For months I've been using:

$ sudo systemctl start tor.service

but I just realized we can start tor by simply typing "tor" into a terminal. What's the proper/safest way to start and stop tor.service?

1 Answer 1


Normally the Tor service should be started/stopped with either:

sudo systemctl start/stop tor.service


sudo service tor start/stop

Personally I've always used the service command because it is simpler. I'm guessing things get a little more complicated when you run multiple Tor instances, but I have no experience with that.

Running Tor in a terminal runs Tor as your user, and binds it to that terminal window. Running as a service allows Tor to run in the background with the proper permissions.

  • "Failed to start tor.service: Unit tor.service is masked" This error when running any of the commands above..
    – Unk
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 4:54
  • I'm trying to start tor on my macbook pro but it wont start because "sudo: start: command not found" it says command not found for a lot of things and when i just type tor and press enter it seems like it starts but them my terminal wont do anything
    – Sryv
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 19:41

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