Tag Archives: Tor

Why should I run my own services?

Even if you’re not a familiar with configuring complex computer systems, there are easy ways to get started. Go to your local Linux User Group or search the web for groups in your town that help others with technical problems. Start to read blogs and tutorials about running an email server or a jabber server.Ask people for their configurations and make a plan what want to do. Check with others if everything you plan is working and configured correctly for security reasons. Use encryption whenever you want to share private information about a network. Host your website on your own and grow your knowledge about how things work. This is important to all of us. We need alot of people who know how things work behind fancy a gui. The public internet was built by private persons and small companies at the beginning. Running your own services helps to make the internet decentralized as it should be.

What services can you provide?

  • Run your own email server for your domain.
  • Run you own jabber server.
  • Think about sharing some bandwidth for the Tor network by setting a bridge.
  • Get creative and run every service you need.

Torproject needs your help

In this email to the public world the tor projects is asking for help in testing and improving the QA process of the Tor-Bundle.

As you maybe know I am a supporter of the tor project and spend some time in the past of writing some howtos to help improving the tor network in a very small way. The idea behind anonymous communication is well known and you can read tons of information about it. Today I just want to blog about this announcement to share the information and maybe inspire someone to help this project.

In this special case you do not need so deep into the code, it mostly is testing pre versions of the Tor-Bundle.

For new people testing software often is a good starting point in getting known to the structure of a project.

Another way helping the Tor network is sharing some bandwith by running a bridge or exit-node. If you are not skilled to do this you still can donate some bugs to the torservers project.

Tor hosting project

Today I thought maybe some of you want to help the Tor project to work more efficient by running a bridge or a relay but you maybe don’t have the resources or internet connection.

I would like to start a little survey if there is a need to do a hosting of a tor bridge or tor server for you. If enough people come together I would setup one in a computer center and run it as long as we find people who join the project and pay a little amount of the costs for hosting and bandwidth.

This project will be setup as a non-profit project. Only the costs for hosting and traffic should be paid.

The money can be paid via Flattr or Paypal and I would setup a site where you can see how the status of sponsoring is.

Leave me a comment if you would participate on such a project or if you have some resources to support this idea.


There is a project doing exactly this: torservers.net

If you want to support the tor project you can give some bugs to them and they will run exit nodes and bridges from your money. This is very important for the project and all people who are using tor around the world. Free, uncensored and secure access to information should be a right for everybody everywhere.

You even can sponsor a complete exit node and get named as sponsor by them. Ask your friends, family, your politicians and your boss if free information and free access to the internet is worth 50€/month for hundreds of people you can help.

Easy way to use Tor on Mac OS X and Linux


If you want to use Tor on your Mac OS X or Linux there is a new bundle you can easy use. The bundle includes all necessary tools and a preconfigured Firefox with the necessary plugin.

Up to now the Tor Browser Bundle is still beta but for me it works without problems. I could post a link here but please download it directly from the Tor website: www.torproject.org and verify the checksum to be sure you got a correct version of the software.

I tested the version on Mac and on Fedora 15. Just extract the downloaded file and run the start script or click on the symbol and everything starts without further user interaction needed. To be sure your identity is safe please read the information here: https://www.torproject.org/download/download.html.en#warning

Maybe you are in the position to support the Tor project by running a relay or a bridge to make the Tor network more powerful and secure for people who need to use this nice tool for uncensored internet access.

Some basic information about running a relay: https://www.torproject.org/docs/tor-doc-relay.html.en

Install Tor on Fedora

This tutorial explains how to install Tor on a Fedora system. If you are looking for an easy to use solution check you this new all in one package here.

There is a Fedora package of Tor. We need to install 2 packages:

  • tor
  • privoxy

(if you don’t install tor via yum check if your version not was manipulated)

1. Install necessary packages:

yum install tor privoxy

2. Configure privoxy add this line to /etc/privoxy/config:

forward-socks4a / .

3. On Fedora 14 create SELinux rule

On Fedora 14 you need to create a own rule for SELinux.
Try to start tor with:

service tor start

This will fail if SELinux is up and running.
Now run the following commands to generate a rule for your needs:

grep tor /var/log/audit/audit.log | audit2allow -M mytor
semodule -i mytor.pp

4. Start privoxy and tor service

service tor start
service privoxy start

If you want to start tor automatically at boot time add theses two services to your default runlevel:

chkconfig --levels 35 tor on
chkconfig --levels 35 privoxy on

5. Install Firefox Addon Torbutton and activate Tor in Firefox


Now you should be able to surf via Tor. You can check this via http://check.torproject.org/ (thanks to Brad for this comment).

6. Setup your tor as bridge (optional)

Please setup a Tor server or at least a Tor bridge to make Tor more powerful and safe for users in countries without free internet access.

If you want to run a tor bridge you only need to add this lines to your torrc file:

SocksPort 0
ORPort 443
BridgeRelay 1
Exitpolicy reject *:*

Now configure port forwarding in your router to the IP of your Computer with TCP port 443 to make it possible for your tor instance to act as bridge.

Click on the links for more information about what a bridge is and how you can run a public relay or server.

Install Tor bridge on FreeBSD

If you want to run tor on FreeBSD 8.0 you first have to update your port tree. If you not used with port please see the FreeBSD documentation.

This should fetch and install the newsest port tree:

portsnap fetch
portsnap extract

Now we need to install openssl from port and activate it.

cd /usr/ports/security/openssl
make install clean


edit the /etc/make.conf file and add this line:


now build and install tor:

cd /usr/ports/security/tor
make install clean

copy sample configuration:

cp /usr/local/etc/tor/torrc.sampl /usr/local/tor/torrc

add following lines:

SocksPort 0
ORPort 8443
BridgeRelay 1
Exitpolicy reject *:*

I use port 8443 change it to what you want and open it for your server.

start torbridge:

/usr/local/etc/rc.d/tor start

check log:

tail -f /var/log/tor

if you want to start your bridge on boot add this line to /etc/rc.conf


you should have ntpd running to have correct time