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I have used the stand-alone Windows ZIP file (with just tor.exe) in it with great success: https://dist.torproject.org/torbrowser/8.5.4/tor-win32-0.4.0.5.zip

However there doesn't seem to be any counterpart for Linux and OS X.

There is the entire browser bundle, e.g. https://dist.torproject.org/torbrowser/8.5.4/tor-browser-linux64-8.5.4_en-US.tar.xz

But this is much larger and contains an entire web browser in addition to the Tor binary. Why is this?

I understand many people on Linux get Tor via their distro package manager but it's strange to me that no trimmed down offering like the Windows ZIP is available.

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In almost every Linux and BSD distribution you can install the Tor service using the package management. Tor even provides this themselves for Debian and Ubuntu. Most good distros even keep their Tor packages up to date with the latest updates.

I can't say anything about Macs because I don't use them.

  • I figured that was the answer but it seems a little incongruous with the Tor browser bundles that are available per-platform. Wouldn't those come through the OS package manager as well ideally? Anyhow, thanks for the input. – Joel Verhagen Aug 18 at 20:03

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