This question is prompted by the answer that was given to my question about the different behavior of the Tor Browser Bundle in Linux and Windows.

If the Tor Browser Bundle is to dump Vidalia with the move to TBB version 3.x, what will happen with Tails? Vidalia seems to be the foundation for the torifcation of the whole of the live distribution in Tails? Without it, how will users interact with Tor (e.g., request a new identity, look at the network map, look at messages etc), particularly with non-browser applications that don't have TBB's Tor button? And given that Vidalia is not being maintained, what is the best method for Windows and Linux users to be interacting with Tor?

  • 1
    This is an update to my own question. In Tails version 2.2, Vidalia was replaced with OnionCircuits, a simple Debian tool to monitor Tor circuits. Commented Mar 31, 2016 at 8:15

4 Answers 4


Vidalia is just an interface to control the separate Tor client. In the Tor Browser Bundle that functionality will be moved into TorButton - which is found in the Tor Browser.

As far as Tails is concerned, Vidalia has very little to do with the torification of the whole system. It actually uses some iptables rules to force all network traffic through Tor - Vidalia has nothing to do with these iptables rules.

As for how users will control Tor once Vidalia is gone, Tails currently includes TorButton inside IceWeasel (an unbranded Firefox), I see no reason that they wouldn't use the expanded TorButton as the primary control point.


Release candidate 1 of the 3.0 version allows you to change your Tor route and identity via Tor Button, but it closes all the windows and losing the pages you were looking at. You can't cycle into a new identity for every page as you browse through a website as you used to be able to (unless you copy the URL into the clipboard and pasted it back in after the new window opens.

And there is no network map, nor is the exit shown (U.S. or U.K. or Germany, etc.). You are directed to an Atlas page, which takes a long time to link, and only shows the exit, not the other two Tor servers you're going through.

I wonder if Tor Button is robust enough to handle all these lost features? I don't think TBB should be overly geeky and full of techie stuff that will drive normal users away, but I do want to avoid Five Eyes exits (and entries).

  • 3.0 version of what? :) The question is about Tails and its current version is 0.21. I know you are talking about Tor Browser Bundle but please keep in mind that the question is primarily about Tails and concerns about non-browser applications. Also your post does not much look like an answer it is rather a discussion. Q&A sites are not intended for discussions. Could you please modify your answer to better fit the question? Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 7:38

For Windows, I recommend Advanced Onion Router. AdvTOR allows you to choose circuits, onion URI NAT/Port Forwarding running relays, CPU custom onion URI generator, and more... (TOR is included in the download.)

For Linux, I recommend Anonymous Relay Monitor. ARM comes with a easy to use TUI (Text-Based User Interface) which is good for running relays, exits and hidden services. (TOR needs to be running (sudo apt-get install tor && sudo -u debian-tor service tor start)


Beware that "tail" is an "application" - a Linux executable, like "ls", but buffers, say 24 lines, and shows then the last 24 lines.

if tail is used in a pipeline, every command on the shell script is forked as a process, and has its own context. Tail will read "stdout" from the previous - as stdin to itself. So error messages goes to stderr, and may be lost. More important is that connections to the net is not shared on Linux, but that may well be the case on Windows.

On Windows every task can share a connection, accepts the messages and it is easier to buffer and show error diagnostics. Well, some messages are still not shown, but those you can see on Linux can emulated. Linux uses /etc/services to define services and port usage, very different to the Windows anarchy.

  • tail (usually /usr/bin/tail) is not Tails (tails.boum.org ). In addition, this whole thread is no longer particularly relevant because Vidalia has long gone from the Tails distribution. Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 0:50
  • What you don´t know should not be placed as an exhibition.
    – Knut H
    Commented Sep 14, 2018 at 8:48

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