Configure a proxy on Debian or Ubuntu with @ in the user login or password

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When using a freshly installed Debian, users willing to connect to a proxy to surf the net (commonly used by professionals in a business environment) are confronted by two concerns related both to one thing: the @ sign is interpreted by the terminal as as a separator and not as part of the login or password. Some companies make use of logins in the following format "email.address@domain.com" and it is therefore important for the system to consider the @ sign as part of the login. If your password contains an @, the sign will be interpreted as a separator and your password will be truncated.

Here are the solutions:
  • In all cases, the command lines must be entered in the terminal:
  • If you have permission errors, switch to root
    • su root
  • or
    • sudo


In the case of a normal proxy where authentication can be done with a short name (for example, domain\user)
the syntax is:
export http_proxy=http://[DOMAIN\]USERNAME:PASSWORD@SERVER:PORT        
export ftp_proxy=http://[DOMAIN\]USERNAME:PASSWORD@SERVER:PORT


When the login has the @ symbol:
  • replace the @ sign with \@

export http_proxy=http://EMAIL\@DOMAIN.COM:PASSWORD@SERVER:PORT        
export ftp_proxy=http://EMAIL\@DOMAIN.COM:PASSWORD@SERVER:PORT  


When the password has the @ symbol:
  • replace the @ sign with replace the @ sign with \@

 export http_proxy=[http://][DOMAIN\]USERNAME:P%40SSWORD@SERVER:PORT         
 export ftp_proxy=[http://][DOMAIN\]USERNAME:P%40SSWORD@SERVER:PORT


Jean-François Pillou

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