Friday, February 05, 2010

Anonymous Internet browsing using Ubuntu 9.10, Tor and Firefox

"Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location. Tor works with many of your existing applications, including web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the TCP protocol." [taken from Tor website]

Basically we need to install three things:
  1. Polipo - a proxy server,
  2. Tor, the onion router, and 
  3. Torbutton -a Firefox add-on.
Bellow are steps to install these three things.

Install Polipo, a caching web proxy
sudo apt-get install polipoSetup polipo
Manually open /etc/polipo/config and copy-paste config details here or sudo sh -c "wget '' -O /etc/polipo/config"After this restart polipo sudo /etc/init.d/polipo restart Add Tor repository
sudo sh -c "echo 'deb karmic main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list" Add Tor repository GPG keygpg --keyserver --recv 886DDD89
gpg --export A3C4F0F979CAA22CDBA8F512EE8CBC9E886DDD89 | sudo apt-key add -
Update repositories and install Torsudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tor
Install Torbutton (an add-on to firefox)
Just go to website of Torbutton and install it.

Check if you are anonymous
Enable tor in Firefox using the Torbutton, and go to Are you using Tor?If everything is OK you should see the following:
Additionally, you can install vidalia, a GUI for Torsudo apt-get install vidalia
Now, using vidalia you can create a new identity (i.e. a new IP) whenever you want:


  1. Michael Price6:12 PM

    Out of curiosity why did you choose polipo over privoxy?

  2. Anonymous9:07 PM

  3. @Michael Price
    Polipo was used because Torbutton uses it by default, hence it works out-of-the-box.

  4. I was using this TorButton on Ubuntu 9.04 but after installing Karmic I forgot to reinstall it!
    Your tutorial reminded me this and I've installed again.

  5. Excellent guide. Thank you. I'll probably integrate it in my next Ubuntu guide :-)

  6. Hello,
    I think there is a problem with the addon Tor button. After restarting Firefox it doesn't remember my web pages that were open. After Disabling this addon after restarting Firefox everything is OK.
    I have Swiftfox 3.6.
    Do you have the same problem?

  7. @VasiaUVI
    Torbutton disables lots of stuff in Firefox to be fully anonymous. More on that you can find here:

  8. Anonymous11:54 AM

    I followed all the steps down to checking status. Tor disabled, Clicked-Are you using Tor-site says no you are not, Enabled Tor, Clicked-Are you using Tor- nothing happens. Using Firefox 3.5.8, on Karmic (kernel 2.6.31-20

  9. Anonymous5:47 AM

    I just want a download button and it always works.

  10. is not available any more


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