Configure global proxy on linux


In GNU/Linux operating systems when we are behind a proxy server, it can become a bit cumbersome to use programs that do not have their own proxy configuration or commands like apt-get, or we simply want to configure it globally. Many of the GNU/Linux distributions use different package managers which are configured in different ways, in addition there are many programs that need their specifications to configure the Internet output through a proxy server. All this process becomes very cumbersome to do in environments where you use a proxy with authentication and it changes from time to time or you use a laptop where you can constantly connect to networks where proxy is not used. Imagine changing all the settings every time you change networks.

Proxy schema

Here are some examples of how to configure proxy in some GNU/Linux distros

Proxy global

Terminal Proxy Settings

If we want to use a proxy temporarily in the terminal, we execute the following commands:

    export http_proxy=http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto
    export https_proxy=$http_proxy

Setting environment variables for Debian|Ubuntu family distributions

Edit file /etc/environment with your favorite text editor.

    sudo vim /etc/environment

We add the following lines to the file, you must duplicate them in upper and lower case because (unfortunately) some programs only search for one or the other:

    http_proxy http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto
    https_proxy http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto
    ftp_proxy http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto
    no_proxy localhost,,localaddress,
    #Duplicated in uppercase
    HTTP_PROXY http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto
    HTTPS_PROXY http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto
    FTP_PROXY http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto
    NO_PROXY localhost,,localaddress,

Setting environment variables for distributions of the RedHat|Fedora|Centos family

    sudo vim /etc/profile.d/

We modify the necessary parameters

    export http_proxy="http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto/"
    export https_proxy="http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto/"
    export ftp_proxy="http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto/"

Proxy settings for apt-get, apt, aptitude

We create or edit file /etc/apt/apt.conf

    sudo vim /etc/apt/apt.conf

We add the following lines:

    Acquire::http::Proxy "http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto";
    Acquire::https::Proxy "http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto";
    Acquire::ftp::Proxy "http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto";
    #En caso de tener un repo local para el que no necesitemos proxy
    Acquire::http::Proxy { DIRECT; DIRECT;

Proxy settings for yum

Edit file /etc/yum.conf

    # proxy server address and port
    # user and password

Proxy settings for pacman

We edit the file /etc/pacman.conf and we must uncomment XferCommand as follows:

    XferCommand = /usr/bin/wget --passive-ftp -c -O %o %u


We save the changes and proceed to edit the configuration file for wget, a tool used to download packages.

    sudo vim /etc/wgetrc

We edit the configuration file /etc/wgetrc, look for the following lines and uncomment or add them to the end of the file.

    https_proxy = http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto
    http_proxy = http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto
    ftp_proxy = http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto
    use_proxy = on

Proxy configuration for nodejs (npm)

    npm config set proxy http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto
    npm config set https-proxy http://username:password@proxyserver:puerto

Proxy configuration for Git

    git config --global http.proxy http//proxyserver:puerto
    git config --global https.proxy https//proxyserver:puerto
    # In case we have a direct connection and we need to remove the proxy settings from git
    git config --global --unset http.proxy
    git config --global --unset https.proxy

As you can see, it is very complex to constantly maintain the configuration of a proxy on your pc, but luckily there are other options that allow you to configure a proxy globally to the entire operating system. In systems such as Windows or MacOS there are tools such as Proxifier, ProxyCap among others that facilitate access to the internet through a proxy, on the other hand GNU/Linux operating systems have alternatives to these programs like the ones listed below.


Redsock is a tool that allows you to redirect any TCP connection to SOCKS or HTTPS proxy using your firewall, so the redirection can be system-wide or network-wide . This tool is very useful because it allows us with a single configuration file to be able to use the connection through the proxy throughout the operating system.

Packages for the different linux distributions

Manual compilation of redsock

To compile redsock we need to clone its repository on GitHub and follow the instructions in the libevent-2.0.x must be installed on our system, as well as the gcc andclang compilers. Compilation is as easy as running make in the project’s root directory.

Run redsock

Running redsock depends a lot on the distribution you are using and how the package installed redsock. The program has the following command line options:

  • -c specifies the path to the configuration file (./redsocks.conf is used by default)
  • -t this option checks the syntax of the configuration file.
  • -p set a file to write the getpid() where the following signals are specified: SIGUSR1 dumps the list of connected clients to the registry,SIGTERM and SIGINT terminate the daemon, all active connections are closed.

You can see an example of the configuration file in redsocks.conf.example.

