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?


Normally the Tor service should be started/stopped with either sudo systemctl start/stop tor.service or 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 Aug 9 '18 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 Nov 22 '19 at 19:41

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