How to connect to the Tor network on Linux

This example shows the installation of Tor Browser version 9.5.1 on Debian 10.4, which is the current version at the time of writing this guide. Installing Tor browser on a different Linux based system is possible in a similar as shown in this guide. There may be a more recent version of Tor Browser available for download by the time you read this, so please download and use the current version that Tor Project provides.

Getting Tor Browser

Open a browser like Firefox or Chrome and go to: www.torproject.org/download/

If you are using a search engine to look for the Tor Browser, make sure that the URL is correct. Do not use any other source, and if you are prompted to accept alternative HTTPS (SSL/TLS) security certificates, do not proceed.

Click on “Download for Linux”

Some browsers will ask you to confirm whether you want to download this file. Firefox shows a pop-up box in the middle of your browser window. For any browser, it is best to save the file first before proceeding. Click the Save button.

Installing Tor Browser

After the download is complete, go to your Downloads folder. You should always make sure you trust the software you want to install and that you got an authentic copy from the official site over a secure connection. Since you know what you want, and you know where to get the software, and the download was from the Tor Project’s secure HTTPS site, double-click on the file “tor-browser-linux64-9.0.1_en-US.tar.xz”.

After double-clicking on the Tor Browser archive file, wait for it to load then choose where you want to extract its contents.

After the extraction is complete, open the “tor-browser_en-US” folder and right click on start-tor-browser.desktop, open Properties or Preferences and change the permission to allow executing file as program.

Open a terminal and navigate to the folder containing the start-tor-browser.desktop file. You can do this by right clicking on empty space inside the “tor-browser_en-US” folder and then choosing the option “Open in Terminal”. Issue the command ./start-tor-browser.desktop --register-app to install the Application.

Using Tor Browser

Open your desktop’s application menu / app launcher / dock, and search for the Tor Browser. Click on it to start it.

The first time Tor Browser starts, you’ll get a window that allows you to modify some settings if necessary. You might have to come back and change some configuration settings, but go ahead and try to connect to the Tor network by clicking the Connect button.

A new window will open with a green bar that illustrates Tor Browser connecting to the Tor network. The first time Tor Browser starts, it might take a long time; but be patient, within a minute or two Tor Browser will open and congratulate you. You will be greeted by a welcome screen.

Click on the Tor logo in the top left corner to see a tutorial on how Tor works. It explains how Tor circuits work and how they allow you to browse privately online.

You are now ready to browse the Internet anonymously with the Tor Browser. We recommend reading these tips for properly browsing with the Tor Browser and retaining your anonymity.