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Shadowsocks logo.png
Original author(s)Clowwindy
Initial release20 April 2012; 8 years ago (2012-04-20)[1][2]
Stable release4.1.10.0 (April 11, 2020; 9 months ago (2020-04-11)[3]) [±]
Written inPython, C, Perl, C#
Operating systemCross-platform
PlatformAndroid, iOS, Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows
Available inEnglish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese
TypeInternet censorship circumvention
LicenseGPLv3, LGPLv3 Edit this on Wikidata

Shadowsocks is a free and open-source encryption protocol project, widely used in China to circumvent Internet censorship. It was created in 2012 by a Chinese programmer named "clowwindy", and multiple implementations of the protocol have been made available since.[4][5] Shadowsocks is not a proxy on its own, but typically, the client software will help to connect to a third party socks5 proxy, speaking the shadowsocks language on the machine it is running on, which internet traffic can then be directed towards, similarly to a Secure tunnel(SSH tunnel).[6] Unlike an SSH tunnel, shadowsocks can also proxy UDP traffic.


On 22 August 2015, "clowwindy" announced in a GitHub thread that they had been contacted by the police and could no longer maintain the project.[7] The code of the project was subsequently branched with a removal notice.[8][9][10][11] Three days later on 25 August, another proxy application, GoAgent, also had its GitHub repository removed.[9][10] The removal of the projects got media's attention, with news outlets speculating about the possible connection between the takedowns and a DDoS attack targeting GitHub which happened several days later.[12] Danny O'Brien, from Electronic Frontier Foundation, published a statement on the matter.[13]

Despite the takedown, collaborators of the project have continued with the development of the project.

Server implementations[edit]

The original Python implementation can still be installed with Pip (package manager), but the contents of its GitHub repository have been removed.[14][15] Other server implementations include one in Go, Rust, C using the libev event loop library, C++ with a Qt GUI, and Perl. The Go and Perl implementations are not updated regularly and may be abandoned.[15][16][17][18]

Client implementations[edit]

All of the server implementations listed above also support operating in client mode. There are also client-only implementations available for Windows (shadowsocks-win), macOS (ShadowsocksX-NG), Android (shadowsocks-android), and iOS (Wingy).[19] Many clients, including shadowsocks-win and shadowsocks-android, support redirecting all system traffic over Shadowsocks, not just applications that have been explicitly configured to do so, allowing Shadowsocks to be used similarly to a VPN. If an application doesn't support proxy servers, a proxifier can be used to redirect the application to the Shadowsocks client. Some proxifiers, such as Proxycap, support Shadowsocks directly, thus avoiding the need for a Shadowsocks client but some require a client.


Net::Shadowsocks is name of the Perl implementation of Shadowsocks protocol client and server available on CPAN.[20]


ShadowsocksR is a fork of the original Shadowsock project, claimed to be superior in terms of security and stability. Upon release, it was found to violate the License by not having the source code of the C# client available.[21] It was also criticized for its solution to the alleged security issues in the source project. Shadowsocks is currently under development, while ShadowsocksR stopped.[22]

Similar projects[edit]

Shadowsocks is similar to The Tor Project's Pluggable Transport idea. Pluggable transport makes it hard for ISPs to detect the TOR traffic. They also both use a socks proxy interface. Whereas Shadowsocks is simpler, Obfs4 used in pluggable transport is more obfuscated.[23] Unlike Obfs4, Shadowsocks is not resistant to Active Probing.[24] The most similar Pluggable Transport to Shadowsocks is Obfs3.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "发一个自用了一年多的翻墙工具 shadowsocks". Archived from the original on 22 April 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Shadowsocks 的前世后生". GFW BLOG. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  3. ^ "shadowsocks-windows". Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  4. ^ clowwindy (20 April 2012). "initial commit". Retrieved 10 June 2016 – via GitHub.
  5. ^ "Ports and Clients". Retrieved 10 June 2016 – via GitHub.
  6. ^ "Shadowsocks - Protocol". Archived from the original on 4 December 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  7. ^ clowwindy (22 August 2015). "Adopting iOS 9 network extension points". Archived from the original on 22 August 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2016 – via GitHub. Two days ago the police came to me and wanted me to stop working on this. Today they asked me to delete all the code from GitHub. I have no choice but to obey. I hope one day I'll live in a country where I have freedom to write any code I like without fearing.
  8. ^ clowwindy (22 August 2015). "shadowsocks/shadowsocks@938bba3". Retrieved 10 June 2016 – via GitHub.
  9. ^ a b Rudolph, Josh (25 August 2015). "Circumvention Tool Deleted After Police Visit Developer". China Digital Times. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  10. ^ a b Percy (26 August 2016). "中国开发者被警察要求删除软件" [Chinese coder ordered to delete software by police] (in Chinese). GreatFire. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  11. ^ Kan, Michael (30 August 2015). "China intensifies Internet censorship ahead of military parade". PC World. International Data Group. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  12. ^ Cimpanu, Catalin (29 August 2015). "Recent GitHub DDOS Linked to Chinese Government and Two GitHub Projects". Softpedia. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  13. ^ O'Brien, Danny (28 August 2015). "Speech that Enables Speech: China Takes Aim at Its Coders". Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  14. ^ "Shadowsocks". GitHub.
  15. ^ a b "Shadowsocks Servers". Shadowsocks.
  16. ^ zhou0 (18 December 2017), shadowsocks-perl: An asynchronous, non-blocking shadowsocks client and server written in Perl, retrieved 11 January 2018
  17. ^ shadowsocks-go: go port of shadowsocks, shadowsocks, 10 January 2018, retrieved 11 January 2018
  18. ^ shadowsocks-rust: A Rust port of shadowsocks, retrieved 12 October 2019
  19. ^ "Shadowsocks - Clients". Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  20. ^ "Net::Shadowsocks - the asynchronous, non-blocking shadowsocks client and server". Retrieved 6 April 2017 – via CPAN.
  21. ^ clowwindy (18 August 2015). "AppData & temp & 当前目录" (in Chinese). Retrieved 10 June 2016 – via GitHub.
  22. ^
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  24. ^

External links[edit]