Thursday, July 12, 2012

Installing Vidalia (Tor) in Ubuntu 12.04

To use onion routing in Ubuntu 12.04 you can use either of the following methods:

 Method 1

The first option is to download tor browser bundle and extract  it. Tor can be launched by running start-tor-browser script in extracted directory. If permission is denied then run "chmod -R +x * in a terminal to add executable bit to the files. During first run, Stop tor, Set the proxy in vidalia settings and Start tor again. Once the connection is established tor browser will come automatically. This is a tweaked version of firefox. By default, add-ons and other extensions are disabled. The proxy settings and port of privoxy can be found from Edit-> Preferences->Advanced->Network->Settings. You can copy the proxy and port to any application's proxy settings to make it work behind tor.

Method 2

1. Vidalia can be installed from the command line or synaptic or USC. I prefer to use the terminal for installation. If privoxy is already installed in the system then it needs to be removed as it will interfere with working of polipo.

2. The config file of torr needs to edited (replaced) with the following text. Run the command in terminal gedit ~/.vidalia/torrc and paste the following :


3. Now edit the  /etc/tor/torrc  file and remove the "#" from the line " ControlPort 9051" so that vidalia could control tor (sudo nano /etc/tor/torrc )

4. Use  sudo visudo and add the following lines at the end of file

Save by Ctrl+O followed by enter key and exit by Ctrl+X

5. Using editor command sudo gedit /etc/polipo/config replace the contents of /etc/polipo/config with

6. When using vidalia, it attempts to start tor and polipo, but as default this is already running! But it not connected to the tor network. As a result vidalia returns an error message.To solve this problem we have to remove the service from startup. For that sudo apt-get install sysv-rc-conf. After installation run sudo sysv-rc-conf. It will display a table , scroll down by the use of arrow key to the line with tor and disable all ticks by the use of space key. Do the same for polipo. sysv-rc-conf  can be quit by using the key q.

7. Run vidalia and edit the settings. Set the proxy which you use.

Type: HTTP and HTTPS

8. Open startup applications from the settings button on left extreme of top panel  and add two new entries. One for vidalia and one for polipo. Tor will be started by vidalia. So donot setup startup for tor. The polipo startup is set with a delay. If polipo starts before vidalia and tor it will control the port and tor will fail. So polipo must start after vidalia and tor. This is ensured by the delay (sleep 100). Startup application commands are:

sleep 100 && polipo &

9. Go to System Settings in top panel and open Network  and select Network Proxy. Set the following values in manual mode. This will globally make the system configured to use tor proxy values.

http , https and ftp
socks host

10. Reboot the system
12. To use tor in firefox follow either steps
a) Set the proxy to
http , https and ftp
socks host
b) Install torbutton mozilla addon
Use toggle tor status for enabling and disabling tor in firefox

c) Use foxyproxy for custom proxy management
use and other proxies in a mixed manner specifying custom patterns in urls. (I prefer this method ).

13. In google chrome/ chromium use proxy switchy : 

13.  For torrent use the client vuze. and set the proxy to socks

14.  If you are using virtualbox then we can use the host tor network in the guest os. For that set all proxy in guest OS as :


  1. going good till step 8 startup applications, what do i put in the command section? any help will be great thanks

    1. vidalia
      sleep 100 && polipo &
      Make two startup entries with above commands

  2. At step 7 a little more detail on where the proxy setting go would be handy for us Tor which tab to open to put the proxy settings in Vidalia.
    At step 9..when I did this I could get NO network I must have done something wrong, but damn if I know what. Is there a typical mistake that would cause that? Tor starts fine, itself, just can't get it to work with chrome.

    1. Its in Network page of Vidalia Settings. Tick I use a proxy to access the internet. Enter the host name and port and set the proxy type. These settings are same in Windows also.

      You might have unticked enable network in the top panel Network indicator. That might be why it is showing No network connection.

      In chrome go to settings under the hood and set up the proxy to This will set the system entirely to work under tor network. Chrome uses global settings of the system and therefore the entire system will be under tor network in that case.

  3. I think i did it completely but this settings get warning: Jan 20 16:15:31.670 [Warning] Your application (using socks4 to port 993) is giving Tor only an IP address. Applications that do DNS resolves themselves may leak information. Consider using Socks4A (e.g. via privoxy or socat) instead. For more information, please see

    How can i fix this?

    1. You might be using torrent. Running torrent in tor causes leakage of identity

  4. at Step 4.... in which file the lines should be added??

    myUserName ALL= NOPASSWD: /etc/init.d/tor
    myUserName ALL= NOPASSWD: /usr/bin/polipo

    in /etc/tor/torrc an error appears:

    [notice] Read configuration file "/etc/tor/torrc".
    [warn] Failed to parse/validate config: Unknown option 'myUserName'. Failing.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. sudo visudo wil open the file automatically. Just scroll down paste the lines (Ctrl+ V will not work). then save the file by pressing Ctrl+O followed by enter key. Ctrl+X to exit.

  5. When I tick off I use proxy to reach internet It not only asks for the address it asks for a port un/pw Above you stated the address was but you didnt specify a port or Sorry if this is a dumb Q. Forgive me.