Use Mozilla VPN on Linux and Mac OS devices right now

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 20, 2020

When Mozilla, maker of Firefox, launched Mozilla VPN, it did so only in select regions and only for devices running Windows, iOS or Android. Mac and Linux versions were not offered and Mozilla stated that these would be coming soon.

It is now a month after the official launch of Mozilla VPN and there are still no client versions for Linux or Mac OS; this may be even more surprising considering that Mullvad, the VPN company that operates the server network, has clients for Linux and Mac OS.

MozWire is an open source tool for Linux, Mac OS and BSD systems that unlocks support for Mozilla VPN on these operating systems. In fact, the tool works on all devices that support the WireGuard protocol including Windows.

Note that the tool is not an official Mozilla product.

You can download pre-built binaries from the developer's GitHub website. Just open the releases page to download the binary for Windows, Linux or Mac OS. If you are interested in the source code, you can download that there as well.

mozwire mozilla vpn

Download and extract the file to your system. You need to run the command mozwire relay save first to generate a WireGuard configuration; doing so opens the default system browser and the sign-in page of Mozilla VPN. You need to sign-in to the service to continue.

It is also possible to download and save all servers into the /etc/wireguard directory by running the command mozwire relay save -o /etc/wireguard -n 0.

You may then pick one of the servers for connection to establish the VPN connection on the system you ran the tool on.

MOZ_TOKEN can be used for caching to improve future sessions. The developer created a video that demonstrates the functionality on Linux:

Closing Words

Mozilla has not revealed when it plans to release Linux or Mac clients. While it is likely that this is going to happen in 2020, it is not a given at this point in time.

Linux and Mac users may use MozWire to get started using the VPN service right away instead of having to wait until stable client versions of Mozilla VPN are released for these operating systems.

Mozilla is not the only company that is assigning less of a priority to Linux. Microsoft's new Edge browser is not available for Linux either even though Microsoft announced that it would be coming soon (in January 2020).

Now You: Do you use a VPN connection regularly?

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  1. By Design said on August 26, 2020 at 2:29 am

    Unredacted suit shows G’s own engineers confused by privacy settings
    Users could make change, but it was “difficult enough that people won’t,” one employee wrote.

    Is that $450m well spent? Of course. We just don’t know the demands upon Mozilla

  2. Tirelessly Deceptive said on August 24, 2020 at 3:43 am

    Canonical/Ubuntu shared account tracks users by employing a heavily customized Linux kernel. You must be signed in to download, install or upgrade anything.

    Firstly an adblocker will show G. Analytics running on the Express website.
    Express VPN Privacy policy:
    The information we receive is fully anonymized and cannot be tied back to individual ExpressVPN users (i.e., we do not store which user sent which data, and we do not store user IP addresses)
    Who is ‘we’ that is used 3 times in the above sentence?
    This assurance is ONLY for ExpressVPN itself and **NOT** for its partners.

    Express VPN Privacy policy highlights:
    • App diagnostics, including crash reports and usability diagnostics, also without any ‘personally identifiable’ information. These are handled in an anonymized form by these third parties, dependent on the platform you are using ExpressVPN on:
    ◦ Windows: Hockeyapp, owned by Microsoft, and Sentry, owned by Functional Software, Inc. See Microsoft’s Privacy Policy and Sentry’s Privacy Policy.
    ◦ Mac: Crashlytics, owned by G, and Sentry, owned by Functional Software, Inc. See Crashlytics’s Privacy Policy and Sentry’s Privacy Policy.
    ◦ Linux: Sentry, owned by Functional Software, Inc. See Sentry’s Privacy Policy.
    ◦ iOS: Firebase Crashlytics, owned by G, and Apple. See Apple’s Privacy Policy and Firebase’s Privacy and Security documentation. You can disable Apple’s crash reporting in iOS settings as described here.
    ◦ Android: Firebase Crashlytics, owned by G. See Firebase’s Privacy and Security documentation.
    ◦ Browser extensions: G Analytics, owned by G. See G’s Privacy Policy.
    Upon activation of any ExpressVPN App, you will be asked if you would like to share these data.
    What does app activation entail? Is it first time or every time?
    Why not set the default once to permanently disabling the sharing? And end the constant, tiring nags? (note: designed by PHD psychologists)
    But too late, as your choice occurs after program initialization/activation.
    Please report on the thousands of pages of privacy policies by the end of the year. /s
    Here is Express partner Sentry:
    Device and Usage information: We may collect data about your device and how you and your device interact with Sentry and our Services. For example, we may collect:
    • Use data. We may collect data about the features you use, the Services you purchase, and the web pages you visit. This also includes your interactions on our website, and your interactions with us via email.
    • Device, connectivity and configuration data. We may collect data about your device and the network you use to connect to our Services. This may include data about the operating system and other software installed on your device, including product keys. It may also include IP address, browser type, operating system, and referring URLs.

