I just allowed Tor Browser on Linux Mint Debian Edition 4 to update to the latest version and now there is a process "tor" by some user "debian-tor" that keeps restarting on its own (can't kill it permanently). What is this nonsense and how can I get rid of it?

At this point, I'm considering moving to a different service than TOR. The whole concept appears to be getting more invasive by the week with increasingly frequent DoS attacks, permanent Tor Browser memory leaks, and now some permanent process running in the background without user approval.

1 Answer 1


This process exists because you ran apt install tor sometime in the past (or you installed something else that lists tor as a dependency, such as apt install onionshare). This installs the Tor network service, which isn't needed if you only want to run the Tor Browser. If you aren't familiar with apt, you can read more here. You can remove this package using sudo apt remove tor.

  • Sorry, but I didn't. I only installed the Tor Browser bundle doing sudo apt-get install torbrowser-launcher and that was ages ago. This process never showed up until tonight, right after the update. What happens if I do sudo apt remove tor, will this keep Tor Browser in place?
    – david
    Aug 26, 2020 at 2:36
  • Yes, the tor package from apt is completely independent of the Tor Browser, so running apt remove tor will not affect the Tor Browser. If you have installed OnionShare, then OnionShare will probably stop working if you uninstall tor.
    – Steve
    Aug 26, 2020 at 2:39
  • Thanks, I purged it. But I still wonder how it got on my PC in the first place. In general, when something wants to autostart and run in the background, I expect be asked
    – david
    Aug 26, 2020 at 2:44
  • Some packages when installed are designed to start automatically in the background, for example apache, postgresql, smartmontools, docker, etc. When installing with apt, it doesn't typically ask the user if it can run in the background, for better or worse.
    – Steve
    Aug 26, 2020 at 2:52

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