Install Shadowsocks-libev on Debian 8 and Ubuntu 14.04 Server

In a previous tutorial, I showed you how to install the python version of shadowsocks on Debian, Ubuntu and CentOS server. That is the easiest way to installing shadowsocks and it’s also platform-independent because it’s a python program.

Now I will show you how to install shadowsock-libev, the C implementation of shadowsocks on Debian 8 and Ubuntu 14.04 server. Since it’s written in C, so it consumes very little memory and well suited for embedded devices and low end boxes.

Install Shadowsocks-libev on Debian 8 and Ubuntu 14.04 Server

First, fetch the GPG public key and then import it to your system with apt-key.


sudo apt-key add 1D27208A.gpg

Now open /etc/apt/sources.list file.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following line at the end of the file.

#Debian 8
deb wheezy main

#Ubuntu 14.04
deb trusty main


Save and close the file. Now update local package index and install shadowsocks-libev.

sudo apt-get update;sudo apt-get install shadowsocks-libev

Configure Shadowsocks-libev

Open the server configuration file.

sudo vi /etc/shadowsocks-libev/config.json


Change server IP to your actual IP. Change the password to your own password. And set the method to aes-256-cfb.


Save and close the file. Now start the service.

sudo service shadowsocks-libev start


sudo systemctl start shadowsocks-libev

Another configuration file is /etc/default/shadowsocks-libev

sudo vi /etc/default/shadowsocks-libev

You can set shadowsocks-libev to auto-start on system boot in this file.

If you encouter a connection reset error, then you may need to change the default port 8388 to another port. Also note that timeout setting of shadowsocks server and client must be the same.

Using Shadadowsocks-libev on the Client Side

The client software is named ss-local. To use it to connect to a remote Shadowsocks server, run the following command

ss-local -c <your-config-file>

Replace <your-config-file> with your actual configuration file. It does not require sudo privilege.

Shadowsocks-libev consists of five components. One is ss-server that runs on a remote server to provide secured tunnel service. ss-local and ss-redir are clients on your local machines to proxy TCP traffic. ss-tunnel is a tool for local port forwarding.

While ss-local works as a standard socks5 proxy, ss-redir works as a transparent proxy and requires netfilter’s NAT module.

ss-manager is a controller for multi-user management and traffic statistics, using UNIX domain socket to talk with ss-server. Also, it provides a UNIX domain socket or IP based API for other software.

For more information, check out the man page

man shadowsocks-libev

Concluding Remarks

The python version of Shadowsocks is easier to install on different platform. It support many platforms out of the box.  While shadowsocks-libev provides a high performance and consumes very little memory. It’s very suitable for embedded devices and low end boxed such as routers, raspberry pi and the like.

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