How to install SOCKS5 on your VPS

Focusing on Dante, as I find it to be the easiest to install. First thing first, assuming you are using Ubuntu, do the usual

apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

Installing Dante from source on Ubuntu 16.04

The best way to install Dante is to use its source package for the latest available version which is currently version 1.4.2 . You can download the latest version from this Link to Dante Download Page. Copy the source link and download the Dante package using below ‘wget’ command.

# cd /usr/src
# wget

Once the package has been downloaded, then extract it within the current directory using below command.

# tar -zxf dante-1.4.2.tar.gz

Change directory to the extracted folder to compile and install the package.

# cd dante-1.4.2/

Make sure that you have 'gcc' and 'make' utilities installed on your system prior to compile and installation of Dante package. You can use below command to install.

# apt-get install gcc make

Now let’s run the below command to compile the source with required prefix as shown.

./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var --disable-client --without-libwrap --without-bsdauth --without-gssapi --without-krb5 --without-upnp --without-pam

At the end of the compilation process, you will get its configuration status as shown below.

 Configure status:

Client:            Disabled, using --disable-client
Server:            Enabled
Preloading:        Enabled
Libwrap:           Disabled, using --without-libwrap
BSD Auth:          Disabled, using --without-bsdauth
PAM:               Disabled, using --without-pam
GSSAPI:            Not found/disabled
KRB5:              Not found/disabled
SASL:              Not found/disabled
UPNP:              Not found/disabled
Compatability:     issetugid setproctitle strlcpy strvis


redirect:          Not found
bandwidth:         Not found
ldap:              Not found

After that run the following ‘make’ command to install the compiled packages.

# make && make install

You can check the installed version of Dante using below command.

# /usr/sbin/sockd -v
Dante v1.4.2.  Copyright (c) 1997 - 2014 Inferno Nettverk A/S, Norway

Configuring Dante-server service script

Now we are going to create the configuration file for the dante-server’s start/stop script. To do so create a new file in ‘/etc/init.d/’ directory and place the following contents in it using your command line editor.

# vim /etc/init.d/sockd

#! /bin/sh
# Provides:          sockd
# Required-Start:    $remote_fs $syslog
# Required-Stop:     $remote_fs $syslog
# Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: Start the dante SOCKS server.
# Description:       SOCKS (v4 and v5) proxy server daemon (sockd).
#                    This server allows clients to connect to it and
#                    request proxying of TCP or UDP network traffic
#                    with extensive configuration possibilities.
# dante SOCKS server init.d file. Based on /etc/init.d/skeleton:
# Version:  @(#)skeleton  1.8  03-Mar-1998  [email protected] 
# Via:

DESC="Dante SOCKS daemon"

# Exit if the package is not installed
[ -x "$DAEMON" ] || exit 0

# Load the VERBOSE setting and other rcS variables
. /lib/init/

# Define LSB log_* functions.
# Depend on lsb-base (>= 3.2-14) to ensure that this file is present
# and status_of_proc is working.
. /lib/lsb/init-functions

set -e

# This function makes sure that the Dante server can write to the pid-file.
touch_pidfile ()
  if [ -r $CONFFILE ]; then
    uid="`sed -n -e 's/[[:space:]]//g' -e 's/#.*//' -e '/^user\.privileged/{s/[^:]*://p;q;}' $CONFFILE`"
    if [ -n "$uid" ]; then
      touch $PIDFILE
      chown $uid $PIDFILE

case "$1" in
    if ! egrep -cve '^ *(#|$)' \
        -e '^(logoutput|user\.((not)?privileged|libwrap)):' \
        $CONFFILE > /dev/null
        echo "Not starting $DESC: not configured."
        exit 0
    echo -n "Starting $DESC: "
    start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile $PIDFILE --exec $DAEMON --test > /dev/null \
        || return 1
    start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile $PIDFILE --exec $DAEMON -- \
        $DAEMON_ARGS \
        || return 2
    echo "$NAME."
    echo -n "Stopping $DESC: "
    start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --retry=TERM/30/KILL/5 --pidfile $PIDFILE --name $NAME
    [ "$RETVAL" = 2 ] && return 2
    start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --oknodo --retry=0/30/KILL/5 --exec $DAEMON
    [ "$?" = 2 ] && return 2
    echo "$NAME."
    #   If the daemon can reload its config files on the fly
    #   for example by sending it SIGHUP, do it here.
    #   Make this a do-nothing entry, if the daemon responds to changes in its config file
    #   directly anyway.
     echo "Reloading $DESC configuration files."
     start-stop-daemon --stop --signal 1 --quiet --pidfile \
        $PIDFILE --exec $DAEMON -- -D
    #   If the "reload" option is implemented, move the "force-reload"
    #   option to the "reload" entry above. If not, "force-reload" is
    #   just the same as "restart".
    echo -n "Restarting $DESC: "
    start-stop-daemon --stop --quiet --pidfile $PIDFILE --exec $DAEMON
    sleep 1
    start-stop-daemon --start --quiet --pidfile $PIDFILE \
      --exec $DAEMON -- -D
    echo "$NAME."
    status_of_proc "$DAEMON" "$NAME" && exit 0 || exit $?
    # echo "Usage: $N {start|stop|restart|reload|force-reload}" >&2
    echo "Usage: $N {start|stop|restart|status|force-reload}" >&2
    exit 1

exit 0

Save and close the file using 'wq!' and give it execution permissions and update thh startup script using below commands.

# chmod +x /etc/init.d/sockd
# update-rc.d sockd defaults

Dante-server Sockd Configuration

First we start the global server settings before going to configure the advance settings of access rules. There are two types of rules that have to be defined in its configuration file. Client rules are mainly designed to specify which client is granted access to which socks server. In the socks rule section the actual application request is evaluated. By adding port numbers or rages access to the specific hosts or networks can be limited.

Let’s create the sockd configuration by placing the following parameters into the 'sockd.conf' file.

# vim /etc/sockd.conf
logoutput: /var/log/socks.log

internal: ens160 port = 1080
external: ens160

method: username
user.privileged: root
user.notprivileged: nobody

client pass {
        from: to:
        log: error connect disconnect

client block {
        from: to:
        log: connect error

pass {
        from: to:
        log: error connect disconnect

block {
        from: to:
        log: connect error

Starting Dante-server service

Once you have configured the danted-server sockd configuration file, then start its service and check the status its started without any error.

# /etc/init.d/sockd start
# /etc/init.d/sockd status

# /etc/init.d/sockd status

Use below command to check its listening state of port ‘1080’.

# netstat -tulp
tcp        0      0 k-vm:socks              *:*                     LISTEN      70839/sockd

In case you are unable to start your sockd service, then check your logs from ‘/var/log/socks.log’ file and modify 'sockd.conf' file.

To stop 'sockd' service you can kill its process number or use below command.

# /etc/init.d/sockd stop
[ ok ] Stopping sockd (via systemctl): sockd.service.

Create user for Dante

Dante uses unix authentication and password will be sent via clear text, so it’s best to have a dedicated user for it

useradd -M proxyuser # create user without home
usermod -L proxyuser # disable login
passwd dante # chage password

Try the proxy

Do this on your client machine to make sure everything works

curl --max-time 5 -x socks4://proxyuser:[email protected]:port\?format\=json && echo