  3. Magically Deceptive said on August 23, 2020 at 2:46 am

    Some professional VPN reviewers are upping their game asking relevant questions.

    For example normally docile CNET is first in discussing of the tracking on VPN websites.

    The best overall reviews are at
    My research indicates some answers are hones and complete. But they need to sharpen the questions.
    For example do they take Major charge cards DIRECTLY (Paypal intrusive data policies are a stumbling block).

    The most serious issue is qualified, limiting answers. They avoid answering if they allow third parties to data mine their VPN users. As long as they (the VPN vendor) themselves do not data-mine they they can truthfully advertise no logging.

    Enhanced privacy laws are pressuring vendors to begin mentioning their partners in privacy policies.
    They typically resolve themselves of any and all data transfer responsibilities by stating to read their analytic partner (G’s) privacy policy.
    Until data regulators stop this passing-the-buck end-run, using the majority of VPN‘s today is a security breach.

    Regrettably enchantment USA doesn’t even have data-regulators, which could serve to limit our monopoly’s growth. Powerful magic indeed!

  4. 747always said on August 22, 2020 at 8:06 am

    Yeah I use Express VPN. My browser of choice is Firefox as my laptopn runs Ubuntu. Chrome is something I keep away from as Ive found it hampers performance.

  5. ULBoom said on August 22, 2020 at 1:33 am

    Uh, yeah. Use Mullvad. It’s excellent. One of the best, one of the few real VPN’s.

    I don’t like their silly client that can’t be moved, minimizes instead of closes but can be closed by shuffling through screens, nor their new Hollywood approach, nor the fact that they discovered after a month that wireguard (very fast and secure, not so good for privacy) keys weren’t rotating properly and still aren’t two months later.

    Vastly better client than the old one which looked like it was designed with Notepad and month to month subscriptions only is excellent. I’ll probably go back when the client is fixed. The wireguard thing’s not a big deal, at least Mullvad noted it.

    Anyway, a VPN from a browser company isn’t something I’d consider. This is probably OK but again, use Mullvad!

  6. Devilishly Deceptive said on August 21, 2020 at 1:44 am

    I assumed that others knew what I researched last month when MozillaVPN was announced. Sorry!

    Proxy Partners and Shared Accounts should be the 2020 privacy focus.

    For example Cloudfare DNS promises Mozilla that it will not save queries. But Cloudfare itself has a partner would does collect potentially personal data. They use a custom version of G. Analytics. Now where does that processed data end-up?

    Mullvand vs Mozilla Accounts
    Mullvand creates a random long-number for your account login. No verified email, not even a password.
    There is not really any other personal data except how you paid for the monthly subscription fee.
    If you want true privacy, they even accept cash via postal mail!
    Your Mullvamnd account VPN account is NOT going to be used as a vehicle to grow into other services with relaxed privacy rules. A completely new un-associated account can be new monthly. Or you can have multiple accounts. No one cares because you are not be tracked.

