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Shadowsocks for OpenVPN on macOS

Bridges Installation macOS Desktop Shadowsocks Multihop Censorship circumvention 

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Unable to surf the entire web because you're stuck behind a restrictive firewall? Then Shadowsocks might be your answer.

In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to use this proxy to connect to Mullvad's servers using the OpenVPN protocol.

App user? If you're using the Mullvad VPN app, try using Shadowsocks with the Mullvad VPN app.

What is Shadowsocks?

Please see our Intro to Shadowsocks guide.

Set-up instructions

This guide was verified on macOS 13 (Ventura) and shadowsocks-libev 3.3.5

1. Install and set up OpenVPN

If you haven't already, you'll first need to set up Mullvad to work with OpenVPN. You can choose from two OpenVPN programs for macOS: Tunnelblick and Viscosity.

Follow one of our guides to help you through the process:

Once you have that installed, return here and continue with Shadowsocks.

2. Download Mullvad configuration file

  1. Go to our configuration generator.
  2. Use macOS as the platform and select a location. Click on Advanced settings and check Use IP addresses and Connect via bridges.
  3. Download and extract the zip archive.
  4. Import the configuration into Tunnelblick or Viscosity.

3. Install Shadowsocks

Open a terminal window and run the following command:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL" 
brew install shadowsocks-libev

4. Find a bridge server to connect to

Open our Servers webpage to find our bridge servers that you can use as your entry location. Click on one to expand it and see the IP address.

5. Run Shadowsocks

To connect Shadowsocks, run the following command:

ss-local -s -p 443 -l 1080 -k mullvad -m aes-256-gcm

Replace with the bridge server's IP address.

6. Connect in the OpenVPN app (Tunnelblick / Viscosity)

Connect to the configuration that you downloaded with "Connect via bridges" checked.

7. Verify connection

To verify that you are connected and don't leak you can visit our check page.