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How to install and run your own ShadowSocks server

Follow this tutorial to learn how to install, configure and run your very own ShadowSocks server which will help you bypass restrictions, defeat oppressing firewalls and browse the web anonymously.

First things first: what is ShadowSocks?

In short, ShadowSocks is a SOCKS5 server wrapped into an additional layer of encryption. Once the authentication is established and level of encryption negotiated the traffic flows following the SOCKS5 protocol specs. It is safe to assume that, due to the extra layer of encryption, ShadowSocks is harder to read by third parties thus more secure. It has been developed as an effort to try and defeat the great firewalls established by various institutions and governments.

How do you connect to a ShadowSocks server?

Since encryption is involved you will need a ShadowSocks client to connect to a server. One that wraps the packets before sending them to the server which then authenticates the request and uses the known key to decrypt and proxy the traffic between you as a client and the designated target. Once the connection established traffic flows bi-directionally.

Where can you install it?

You can install the server on many platform such as Digitalocean, Hetzner, AWS, Linode, Vultr or any other provider which sells VPSs at cheap prices. Basically, everywhere you can rent a machine that allows you to open a port and run a docker container.

How to install the ShadowSocks server?

You will find many guides but I will pick the easiest. Since I do not know what distro you will pick for your VPS, nor do I want to enforce, limit or assume, I will base the rest of this tutorial on docker containers which is the only requirement that your VPS must meet in order to install the SS server.
Follow this link to the official page guiding you how to install docker based on the distro you picked. Once installed, all we have to do is find a good container that will power our server. I highly recommend using docker since it helps you skip a lot of steps and it is very portable should you want to switch.
Seems like there is an official docker image so we will go with that. This command will pull the official container onto your VPS: docker pull shadowsocks/shadowsocks-libev
Now let's run it:
docker run \
-e METHOD=aes-256-gcm \
-p 15622:15622 \
-p 15622:15622/udp \
-d --restart always \
This command will run the shadowsocks/shadowsocks-libev container as a daemon. To view the list of running docker container you can issue docker container ls which will print out a summary list. To view more details about any of the containers you can drill further with a docker inspect [container_id] where container_id is one of the container ids printed in the output of the previous command.

We offer highly secure, (Dedicated or Shared / Residential or Non-Residential) SOCKS5, Shadowsocks, DNS or HTTP Proxies.

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