Running the Tor client on Linux/BSD/Unix


Note that these are the installation instructions for running a Tor client. The easiest way to do this is to simply download the Tor Browser Bundle and you are done.


Step One: Download and Install Tor


The latest release of Tor can be found on the download page. We have packages for Debian, Red Hat, Gentoo, *BSD, etc there too. If you're using Ubuntu, don't use the default packages: use our deb repository instead. Similarly, CentOS / Fedora / OpenSUSE users should use our rpm repository instead.

If you're building from source, first install libevent, and make sure you have openssl and zlib (including the -devel packages if applicable). Then run:
tar xzf tor-0.2.4.21.tar.gz; cd tor-0.2.4.21
./configure && make
Now you can run tor as src/or/tor, or you can run make install (as root if necessary) to install it into /usr/local/, and then you can start it just by running tor.

Tor comes configured as a client by default. It uses a built-in default configuration file, and most people won't need to change any of the settings. Tor is now installed.


Step Two: Configure your applications to use Tor


If you want to use Tor for anonymous web browsing, please use the Tor Browser Bundle. It comes with readily configured Tor and a browser patched for better anonymity. To use SOCKS directly (for instant messaging, Jabber, IRC, etc), you can point your application directly at Tor (localhost port 9050), but see this FAQ entry for why this may be dangerous. For applications that support neither SOCKS nor HTTP, take a look at torsocks or socat.

For information on how to Torify other applications, check out the Torify HOWTO.

If you have a personal firewall that limits your computer's ability to connect to itself (this includes something like SELinux on Fedora Core 4), be sure to allow connections from your local applications to Tor (local port 9050). If your firewall blocks outgoing connections, punch a hole so it can connect to at least TCP ports 80 and 443, and then see this FAQ entry. If your SELinux config is not allowing tor to run correctly, create a file named booleans.local in the directory /etc/selinux/targeted. Edit this file in your favorite text editor and insert "allow_ypbind=1". Restart your machine for this change to take effect.

If it's still not working, look at this FAQ entry for hints.


Step Three: Configure it as a relay


The Tor network relies on volunteers to donate bandwidth. The more people who run relays, the faster the Tor network will be. If you have at least 50 KiloBytes/s each way, please help out Tor by configuring your Tor to be a relay too. We have many features that make Tor relays easy and convenient, including rate limiting for bandwidth, exit policies so you can limit your exposure to abuse complaints, and support for dynamic IP addresses.

Having relays in many different places on the Internet is what makes Tor users secure. You may also get stronger anonymity yourself, since remote sites can't know whether connections originated at your computer or were relayed from others.

Read more at our Configuring a relay guide.


If you have suggestions for improving this document, please send them to us. Thanks!