Introduction

Tor Browser protects your privacy while you are surfing the Internet: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

Tor Browser is based on Firefox and will be familiar to many users.

To keep your protection strong you need to update the Tor Browser regularly. In Debian the easier way to do that is to install Tor Browser using torbrowser-launcher, which automatically installs Tor Browser, run it, and update it to keep its protection strong and protect your privacy.

The advantage of using torbrowser-launcher over the manual installation of the TorBrowser package (called Tor Browser Bundle) is threefold:

Install

Debian "Sid"

Users of Debian Sid (Unstable) can install torbrowser-launcher easily:

  1. Using Terminal as Root execute the following command
    apt install torbrowser-launcher

Debian 9 "Stretch"

  1. If not already done add the Backport repository to your sources.list.

    printf "deb http://deb.debian.org/debian stretch-backports main contrib" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/stretch-backports.list
    apt update
  2. Using Terminal as Root execute the following command
    apt install torbrowser-launcher -t stretch-backports
  3. To open Tor Browser choose one of the following two options
    • Option 1: Using GNOME, open the Activities Search. Simply type in Tor Browser

    • Option 2: Using Terminal as user run the following command

    torbrowser-launcher
  4. The first time you open Tor Browser the new version will automatically be downloaded and installed. On every subsequent open a check for updates will be done, and Tor Browser will automatically be updated to the latest available version from the Backport repository.

Debian 8 "Jessie"

Steps to install Tor Browser on Debian 8 "Jessie" with Backport

  1. If not already done add the Backport repository to your sources.list.

    printf "deb http://deb.debian.org/debian jessie-backports main contrib\n" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jessie-backports.list
    printf "deb http://deb.debian.org/debian jessie-backports-sloppy main contrib" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/jessie-backports.list
    apt update
  2. Using Terminal as Root execute the following command
    apt install torbrowser-launcher -t jessie-backports-sloppy
  3. To open Tor Browser choose one of the following two options
    • Option 1: Using GNOME, open the Activities Search. Simply type in Tor Browser

    • Option 2: Using Terminal as user run the following command

    torbrowser-launcher
  4. The first time you open Tor Browser the new version will automatically be downloaded and installed. On every subsequent open a check for updates will be done, and Tor Browser will automatically be updated to the latest available version from the Backport repository.

Frequently Ask Questions (F.A.Q.) for Debian 8 "Jessie"

Any volunteer to edit this section?

Debian 7 "Wheezy"

torbrowser-launcher in wheezy-backports is currently outdated.

<!> Debian 7 "Wheezy" is supported and secured until May 31st, 2018. With Long Term Support (LTS). To keep your computer secure it is suggested to upgrade to Debian 8 "Jessie" at your earliest convenience.

Steps to install Tor Browser on Debian 7 "Wheezy" with Backport

<!> Debian 7 "Wheezy" is supported and secured until May 31st, 2018. With Long Term Support (LTS). To keep your computer secure it is suggested to upgrade to Debian 8 "Jessie" at your earliest convenience.

  1. If not already done add the Backport repository to your sources.list.

  2. Using Terminal as Root execute the following command
    apt-get install torbrowser-launcher -t wheezy-backports
  3. To open Tor Browser choose one of the following two options
    • Option 1: Using GNOME, open the Activities Search. Simply type in Tor Browser

    • Option 2: Using Terminal as user run the following command

    torbrowser-launcher
  4. The first time you run Tor Browser the new version will automatically be downloaded and installed. On every subsequent run a check for updates will be done, and Tor Browser will automatically be updated to the latest available version from the Backport repository.

Update

To update choose one of the following two options. If unsure, the "automatic update" option is easier and recommended.

Automatic update

Tor Browser will automatically prompt you to update the software once a new version has been released. The Torbutton icon will display a small yellow triangle. When you are prompted to update Tor Browser:

  1. Click on the Torbutton icon
  2. Select “Check for Tor Browser Update” option. If needed see those screenshots to clarify the location.

  3. When Tor Browser has finished checking for updates, click on the “Update” button.
  4. Wait for the update to download and install, then restart Tor Browser. You will now be running the latest version.

Alternatively, if you installed Tor Browser using the torbrowser-launcher package. Simply close all Tor Browser windows. Then re-open Tor Browser. It will automatically check if a new version is available. Follow the instructions on your screen.

Manual update

Before manually updating Tor Browser it is suggested to periodically backup any valuable data. Such as your bookmarks. Which you could import after the manual update.

Manually update Tor Browser

  1. When you are prompted to update Tor Browser, finish the browsing session and close the program.
  2. Remove Tor Browser from your system by deleting the folder that contains it. If needed see that Uninstalling section for more information.

  3. Visit https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en and download a copy of the latest Tor Browser release, then install it as before.

Advanced Tor Usage

Torrc File Location

If you installed "torbrowser-launcher" on a 64 bit system, the "torrc" advanced configuration file is located at:

If you installed "torbrowser-launcher" on a i686 bit system, the "torrc" advanced configuration file is located at:

Related documentation

AppArmor confinement and Xserver isolation

HolgerLevsen has written some scripts which are available in /usr/share/doc/torbrowser-launcher/examples/ if you have installed the package.

These scripts show how to run torbrowser-launcher (and thus torbrowser), confined with AppArmor, in Xephyr (a virtual Xserver running on another Xserver) as another user. This, using AppArmor and Xephyr, shall have two effects:

In order to use these scripts, please refer to /usr/share/doc/torbrowser-launcher/examples/.

You can also read those scripts here if interested: https://anonscm.debian.org/git/pkg-privacy/packages/torbrowser-launcher.git/tree/debian/examples?h=debian/sid

Bugs and known issues

See also

References