Question: How do I install Tor (The Onion Router) software under Debian / Ubuntu Linux? How do I communicate anonymously on the Internet? How do I anonymously browser the Internet so that I can avoid network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy under Linux operating systems?
Answer: Onion routing is a system enabling its users to communicate anonymously on the Internet. You need to install following softwares:
[a] tor – a free software implementation of second-generation onion routing for Windows / Linux / UNIX computer systems.
[b] privoxy – a non-caching web proxy with advanced filtering capabilities for enhancing privacy, modifying web page data, managing HTTP cookies, controlling access, and removing ads, banners, pop-ups and other obnoxious Internet junk. Privoxy has a flexible configuration and can be customized to suit individual needs and tastes. Privoxy has application for both stand-alone systems and multi-user networks.
Install tor and privoxy
Type the following command as root user or use sudo command:
$ sudo apt-get install tor privoxy
Linux tor and privoxy configuration
By default tor listen on TCP port # 9050. Open /etc/privoxy/config file, enter:
$ sudo vi /etc/privoxy/config
Append / change following config directive to chain Privoxy and Tor, both running on the same system:
forward-socks4a / 127.0.0.1:9050 .
Save and close the file. Restart privoxy:
$ sudo /etc/init.d/privoxy restart
Sample privoxy config file
See man page for detailed information (above configuration is sufficient to get started with tor)
# Generally, this file goes in /etc/privoxy/config forward-socks4a / 127.0.0.1:9050 . confdir /etc/privoxy logdir /var/log/privoxy actionsfile standard actionsfile default actionsfile user filterfile default.filter debug 4096 debug 8192 user-manual /usr/share/doc/privoxy/user-manual listen-address 127.0.0.1:8118 toggle 1 enable-remote-toggle 0 enable-edit-actions 0 enable-remote-http-toggle 0 buffer-limit 4096
Configure browser for tor
Open Firefox click on Edit > Preferences > Advance tab > Settings:
Set 127.0.0.1 and 8118 as privoxy server IP and port number. Now Firefox is ready to use with Tor.
Firefox Torbutton plugin
You can also install Torbutton plugin, for best safety. Simply grab and install the Torbutton plugin, restart your Firefox, and you’re all set to use Tor. From the project page:
Torbutton provides a button to securely and easily enable or disable the browser’s use of Tor. It is currently the only addon that will safely manage your Tor browsing to prevent IP address leakage, cookie leakage, and general privacy attacks.