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I want to build Tor from source code. Also, I was wondering if this source builds just the Tor service, or it includes the Tor Browser itself?

If not, how can the Tor service that I built and installed be attached to any browser in my computer (e.g. Firefox or Chrome)?

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  • Your entry contains of multiple questions. It is a bit unclear, what you want to know. Do you want to know if Tor Browser can be built from source or something else? Please modify your question.
    – Jens Kubieziel
    Jul 12, 2021 at 11:31

1 Answer 1

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In case you want to build (compile) and install Tor from source code, you can follow these steps:

Step 1:

Install pre-requisites, in this example I used a Debian based GNU Linux distribution:

sudo apt install -y git build-essential automake libevent-dev libssl-dev zlib1g-dev

Step 2:

Clone Tor from git.torproject.org:

git clone https://git.torproject.org/tor.git

Step 3:

Enter tor directory:

cd tor

Step 4:

Run autogen.sh to generate all the initial makefiles:

./autogen.sh

Step 5:

Prepare tor to be built, you can use any of the following commands (Option 1 or Option 2), but check if you receive any error messages:

  • Option 1:

    ./configure
    
  • Option 2:

    ./configure --disable-asciidoc  # do not build manpages
    

Step 6:

Run make to start the compilation process:

make

Step 7:

Install the compiled tor in your system:

make install

The location of tor binary by default will be:

/usr/local/bin/tor

You can run it by typing tor and the output will be pretty similar to this:

galoget@hackem:~$ tor
Jul 12 12:46:26.082 [notice] Tor 0.4.7.0-alpha-dev (git-9b2d179d9537b2f3) running on Linux with Libevent 2.1.11-stable, OpenSSL 1.1.1f, Zlib 1.2.11, Liblzma N/A, Libzstd N/A
 and Glibc 2.31 as libc.
Jul 12 12:46:26.082 [notice] Tor can't help you if you use it wrong! Learn how to be safe at https://www.torproject.org/download/download#warning
Jul 12 12:46:26.082 [notice] This version is not a stable Tor release. Expect more bugs than usual.
Jul 12 12:46:26.082 [notice] Configuration file "/usr/local/etc/tor/torrc" not present, using reasonable defaults.
Jul 12 12:46:26.084 [notice] Opening Socks listener on 127.0.0.1:9050
Jul 12 12:46:26.084 [notice] Opened Socks listener connection (ready) on 127.0.0.1:9050
Jul 12 12:46:26.000 [notice] Parsing GEOIP IPv4 file /usr/local/share/tor/geoip.
Jul 12 12:46:26.000 [notice] Parsing GEOIP IPv6 file /usr/local/share/tor/geoip6.
Jul 12 12:46:26.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 0% (starting): Starting
Jul 12 12:46:26.000 [notice] Starting with guard context "default"
Jul 12 12:46:27.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 5% (conn): Connecting to a relay
Jul 12 12:46:27.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 10% (conn_done): Connected to a relay
Jul 12 12:46:27.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 14% (handshake): Handshaking with a relay
Jul 12 12:46:27.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 15% (handshake_done): Handshake with a relay done
Jul 12 12:46:27.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 75% (enough_dirinfo): Loaded enough directory info to build circuits
Jul 12 12:46:27.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 90% (ap_handshake_done): Handshake finished with a relay to build circuits
Jul 12 12:46:27.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 95% (circuit_create): Establishing a Tor circuit
Jul 12 12:46:28.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 100% (done): Done

And remember, this version is not a stable Tor release, so it could have more bugs than usual.

In this guide I showed you how to build tor from source code. This does not include Tor Browser, just the service that is listening at 127.0.0.1:9050 by default.

In case you want to try it, you can configure your browser to use a proxy. Please refer to the following image to prepare your Firefox instance to browse the Internet by using the Tor service you just installed:

How to configure Mozilla Firefox to use Tor

Finally, if you prefer Google Chrome, you can use the following command to open a Chrome instance that uses the tor service you just installed:

google-chrome-stable --proxy-server="socks://127.0.0.1:9050"

As you can see in my answer, there is no requeriment to use additional plugins to route your traffic through the TOR Network.

Enjoy!

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  • @kukiudowr667 Please, do not forget to mark the question as SOLVED and UPVOTE the answer if it solves your questions. =)
    – galoget
    Jul 12, 2021 at 18:31
  • I can't up vote I don't have enough reputation points, comments like: "thank you" are not allowed, what interested me me most is building Tor but in Windows which is probably harder than from a Linux distro.
    – Manul667
    Jul 17, 2021 at 16:22

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