My ISP blocks torproject.org, so when I try to run Tor Browser for the first time, torbrowser-launcher cannot install it.

~$ Tor Browser Launcher
By Micah Lee, licensed under MIT
version 0.3.2
Downloading Tor Browser for the first time.
Downloading https://aus1.torproject.org/torbrowser/update_3/release/Linux_x86_64-gcc3/x/en-US
Error starting download:


Are you connected to the internet?

I am running Debian stable (buster) and I installed the torbrowser-launcher through the buster-backports.

1 Answer 1


The recommended way to install Tor Browser is to install it directly and not through torbrowser-launcher.

There is some information about getting Tor Browser on the torproject.org website, but since you can't access it, I'll post it below:

How do I download Tor Browser if the torproject.org is blocked? (https://support.torproject.org/gettor/gettor-1/)

If you can't download Tor Browser through our website, you can get a copy of Tor Browser delivered to you via GetTor. GetTor is a service that automatically responds to messages with links to the latest version of Tor Browser, hosted at a variety of locations that are less likely to be censored, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and GitHub. You can also download Tor Browser from https://tor.eff.org or from https://tor.ccc.de. For more geographically specific links visit Tor: Mirrors

What is GetTor? (https://gettor.torproject.org/)

GetTor is a service that provides alternative methods to download the Tor Browser, especially for people living in places with high levels of censorship, where access to Tor Project's website is restricted.

How does it work?

The idea behind GetTor is very simple:

  • Step 1: Send a request to GetTor ([email protected]) specifying your operating system (and your locale). Ex: "windows es"

  • Step 2: GetTor will send you back a reply with links to download Tor Browser from our supported providers.

  • Step 3: Download Tor Browser from one of the providers. When done, check the integrity of the downloaded files by verifying its signature.

  • Step 4: If required, get some bridges!

GetTor Responder on Twitter

GetTor is currently not working on Twitter.

How to verify a digital signature

Digital signature is a process ensuring that a certain package was generated by its developers and has not been tampered with.

In GetTor emails we provide a link to a file with the same name as the package and the extension ".asc". These .asc files are OpenPGP signatures. They allow you to verify the file you've downloaded is exactly the one that we intended you to get. For example, torbrowser-install-win64-8.5.4_en-US.exe is accompanied by torbrowser-install-win64-8.5.4_en-US.exe.asc.

Check how to verify a digital signature.

How to get bridges

Bridge relays are Tor relays that are not listed in the public Tor directory. That means that ISPs or governments trying to block access to the Tor network can't simply block all bridges. Bridges are useful for Tor users under oppressive regimes, and for people who want an extra layer of security because they're worried somebody will recognize that they are contacting a public Tor relay IP address.

When you start TorBrowser for the first time you will be asked if you want to use bridges. To use pluggable transports, click 'Configure' in the Tor Launcher window that appears when you first run Tor Browser.

You can also configure pluggable transports while Tor Browser is running by clicking on the onion icon to the left of the address bar, then selecting 'Tor Network Settings'.

Select 'Tor is censored in my country,' then click 'Select a built-in bridge.' Click on the drop-down menu and select the pluggable transport you'd like to use.

Click 'OK' to save your settings.

Another way to get bridges is to send an email to [email protected]. Please note that you must send the email using an address from one of the following email providers: Riseup or Gmail.

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