Is there a way to specify a bridge while starting Tor, from command line? I'm working on a script that runs multiple instances of Tor and I find it easier to add the bridge (all the instances are going to use the same bridge) on the command that runs the instance itself, instead of editing the torrc file after.

Thank you all in advance

  • If I have a hidden service, do I need bridges for that service ? Or, bridges are just about client side? Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 10:44

1 Answer 1


You can write the information into some files, say bridge.1, bridge.2 etc. Inside the file are lines with bridges like

Bridge 0123456789ABCDEF

Besides this bridge files you should also have a torrc file all other settings. Now you can start the Tor software with a line like

tor --defaults-torrc torrc -f bridge.1

The first option takes your default torrc as argument and is always the same. The second option contains the file with bridge information. You can vary this file depending which bridges you want to use.

  • 1
    Hm? Yes, you can pass bridges via the commandline, just like any other Tor config option. Just do: /path/to/tor usebridges 1 bridge " 0123456789ABCDEF". (You'll need to use quotes so the shell doesn't mangle it.) Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 6:27

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