3 ways to install the Tor browser on Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, etc.)

Tor Browser, formerly known as Tor Browser Bundle, is a web browser that protects your privacy while you surf the Internet. It is a modified version of Mozilla Firefox ESR (Extended Support Release) that includes the Firefox extensions TorButton, TorLauncher, NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere, as well as the Tor proxy.

Tor Browser automatically starts the Tor background processes and routes traffic through the Tor network; Sensitive data such as cookies and browsing history are removed when the browser is closed.

Its main purpose is to circumvent censorship by hiding the identity of its users and their online activities from surveillance and traffic analysis. It does this by using thousands of servers (Tor relays), layering encryption, isolating every website you visit so third-party trackers cannot follow you, and preventing anyone watching your connection from knowing which websites are You visit and make it difficult to fingerprint your device and browser information.

Use it to access websites that might be blocked in your country or region, or to prevent anyone watching your internet connection from knowing which websites you are visiting, but remember that nothing is foolproof! Anyone monitoring your surfing habits can still see that you are using Tor, so keep that in mind before you use it.

This article explains how to install Tor Browser on Linux and offers 3 options (2 of them with Tor Browser Launcher, details see below).

Do not confuse the Tor browser with the Tor client. If you’d like to use Tor with other applications, see: How to Install and Use Tor (Client) as a Proxy in Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

Option 1: Install the Tor browser from your Linux distribution repositories

Tor Browser is not included directly in the repositories; instead, many Linux distributions offer a package for Tor browser launcher, a tool to securely download and install Tor Browser on Linux.

Tor Browser Launcher downloads and installs the latest stable Tor Browser version in your language and for your computer architecture, verifies the browser’s signature to ensure that the downloaded version has been cryptographically signed and not tampered with by the Tor developers, adds Tor Browser and Tor. added browser launcher settings for the application menu / launcher, while also including AppArmor profiles for the Tor browser.

It’s also worth noting that the Tor Browser installed through the Tor Browser Launcher updates itself automatically, so you’ll get updates as soon as the Tor developers release them.

Install Tor Browser (using the Tor Browser Launcher) from the repositories:

  • Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Pop! _OS and other Debian or Ubuntu-based Linux distributions:

sudo apt install torbrowser-launcher

  • Fedora:
sudo dnf install torbrowser-launcher

  • openSUSE:
sudo zypper install torbrowser-launcher

  • Operating system only:
sudo eopkg install torbrowser-launcher

On Arch Linux (and Manjaro), the Tor Browser isn’t in the repositories, but you can install it through AUR, and you have two options: install Tor Browser directly (only en-US language) or install via Tor browser launcher.

Search for ‘tor browser’ or ‘tor browser launcher’ in the repositories if you are using other Linux distributions.

After installing Tor Browser Launcher, open your application menu / launcher and launch Tor Browser. The first time you do this, it will automatically download and extract the latest version of Tor Browser for your language, and then launch Tor Browser. Subsequent runs start the Tor Browser directly.

Tor Browser will automatically prompt you to update the software whenever a new version is released. In this case, the Torbutton symbol shows a small yellow triangle.

In some cases, Tor Browser Launcher could go wrong to download the Tor browser or to verify its signature (“Signature verification failed” error). In such cases, you have the option to use the Flathub Tor Browser Launcher (option # 2 below) or manually download and install the Tor Browser binary (see option # 3 below). For example, I tried installing Tor Browser through Tor Browser Launcher on Ubuntu 16.04 and it failed with a “Signature Verification Failed” error, but using the Flathub Tor Browser Launcher package worked fine (the Ubuntu package probably failed because it’s an old version).

Option 2: Install Tor Browser from Flathub

Flat hub added Tor Browser Launcher added to its ever-growing repository last week, which makes it easy to install on any Linux distribution that Flatpak supports. This has the advantage of supporting a large number of Linux distributions while also offering a current version of Tor Browser Launcher for Linux distributions that have old versions in their repositories that have bugs or have stopped working. I’ve already covered the Tor Browser Launcher above, so please read this to get an idea of ​​what it does.

Before installing Tor Browser through Flathub, you’ll need to set up Flatpak and Flathub on your system, if you haven’t already. A Quick setup page that contains instructions for many Linux distributions, including Ubuntu (and Kubuntu, Pop! _OS or Elementary OS), Fedora, RHEL, openSUSE, Arch Linux, Debian, CentOS, Gentoo, Mageia, and others. Linux Mint 19 and newer has Flathub enabled by default.

Next, open your software app and install the Tor Browser Launcher. Not all software stores support installing Flatpak applications, and in that case you can just use this command to install Flathub’s Tor Browser Launcher (as I mentioned earlier, Flatpak and Flathub need to be set up on your system!):

flatpak install flathub com.github.micahflee.torbrowser-launcher

After installing Flathub’s Tor Browser Launcher, open your application menu / launcher and launch Tor Browser. The first time you do this, it will automatically download and extract the latest version of Tor Browser for your language, and then launch Tor Browser. Subsequent runs start the Tor Browser directly.

Related: Secure File Sharing Tool OnionShare 2 adds anonymous dropboxes

Option 3: Manually download and install the Tor Browser binary (and let it create a menu item automatically).

The Tor project provides Tor Browser precompiled binaries for all supported operating systems on this page – Click the Tux logo to download the latest Tor browser for Linux. You could also Visit this page to download Tor Browser for a different architecture or language.

You might want to Check the Tor browser signature after the download. Tor Browser Launcher (the other two options) will do this for you automatically, but in this case you will have to do it manually.

Extract the archive you downloaded from the Tor Project website and copy the extracted one tor-browser_en-US Folder (where en-US is the language of the Tor browser, so it may be different for you depending on the language; the folder should a. contain start-tor-browser.desktop File and a Browser Subfolder) to the location you want Tor Browser to run from. I recommend copying this to a directory that your user has read / write access so that Tor Browser can update itself automatically. For example, you can copy it to an “Apps” folder in your home directory.

You can now Make Tor Browser automatically add itself to your desktop’s applications menu. Open a terminal, navigate to the folder where you copied the Tor browser from the terminal, do that start-tor-browser.desktop executable file and run it with the --register-app Flag to have it add menu items for the Tor browser to your application menu:

cd /path/to/tor-browser_en-US
./start-tor-browser.desktop --register-app

You have to replace /path/to/tor-browser_en-US with the path to the Tor browser folder (which is the start-tor-browser.desktop File and a Browser Subfolder). It is worth noting that you cannot walk directly start-tor-browser.desktop with the full path, you must be in the parent folder of this file to run it.

For example, if your Tor browser folder is called tor-browser_en-US, and you have it in one Apps Folder in your home directory, run the following commands to get the start-tor-browser.desktop executable and add Tor Browser to your desktop’s applications menu:

cd ~/Apps/tor-browser_en-US/
./start-tor-browser.desktop --register-app

After that, Tor Browser will appear in your application menu so you can launch it from there with a simple click.

Related Posts