    A Firefox account includes a substantial amount of personal information obtained from using the existing Mozilla family of products. The new business plan is to expand into new types of products using the same Mozilla account.
    Your Mozilla VPN account is NOT just a VPN account. Here we see 21 different Mozilla services collecting data under the one shared Firefox account:

    2020 Big-Data Goal: build a complete product line so consumers find it convenient to interface ONLY through themselves (Google, Facebook, Mozilla) for all Internet functionality.

    Critically its this ONE Mozilla account to be used as a vehicle combing with current and future services. Now add in the existing sharing of your account with analytics partners. Ironheart states Firefox mobile now includes partner analytics contained WITHIN the browser itself.

    Your Firefox browser has self-contained substantial unique numerical identifiers/fingerprint which is identified by partner analytic packages when to checking for add-on updates. Even when you use a privacy clone.

    IronHeart recently listed the numerous changes Mozilla should change if they REALLY cared about privacy.
    I do not and never will create a Mozilla VPN account as its not isolated from their other advertising products. In fact its always growing with more data while being shared with its analytics and advertising partners.

    Firefox Browser
    Location data: Firefox uses your IP address to suggest relevant content based on your country and state.
    • Technical & Interaction data: Firefox sends us data such as the position, size and placement of content we suggest, as well as basic data about your interactions with Firefox’s suggested content. This includes the number of times suggested content is displayed or clicked.
    • Webpage data for Snippets: When you choose to click on a Snippet link, we may receive data about the link you followed.
    Campaign and Referral Data: This helps Mozilla understand the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns.
    On Desktop: Firefox by default sends Mozilla HTTP data that may be included with Firefox’s installer. This enables us to determine the website domain or advertising campaign (if any) that referred you to our download page.
    On iOS and Android: Firefox by default sends mobile campaign data to Adjust analytics, our analytics vendor (their website alone uses 12 tracking technologies) , which has its own privacy policy. Mobile campaign data includes a Google advertising ID, IP address, timestamp, country, language/locale, operating system, and app version.

    For now I’ve fled to the safety offered by Europe’s GDPR. I can sleep soundly at night living with Mullvand.
    If California’s second privacy law passes in November, I’ll consider that excellent level of privacy protection too!

    1. SpiceGuru said on September 17, 2020 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Devilishly Deceptive!
      Compliments on your very clear explanation and advice on vpn and IP/location privacy/security. I am running xubuntu, NOT a techie (but have been having to do things in terminal), do have a nord account but wonder how I can switch my dns, etc. as it always seems to run through cloudflare (even doing dns checks leads to strange things).
      due to a serious data breech, I have lost income, time, and nearly sanity so I cannot afford to keep jumping around and learning this does not come naturally to me, though I am committed. I am located in the UK which seems to be making its data privacy/protection laws a bit more lax the close we come to Brexit (ie. many sites now opt you in and you must go through button by button of opting out which takes ages. GDPR in Europe allows you to click ‘reject all.’)
      I would appreciate some direct advice if you are able or willing. Do you think rooting a smartphone and using f-droid is the best for smartphone protection? At the moment, due to all that happened, I simply use a small netbook/laptop type device–no smartphone. This is an honest query and rather urgent. Thanks.

  7. Stv said on August 20, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    I still don’t understand this idea:

    Who the hell would pay the exact same price (~5$/month) for a service that is blocked in ALL countries (with the exception of 6) on this planet when the direct purchase by Mullvad is available almost everywhere?

    “We currently offer Mozilla VPN in the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia.”

    There is absolutely no reason to buy this at all.

    1. VioletMoon said on August 21, 2020 at 6:22 pm

      Of course, one wouldn’t purchase the Mozilla VPN. I use Wireguard already which covers the entire computer to some extent. I’d rather figure out how to use MozWire to download .conf files for Wireguard.

      In truth, the only VPN I trust is Proton. Others are like venomous snakes.

  8. VFTS said on August 20, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    It’s not mozilla/firefox vpn. It’s mullvad vpn. Firefox made deal with them. Firefox use it’s name to attract new clients and they split earnings.It’s not like it’s but mozilla/firefox ain’t providing their own vpn.

