Running the Tor client on Linux/BSD/Unix

Note that these are the installation instructions for running a Tor client. The easiest way to do this is to simply download Tor Browser and you are done.

Step One: Download and Install Tor

The latest release of Tor can be found on the download page. We have packages for Debian, Red Hat, Gentoo, etc there too. If you're using Ubuntu, don't use the default packages: use our deb repository instead. Similarly, CentOS / Fedora users should use our rpm repository instead.

If you're building from source, first install libevent, and make sure you have openssl and zlib (including the -devel packages if applicable). Then run:
tar xzf tor-; cd tor-
./configure && make
Now you can run tor as src/or/tor, or you can run make install (as root if necessary) to install it into /usr/local/, and then you can start it just by running tor.

Tor comes configured as a client by default. It uses a built-in default configuration file, and most people won't need to change any of the settings. Tor is now installed.

Step Two: Configure your applications to use Tor

If you want to use Tor for anonymous web browsing, please use Tor Browser. It comes with readily configured Tor and a browser patched for better anonymity. To use SOCKS directly (for instant messaging, Jabber, IRC, etc), you can point your application directly at Tor (localhost port 9050, or port 9150 for Tor Browser), but see this FAQ entry for why this may be dangerous. For applications that support neither SOCKS nor HTTP, take a look at torsocks or socat.

For information on how to Torify other applications, check out the Torify HOWTO.

If you have a personal firewall that limits your computer's ability to connect to itself (this includes something like SELinux on Fedora Core 4), be sure to allow connections from your local applications to Tor (local port 9050). If your firewall blocks outgoing connections, punch a hole so it can connect to at least TCP ports 80 and 443, and then see this FAQ entry. If your SELinux config is not allowing tor to run correctly, create a file named booleans.local in the directory /etc/selinux/targeted. Edit this file in your favorite text editor and insert "allow_ypbind=1". Restart your machine for this change to take effect.

If it's still not working, look at this FAQ entry for hints.

Step Three: Configure it as a relay

The Tor network relies on volunteers to donate bandwidth. If you want to help make the Tor network faster, please consider running a relay.

If you have suggestions for improving this document, please send them to us. Thanks!