If I start the Windows Tor browser bundle using Start Tor Browser.exe and subsequently close the browser, Vidalia shuts down Tor and then exits. In Linux, if I start the Tor browser bundle using the start-Tor-browser script, and then shutdown the browser, Tor and Vidalia stay live.

  1. Why do the two bundles behave differently? That is, what design considerations went into making the behaviour different in the two bundles?
  2. Are there any security implications of the different behaviours that would lead a user to prefer one bundle over the other?

2 Answers 2


This is not happening intentionally, you may name it a bug.

Anyways, Tor project is going to dump Vidalia with TBB 3.x and what you mentioned is just one of the reasons. So there's no point to put extra effort to fix this. Plus, Vidalia doesn't have a maintainer (and most likely will never have one till the day it dies).


Do it again, and then on both make a "netstat -a" before and after.

Then just look for the "sockets" with state WAIT - lingering.

This is a tcp/ip option that pester the Microsoft implementation badly, and gives the rest of us massive pain: Microsoft with XNS has no "options", their connections are not killed immediately, but remain available for other to use. It saves nothing, but now Windows rely on "policing" its connections and manage who use them. This is called "security software" in various flavours, that can be coded to detect "lingering sockets" and block connection attempts to these. What is an error and omission has created a "industry" of special software - "cyber nannies" and "sherif" with "smoking guns". Sorry, it is easier to lock the door. Please use Linux (or iOS/OSX) with the full tcp/ip stack and socket options.

  • This thread is no longer very relevant. The Tor Browser Bundle no longer relies on Vidalia and there is no longer the previous obvious difference in the behaviour of the Windows version of TBB and the Linux version. Also, as @mrphs noted in 2013, the behavioural difference between the browser bundles was a bug. Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 0:54
  • Sorry, but I have evidence of the contrary, and so does everyone that has managed huge sites. This is a problem that crops up again and again because the "fix" address just the symptom, the error remains.
    – Knut H
    Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 8:47

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