by 51lieal and it worked perfectly but I’m curious when you set up protonvpn-cli in sys-net, did you not get connection issues in any of the other vms? Did you have to do anything?
For me, I had connection issues after setting up protonvpn-cli but it worked after using the openvpn method

The GUI and CLI both work for me. You need to add network manager in the Services tab and it has to be a persistent VM like standalone. The most important benefit is having the permanent killswitch.

1 Like

I tried that, but still not working for me

I have the following messaging error


-----------	Initialized protonvpn-cli	-----------

2021-10-28 18:34:40,251 — — INFO — __init__:32 — ProtonVPN CLI v3.10.1 (protonvpn-nm-lib v3.6.0; proton-client v0.7.1)
2021-10-28 18:34:40,253 — — INFO — __init__:64 — CLI command: Namespace(command='login', get_logs=False, help=False, version=False)
2021-10-28 18:34:42,859 — — INFO — login:68 — Credentials provided, attempting to login
2021-10-28 18:34:42,862 — — ERROR — login:117 — org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name org.freedesktop.NetworkManager was not provided by any .service files
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/dbus/", line 175, in activate_name_owner
    return self.get_name_owner(bus_name)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/dbus/", line 361, in get_name_owner
    's', (bus_name,), **keywords)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/dbus/", line 651, in call_blocking
    message, timeout)
dbus.exceptions.DBusException: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.NameHasNoOwner: Could not get owner of name 'org.freedesktop.NetworkManager': no such name

During handling of the above exception, another exception occurred:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/protonvpn_cli/", line 73, in login
    self.protonvpn.login(username, password)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/protonvpn_nm_lib/", line 30, in login
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/protonvpn_nm_lib/core/", line 16, in ensure_connectivity
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/protonvpn_nm_lib/core/", line 22, in ensure_internet_connection_is_available
    if ExecutionEnvironment().killswitch != KillswitchStatusEnum.DISABLED:
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/protonvpn_nm_lib/core/", line 66, in killswitch
    self.__killswitch = KillSwitch()
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/protonvpn_nm_lib/core/killswitch/", line 61, in __init__
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/protonvpn_nm_lib/core/killswitch/", line 597, in get_status_connectivity_check
    nm_props = self.nm_wrapper.get_network_manager_properties()
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/protonvpn_nm_lib/core/dbus/", line 461, in get_network_manager_properties
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/protonvpn_nm_lib/core/dbus/", line 510, in get_network_manager_proxy_object
    return self.__get_proxy_object(SystemBusNMObjectPathEnum.NETWORK_MANAGER.value)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/protonvpn_nm_lib/core/dbus/", line 536, in __get_proxy_object
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/protonvpn_nm_lib/core/dbus/", line 60, in get_proxy_object
    bus_name, object_path
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/dbus/", line 241, in get_object
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/dbus/", line 248, in __init__
    self._named_service = conn.activate_name_owner(bus_name)
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/dbus/", line 180, in activate_name_owner
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/dbus/", line 278, in start_service_by_name
    'su', (bus_name, flags)))
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/dbus/", line 651, in call_blocking
    message, timeout)
dbus.exceptions.DBusException: org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name org.freedesktop.NetworkManager was not provided by any .service files
2021-10-28 18:35:05,611 — — INFO — __init__:27 —

Try installing it in a template. I used debian 10.

  1. Download the protonvpn for debian

  2. Create minimal vpn template and install protonvpn
    a. Open dom0 terminal and run
    qvm-run --pass-io -u root <your vpn template> xterm
    b. From xterm run:
    apt install qubes-core-agent-nautilus qubes-core-agent-network-manager qubes-core-agent-networking qubes-core-agent-passwordless-root
    c. Copy protonvpn-stable-release_1.0.1-1_all.deb to the minimal template
    d. Install the protonvpn repo from /home/user/QubesIncoming/
    dpkg -i protonvpn-stable-release_1.0.1-1_all.deb
    e. Update the apt-get package list
    apt update
    f. Install the ProtonVPN Linux app
    apt install protonvpn
    g. Install the system tray icon
    apt install gnome-shell-extension-appindicator gir1.2-appindicator3-0.1
    h. Shut down template

1 Like

Thanks for the info !
So I tried everything with Debian 10 as you explained, step by step, but I’m still having the same error.

I guess if you’ve eliminated the template, appvm and maybe persistence as the problem, maybe there’s something with sys-firewall or sys-net. Did you customize them?

No that’s the default configuration

I’m now on QubesOS 4.1 rc1, with Debian 11, and still have the same error and can’t make it work