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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:


Installing the official Debian package

Debian 11 and later

With Debian 11 and later, or Debian Sid (Unstable), installing it is as simple as installing the torbrowser-launcher package with whatever tool you prefer.

After installation, two new entries can be found in the launcher of your preferred desktop, "Tor Browser" and "Tor Browser Launcher Settings". The latter will allow you to configure the way that Tor Browser is downloaded (such as the mirror, whether or not you use the system Tor service to download it, etc.), while the former will simply launch the browser and download it if it isn't currently installed.

These can both be accessed via terminal commands by running torbrowser-launcher or torbrowser-launcher --settings respectively.

Debian 10 and older

The torbrowser-launcher package isn't available in the regular release of Debian 9 and 10, but it was made later available via the backports system and can be installed through it.

Follow the instructions to add the backports repository to your sources.list. Because the package is only available in the backports section without room for ambiguity, Apt will install it without any extra arguments necessary. Just install the torbrowser-launcher package with your preferred tool.

After installation, two new entries can be found in the launcher of your preferred desktop, "Tor Browser" and "Tor Browser Launcher Settings". The latter will allow you to configure the way that Tor Browser is downloaded (such as the mirror, whether or not you use the system Tor service to download it, etc.), while the former will simply launch the browser and download it if it isn't currently installed.

These can both be accessed via terminal commands by running torbrowser-launcher or torbrowser-launcher --settings respectively.


Installing from the website

Tarballs containing the latest stable version of the Tor Browser Bundle can be found on the official Tor Browser website, they contain a .desktop file that'll run the browser in-place. This can be run just by double-clicking it in most file managers. GNOME will require you to run the file from the terminal instead.

After being run, it will also auto-update in place as new versions are released.


Advanced Tor Usage

Torrc File Location

If you installed "torbrowser-launcher" on a 64-bit (amd64) system, the "torrc" advanced configuration file is located at:

If you installed "torbrowser-launcher" on a 32-bit (i386) 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


Clarifying common misconceptions

Tor isn't illegal to use

While in some extremely authoritarian countries Tor may carry legal risk, it's generally fine. Through United States and most of Europe, the very worst you can expect is to be potentially put on a watchlist. Your ISP is unable to see what you're doing over Tor, but they can see that you're using Tor.

If your government or ISP attempts to block Tor, many mirror sites offer downloads of the browser bundle, and you may consider setting up apt-transport-https to securely download it from the repositories. Tor bridges are also available in case connection to the network itself is censored.

The deep web/dark web aren't dangerous to browse, and won't expose you to hackers and malware

Though the terms are often used as synonyms, typically, the "deep web" refers to any website not indexed by search engines such as Google, and the "dark web" refers to websites that require a service such as Tor to view.

In both cases, neither are inherently dangerous. They carry the same risk as almost any small website, and require a vulnerability in your web browser to serve malware. As long as you update regularly, there's generally little risk.

Tor isn't only used for illegal purposes

While Tor is used for plenty of terrible reasons as well, journalists, free speech activists, and whistleblowers all make use of Tor in order to do important work for the common good. Citizens of oppressive countries also make use of Tor in order to access important information that otherwise is restricted.

There are numerous legal reasons to use Tor as well, such as communicating with people across authoritarian borders, or accessing legal content that you nonetheless want to keep hidden from your ISP for whatever reason.

It is too slow to stream/torrent over

Tor's speed comes from how many resources are provided by generous people. Also, Tor is not for torrenting. Torrenting over Tor not only leaks your IP address, but it also slows the network for everyone else.

You won't get arrested or get into trouble with your ISP or someone else for running Tor

You will only need to worry about this if you are running a Tor exit node. There are also some excellent resources created by the Tor staff; give them a read:

You may also be interested in the Tor Metrics pages which will show you how common the use of Tor is in your country:

Source: https://wiki.installgentoo.com/index.php/Tor


See also

References


CategorySoftware | CategoryNetworkApplication | CategoryWebBrowser