In Tails and Whonix you wait a bit for the connection - waiting for the onion to turn green (I understand the onion has changed to something else, but that is besides the point). Why when running Tor from a regular desktop system is there no onion nor no wait? I must have missed something. Thank you.

1 Answer 1


The onion icon is just an icon, and - you have to wait too, actually : it's just "behind the curtains", you can see it if you will enable Tor logging and run it interactively. The wait period is in heavy dependence with your connection speed, parameters and censorship applied to it(if any). Also if you're using bridges it can take a bit longer, usually. The tor used in Tails/Whonix/TorBrowser and the tor in "expert bundle" as a single app - it's all the same application, and it works just the same way. Usually if there's no problem Tor will be up in 10-20 seconds, but an application that drawing you a colored onion icon may query tor with a greater intervals, let's say 30 seconds or more. That can also give you an illusion of long waiting: maybe the actual tor is ready to serve you, but the graphical user interfase app does not know about it yet because it haven't queried Tor process for it's status yet, and it's drawing you a "please wait"... That's it!

  • Interesting. So when I'm connecting on a regular desktop without the icon and I get the first window showing I'm connected, it's actually "safe" to assume I'm connected and don't have to wait any longer? It sounds like a stupid question, yet the time difference between this and the other is so vast that it concerns me. Maybe the previous long wait in Tails had something to do with the connection problem I was having with Tails/Tor, that you already know about. Thanks Alexey.
    – Toraclease
    Mar 20, 2016 at 19:30
  • @Toraclease anytime! Tails is a weird piece of SH..ellscripts.. ;) Use Debian or Ubuntu if you need Linux, or FreeBSD if you're proficient with Unix world
    – Alexey Vesnin
    Mar 20, 2016 at 19:32
  • LOL good one. Ubuntu (mint) is what I'm learning now. Yet I could toss it for any Linux distro. There's much to be done to get it as secure and private as Tails claims to be. I'm done with my grand tour of the dark web trying everything out like a big buffet of sin, so my interest in security and privacy is not dire and paranoid any longer, rather just a hobby, which is nice. It's curious that a Tor forum like this is public. Due to the very of nature of what Tor is, you'd think many users would not want to discuss matters on the clear net. I guess that's a topic for another thread.
    – Toraclease
    Mar 21, 2016 at 3:28

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