Iptables example

You have to build iptables with connection tracking and REDIRECT target.

  # Create new chain
  root# iptables -t nat -N REDSOCKS

  # Ignore LANs and some other reserved addresses.
  # See
  # and for full list of reserved networks.
  root# iptables -t nat -A REDSOCKS -d -j RETURN
  root# iptables -t nat -A REDSOCKS -d -j RETURN
  root# iptables -t nat -A REDSOCKS -d -j RETURN
  root# iptables -t nat -A REDSOCKS -d -j RETURN
  root# iptables -t nat -A REDSOCKS -d -j RETURN
  root# iptables -t nat -A REDSOCKS -d -j RETURN
  root# iptables -t nat -A REDSOCKS -d -j RETURN
  root# iptables -t nat -A REDSOCKS -d -j RETURN
  root# iptables -t nat -A REDSOCKS -d -j RETURN
  root# iptables -t nat -A REDSOCKS -d -j RETURN

  # Anything else should be redirected to port 12345
  root# iptables -t nat -A REDSOCKS -p tcp -j REDIRECT --to-ports 12345

  # Any tcp connection made by `luser' should be redirected.
  root# iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp -m owner --uid-owner luser -j REDSOCKS

  # You can also control that in more precise way using `gid-owner` from
  # iptables.
  root# groupadd socksified
  root# usermod --append --groups socksified luser
  root# iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp -m owner --gid-owner socksified -j REDSOCKS

  # Now you can launch your specific application with GID `socksified` and it
  # will be... socksified. See following commands (numbers may vary).
  # Note: you may have to relogin to apply `usermod` changes.
  luser$ id
  uid=1000(luser) gid=1000(luser) groups=1000(luser),1001(socksified)
  luser$ sg socksified -c id
  uid=1000(luser) gid=1001(socksified) groups=1000(luser),1001(socksified)
  luser$ sg socksified -c "firefox"

  # If you want to configure socksifying router, you should look at
  # doc/iptables-packet-flow.png, doc/iptables-packet-flow-ng.png and
  # Note, you should have proper `local_ip' value to get external packets with
  # redsocks, default will not go. See iptables(8) manpage regarding
  # REDIRECT target for details.
  # Depending on your network configuration iptables conf. may be as easy as:
  root# iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING --in-interface eth_int -p tcp -j REDSOCKS

Redsock is one of my favorite tools for configuring all my internet traffic through a proxy using the TCP protocol. Below I show you another more recent alternative that is very interesting and easy to configure.


Proxifier-For-Linux is a tool that acts as an intermediary between the proxy server and client programs that need internet access. Proxifier works through proxy servers on behalf of the other programs. Proxifier acts as a global point to configure proxy rules, which will apply to all programs on the system. As I mentioned above it is a new project so currently it only has support for http proxies.

As explained in the official Proxifier-for-linux repository, our operating system must have the following dependencies


Below is the list of dependencies required to compile and run Proxifier, as well as the installation depending on the operating system you use.

Install dependencies

To check if you already have the dependencies installed you can use the command which <package name>. Example which autoconf and if it returns the path, that dependency is already installed

Download Proxifier

Get the latest stable version of Proxifier by cloning the GitHub repository.

git clone && cd Proxifier-For-Linux

Build and Install

After installing all the dependencies, get the Proxifier source code and inside the directory where the code is, run the following commands:

autoreconf -vfi
make all
sudo make uninstall
sudo make install

How to use Proxifier

The Proxifier service can be enabled by running the command:

sudo systemctl daemon-reload # Reload the service units
sudo systemctl start proxifier

For more information about Proxifier you can consult the help by executing the command man proxifier. The configuration file can be found in the path /usr/local/etc/proxifier.conf where you can specify your proxy settings.

The next tool I want to show you is Proxychains


Proxychains-ng is a proxy server that supports the HTTPs, SOCKS4 and SOCKS5 internet protocols and works on Unix-based platforms. It allows any TCP connection made by a program to follow a series of proxies (of the aforementioned protocols) to its destination. The list of proxies as well as the proxy selection strategy are defined beforehand.

