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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 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 Mullvad connected, 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 https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)" 
brew install shadowsocks-libev

4. Run Shadowsocks

Open a terminal window and run the following commands, replacing xxx.xxx.xxx.xx with the IP address of the Mullvad bridge server you want to use as your entry location. To get the IP address you can ping the hostname, for example

ping se-sto-br-001.relays.mullvad.net  
/opt/homebrew/bin/ss-local -s xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx -p 443 -l 1080 -k mullvad -m aes-256-gcm 

5. Verify connection

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