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This is related to Is there a way in tor to tell to prefer tor relays from another country? where somebody named Alexey Vesnin shared something about sharing the full path in your startup scripts, see Is there a way in tor to tell to prefer tor relays from another country? but I'm confused/haven't really understood what he means by that.

Could anybody elaborate ?

Also I'm unaware what the switches -a and -f are supposed to denote on the shell.

Looking forward to know.

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Hello and good time of day! the -f key for tor binary is a key that makes tor use the specifically located config, not the config from location it considers to be a default one(this folder path can be specified when tor is compiled). a very simple explaination is that regardless of the default paths and, pehaps, configs installed with tor, you're explicitly telling Tor what you want. In example, you have in /etc folder a file named torconfig.cfg for your custom settings, so the tor execution line will be tor -f /etc/torconfig.cfg. Why not just tor -f torconfig.cfg? Because it will look for the file torconfig.cfg in the current folder that can be quite different depending on how and where from tor is executed, and when you're writing path starting with a leading slash - it makes it clear and pointing to the exact specific file regardless of where from and how the tor is executed. a good howto about relative and absolute paths can be found here

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