Install proxychains

Proxychains is available with pkgsrc for everyone who uses it on Linux, NetBSD, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFlyBSD or Mac OS X You just need to install pkgsrc-wip and run make install in thewip/proxychains directory

Install proxychains from source code

Clone the GitHub source code and run the following commands:

 git clone && cd proxychains
 # se necesita un compilador de C, preferiblemente gcc
 sudo make install

Packages for the different linux distributions


Proxychains looks for the settings in the following order:

  • SOCKS5 proxy port in environment variable ${PROXYCHAINS_SOCKS5} (if set, no further settings will be searched)
  • File listed in the environment variable ${PROXYCHAINS_CONF_FILE} or provided as an -f argument to the proxychains script or binary.
  • ./proxychains.conf
  • $(HOME)/.proxychains/proxychains.conf
  • /etc/proxychains.conf

See more of the configuration in the file /etc/proxychains.conf

Example of how to configure multiple proxies

At the end of the /etc/proxychains.conf file is the list where we can add our proxies. Proxy selection strategies vary between dynamic_chain, strict_chain, round_robin_chain, random_chain and only one can be uncommented.

  • dynamic_chain: Dynamic - Each connection will be made through chained proxies, all proxies chained in the order listed, at least one proxy must be online to play chained (dead proxies are skipped) otherwise EINTR is returned to the application
  • strict_chain: Strict: each connection will be made through chained proxies, all proxies chained in the order they appear in the list, all proxies must be online to play chain; otherwise, EINTR is returned to the application
  • round_robin_chain: Round Robin: each connection will be made through chained proxies of length chain_len, all proxies chained in the order they appear in the list, at least one proxy must be online to play chain (dead proxies are skipped ). the start of the current proxy chain is the proxy after the last proxy in the previously invoked proxy chain. If the end of the proxy chain is reached while searching for proxies, start over from the beginning. Otherwise, EINTR is returned to the application. These semantics are not guaranteed in a multithreaded environment.
  • random_chain: Random - Each connection will be made using a random proxy (or proxy chain, see chain_len) from the list.
 # add proxy here ...
 # meanwile
 # defaults set to "tor"
 socks4 9050
 #psiphon proxy
 http 52525
 socks5 42552
 #Otro Proxy
 http 8080 user password
 #Mobile proxy
 http 3128 user password

Examples of use

Run proxychains <programa a ejecutar a través de un proxy>

proxychains telnet

In this example it will run telnet through proxy(or chained proxies) specified by proxychains.conf

Proxychains gives us a great advantage by being able to chain many proxies at the same time, which is used a lot in cybersecurity to hide the identity of the requests made. One of the disadvantages of proxychains is that it runs in the console, which is uncomfortable when we use programs with a graphical interface.

The next one on the list is one of my favorites because it is a VPN that allows you to configure a global proxy for the entire operating system as well as mount a firewall on the pc.


Windscribe is a set of tools that allow you to block ad trackers and web beacons, restore access to blocked content, and help you protect your privacy online. There are two components:

the VPN desktop application (Windows, MacOS and Linux) and the browser extension (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, …)

The desktop application is a VPN (Virtual Private Network) client. Create an encrypted tunnel from your computer to the winscribe servers, and all your activity is sent through the tunnel. This has two advantages:

  1. The IP address of your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is masked, so any website you visit or any application you use (Skype, email providers, BitTorrent, etc.) will see our IP address shared by thousands of persons.
  2. Your Internet Service Provider cannot see what you are doing online. This is much more important than you think.

The first thing to do is create an account at Windscribe by registering here. Windscribe gives us 2GB of free monthly consumption, but if we confirm our email this increases 5GB, you can also increase up to 15GB per month if you create a post on twitter by clicking the Tweet4Data button in your account settings.

More Data

Install Windscribe

After registering, the desktop client or the extension for your favorite browser is downloaded in the Downloads session. Follow the instructions in the download link depending on the operating system you use.

Configuring the Windscribe Client for Linux

The first thing we have to do is start the windscribe service for this we execute the command:

    sudo systemctl start windscribe

Once the windscribe service is running, we must configure the proxy by executing the command windscribe proxy --host <proxy address> --port <port> --user <user> --password <password>:

windscribe proxy --host --port 3128 --user acosta --password "super password"
windscribe proxy on

With the previous commands we configure and activate windscribe to use our proxy. Now when to connect all the applications go to the internet through Windscribe we execute the command:

windscribe connect best # Nos conecta al servidor de windscribe con mejor rendimiento

To consult the help of windscribe we can execute the command windscribe --help

Windscribe Help

These are some options that exist to configure Internet accesses through a proxy in GNU-Linux operating systems. Of all the variants shown in this article my favorite without a doubt is windscribe for all the facilities it offers. I hope it helps you in case you want to have a proxy configured globally in linux.