    1. Matti said on August 20, 2020 at 10:06 pm

      It’d be nice if we got more clarity on the deal with Mullvad.

      For now, I’m guessing it’s Mullvad’s server backend (specifically their WireGuard servers) for the tunneling combined with whoever Mozilla partners for DNS resolving (probably Cloudflare). Similar to the deal Mullvad has with MalwareBytes in some regards. MalwareBytes VPN employs Mullvad’s WireGuard servers but uses their own DNS with anti-malware hosts file.

      I’m assuming Mozilla could make as much as a 30% cut, considering Mullvad charge the same US$4.99/mth on the iOS App Store and pay usual 30% protection-racket charge to Apple.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on August 20, 2020 at 8:09 pm

      It is called Mozilla VPN, it is clear that this is operated by Mullvad as mentioned in the article.

  9. Devilishly Deceptive said on August 20, 2020 at 4:05 pm

    Mullvad (falling under GDPR ) has the best VPN privacy policies.
    Mozilla makes some promises but adds additional layers and partners, each of which you have to trust.

    The common advertised VPN no-log policy has almost become a red-herring.
    Rather has third party analytics has ‘taken-over’?

    The top question when selecting a VPN in 2020 is:
    Do third-party partner analytic software run within the VPN client app (located on your personal device)?

    For example one ‘top-rated’ VPN:
    ‘We use third-party service providers for analytics.
    Service providers will be independent controllers of your data (end ruDPR)
    THEIR terms and conditions and privacy policies will apply to such relationships.
    Device identifiers. In some cases, we may record your mobile device’s identifier for marketing or analytics purposes.‘

    Bottom line is the VPNs (itself) no-logs privacy policy becomes rather secondary.
    Consumers think they are enhancing privacy, but instead paying to be data-mined right on their own computer!

    The simplest initial question is: who is supporting/running the VPN website? Are there analytics and ad-systems? Is Javascript required?

    As a solution, open-source household chained routers omit third-party analytic software from running on your local devices.
    Until GDPR type privacy laws are passed, Americans are advised to select a EU based provider.

    Mozilla makes some promises with several additional partners to trust.
    Mozilla (unlike connecting with Mullvad direct subscriptions) does NOT support openVPN/DD-WRT firmware enabled routers.
    After Mozilla recently added analytics to their Mozilla portable browser (plus a critical $450,000,000 payoff) its difficult to swallow hollow-ringing promises.
    Besides a Cloudfare ( DNS partner does track users.

    Mullvad places first in a privacy compromised world:

    1. pd said on August 21, 2020 at 1:59 am

      Cloudflare tracks users?

      A lot of detail in your comment but a lot of it lacks references. Would be interested to read some more references to back up your claims.

      1. Karol said on August 25, 2020 at 5:58 pm

        Cloudfare is not recommended by Mullvad and is known to be based in USA (read: NSA sticky fingers). Anything based in USA is pure evil – you should know that by now and simple google search will reveal DNS providers comparison (frankly, wins speed wise but you need to go deeper than linustechtips ill advised fast internet for noobies).

        This thread isn’t about DNS providers but you are free to do your own research – I have settled on AdGuard when not on VPN (private encrypted DNS does not play well with VPN).

        I am using Mullvad for the 3rd year now – switched to wireguard this year and no-one is forcing me to install any 3rd party app, as wireguard ones are either backed in kernel or available as open source.

  10. Matti said on August 20, 2020 at 2:13 pm

    No mention, either here or on the project’s, of whether it sets up firewall/packet-filter (iptables or nftables for Linux, pf for OpenBSD, ipfw for FreeBSD, whatever MacOS uses, etc) rules for kill-switch equivalent functionality.

    That’s the problem with many of these terminal VPN clients for Unix-like operating systems. No problem if you know how to setup the rules yourself, but probably a bit daunting for casual users. Afaik, at least among non-scummy providers, only IVPN has rules built into their CLI client, and even that’s for Linux distros running iptables only.

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