Saturday, 5 March 2011

How to Install Tor in Ubuntu

(This article shows you how to install tor in ubuntu.  If you're trying to use tor with Google Chrome, see How to Configure Google Chrome for Tor)

This morning I read an article about a German judge who recently awarded a Subpoena to Sony for hacker geohot's website.  This means that Sony will soon have in its hands a list of IPs who have visited (and downloaded) geohot's PS3 hack.  Sony may even be able to link web traffic IPs with PS3 IPs and take action against PS3 online gamers.  Of course, this is a very bad move by Sony since it attacks users who haven't broken any laws.  But I digress.... this got me thinking about the need for internet privacy.  If you're thinking the same thing, Tor may be for you.

Simply put, the tor project allows users to mask their identity and internet habits by bouncing their web traffic over a number of random nodes located all over the planet.  These nodes are sustained by tor volunteers who donate their spare cpu and bandwidth to the network.  You can read more about it here.  This guide will show you how to install the tor client (not server) on your Ubuntu linux machine.  If you're using another OS, check out these other installation guides

Step 1 - Download tor

Add the tor repository to your sources list:
sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

And add the following code to the file.  Save and exit.
#### Tor project -
deb maverick main

(You may substitute lucid, karmic, jaunty, etc. for maverick if you're running a different version).  Add the necessary keys:

gpg --keyserver --recv 886DDD89
gpg --export A3C4F0F979CAA22CDBA8F512EE8CBC9E886DDD89 | sudo apt-key add -

Install tor via terminal:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tor tor-geoipdb

Step 2 - Configure Polipo

If downloading tor didn't also download polipo (it likely did), you must get it manually as it is required for proper proxy:
sudo apt-get install polipo

Now get rid of the default polipo settings and configure for use with tor.  Open the polipo config file:
sudo gedit /etc/polipo/config

 and replace its entire contents with this substitute configuration.  Save, exit, and restart polipo:
/etc/init.d/polipo restart

Step 3 - Use Tor

Now you can configure any application to route its internet traffic through tor.  Just go to proxy settings, and configure HTTP/HTTPS/SOCKS to point to localhost port 8118 (  Remember that you can visit anytime to see if you've configured correctly.

Some applications allow proxy on/proxy off configuration.  Some require you to manually set the proxy each time you wish to use it.  Have a look at Torbutton for Firefox.  It's probably the easiest turn-key solution.  But I use Google Chrome and torbutton doesn't work.  For great detail on this, see my guide on How to Configure Google Chrome for Tor.


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Alyssa Van Story said...

When I try to add this:
"#### Tor project -
deb maverick main"

I get this error message in the command line:
"(gedit:3258): Gtk-WARNING **: Calling Inhibit failed: GDBus.Error:org.freedesktop.DBus.Error.ServiceUnknown: The name org.gnome.SessionManager was not provided by any .service files"

Any suggestions?

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