Setup a proxy under Linux

Environment variables

Lot of programs (such as wget, curl, pacman, ...) use environment variables to determine the proxy of a given protocol.

Environment variables can be added per user in their .bashrc or .zshrc shell profile file with something like export KEY=value. The advantage is that variables can be used in order to avoid repeating the same proxy several times.

Or /etc/environment file stores the system-wide variables initialized upon user login. Or you can use /etc/syconfig/proxy under openSUSE.

To add proxy settings one time for everyone, you can execute the following script with sudo privilege (because you need to write into a system file: /etc/environment).

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#!/bin/bash
file=/etc/environment
http_proxy=http://proxy.example.org:8080/
HTTP_PROXY=$http_proxy
https_proxy=$http_proxy
HTTPS_PROXY=$https_proxy
ftp_proxy=$http_proxy
FTP_PROXY=$ftp_proxy
rsync_proxy=$http_proxy
RSYNC_PROXY=$rsync_proxy
no_proxy="localhost,127.0.0.1,localaddress,.localdomain.com"
NO_PROXY=$no_proxy
echo "http_proxy=$http_proxy" >> $file
echo "HTTP_PROXY=$HTTP_PROXY" >> $file
echo "https_proxy=$https_proxy" >> $file
echo "HTTPS_PROXY=$HTTPS_PROXY" >> $file
echo "ftp_proxy=$ftp_proxy" >> $file
echo "FTP_PROXY=$FTP_PROXY" >> $file
echo "rsync_proxy=$rsync_proxy" >> $file
echo "RSYNC_PROXY=$RSYNC_PROXY" >> $file
echo "no_proxy=$no_proxy" >> $file
echo "NO_PROXY=$NO_PROXY" >> $file

Proxy settings on GNOME3

Some other graphical programs (such as Chromium or Rhythmbox) ignore those environment variables and use gnome (GTK3) settings. These settings can be modified through the gnome-control-center front end and also through gsettings (see the example below).

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gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy mode 'manual'
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy.http host 'proxy.example.org'
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy.http port 8080
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy.ftp host 'proxy.example.org'
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy.ftp port 8080
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy.https host 'proxy.example.org'
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy.https port 8080
gsettings set org.gnome.system.proxy ignore-hosts "['localhost', '127.0.0.0/8', '10.0.0.0/8', '192.168.0.0/16', '172.16.0.0/12' , '*.localdomain.com' ]"

Package managers

Since you are using awesome tools like zypper (openSUSE) or pacman (ArchLinux) you will probably don't care about the following paragraph.

But users of apt-get or aptitue will need an additional step to use their package manager working with a proxy. They will need to edit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/proxy and include the following lines:

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Acquire::http::proxy "http://proxy.example.org:8080/";
Acquire::ftp::proxy "ftp://proxy.example.org:8080/";
Acquire::https::proxy "https://proxy.example.org:8080/";

Git

You can configure proxy usage with a git command:

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$ git config --global http.proxy http://proxy.example.org:8080

This will generate the following lines in your ~/.gitconfig:

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[http]
proxy = http://proxy.example.org:8080

Curl

Normally, curl use http_proxy environment variable but you can force it to use another proxy in the command with the -x parameter:

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$ curl -x http://proxy.example.org:8080 http://myurl.example.org
$ curl --proxy http://proxy.example.org:8080 http://myurl.example.org

You can also specify a proxy inside the ~/.curlrc file:

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proxy = proxy.example.org:8080

Wget

Wget may use http_proxy environment variable but that not always works.

So /etc/wgetrc or ~/.wgetrc can be configured with the following lines:

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http_proxy = http://proxy.example.org:8080
use_proxy = on

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