Install And Use Shadowsocks Command Line Client on Linux

In a previous post, I showed you how to build a shadowsocks server on your own server and install the client software on your Linux, Windows, and Mac Desktop. And also on your Android and iOS devices. This article will show you how to install and use the command line client on Linux including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, OpenSUSE and Archlinux.

Install the Command Line Client

If you prefer command line client, then you can install it on your Linux with the following command.


sudo apt-get install python-pip
sudo pip install shadowsocks


Yes, you can use the above commands to install shadowsocks client on ubuntu. But it will install it under ~/.local/bin/ directory and it causes loads of trouble. So I suggest using su to become root first and then issue the following two commands.

apt-get install python-pip
pip install shadowsocks


sudo yum install python-setuptools   or   sudo dnf install python-setuptools
sudo easy_install pip
sudo pip install shadowsocks


sudo zypper install python-pip
sudo pip install shadowsocks


sudo pacman -S python-pip
sudo pip install shadowsocks

As you can see the command of installing shadowsocks client is the same to the command of installing shadowsocks server, because the above command will install both the client and the server. You can verify this by looking at the installation script output

Downloading/unpacking shadowsocks
Downloading shadowsocks-2.8.2.tar.gz
Running (path:/tmp/pip-build-PQIgUg/shadowsocks/ egg_info for package shadowsocks

Installing collected packages: shadowsocks
Running install for shadowsocks

Installing sslocal script to /usr/local/bin
Installing ssserver script to /usr/local/bin
Successfully installed shadowsocks
Cleaning up...

sslocal is the client software and ssserver is the server software. On some Linux distros such as ubuntu, the shadowsocks client sslocal is installed under /usr/local/bin. On Others such as Arch sslocal is installed under /usr/bin/. Your can use whereis command to find the exact location.

user@debian:~$ whereis sslocal
sslocal: /usr/local/bin/sslocal

Create a Configuration File

we will create a configuration file under /etc/

sudo vi /etc/shadowsocks.json

Put the following text in the file. Replace server-ip with your actual IP and set a password.

"local_address": "",

Save and close the file. Next start the client using command line

sslocal -c /etc/shadowsocks.json

To run in the background

sudo sslocal -c /etc/shadowsocks.json -d start

Auto Start the Client on System Boot

Edit /etc/rc.local file

sudo vi /etc/rc.local

Put the following line above the exit 0 line:

sudo sslocal -c /etc/shadowsocks.json -d start

Save and close the file. Next time you start your computer, shadowsocks client will automatically start and connect to your shadowsocks server.

Check if It Works

After you rebooted your computer, enter the following command in terminal:

sudo systemctl status rc-local.service

If your sslocal command works then you will get this ouput:

● rc-local.service - /etc/rc.local Compatibility
Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/rc-local.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
Active: active (running) since Fri 2015-11-27 03:19:25 CST; 2min 39s ago
Process: 881 ExecStart=/etc/rc.local start (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
CGroup: /system.slice/rc-local.service
├─ 887 watch -n 60 su matrix -c ibam
└─1112 /usr/bin/python /usr/local/bin/sslocal -c /etc/shadowsocks....

As you can see from the last line, the sslocal command created a process whose pid is 1112 on my machine. It means shadowsocks client is running smoothly. And of course you can tell your browser to connect through your shadowsocks client to see if everything goes well.

If for some reason your /etc/rc.local script won’t run, then check the following post to find the solution.

How to enable /etc/rc.local with Systemd

Rate this tutorial
[Total: 47 Average: 3.6]

One Response to “Install And Use Shadowsocks Command Line Client on Linux

  • Wepacad
    4 years ago

    Hello. I used your instructions to install on KODI. Pre-used commands:
    sudo apt install python-setuptools
    pip install wheel
    with auto start also figured out. But Internet traffic does not go through VPN. Although VPN works, but I can’t open blocked sites. What needs to be done to get traffic through VPN? thanks

Leave a Comment

  • Comments with links are moderated by admin before published.
  • Your email address will not be published.
  • Use <pre> ... </pre> HTML tag to quote the output from your terminal/console.
  • Please use the community ( for questions unrelated to this article.
  • I don't have time to answer every question. Making a donation would incentivize me to spend more time answering questions.

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here