Tor Browser is a special version of Firefox that routes web traffic through the Tor network, making it private and anonymous.
When you browse the Internet with Tor Browser, the connection to the websites you view is encrypted and protected from network surveillance and traffic analysis. However, using Tor Browser has some drawbacks. Browsing the web through Tor is slower than a normal Internet connection, and several major websites block Tor users. Also, in some countries, Tor is illegal or blocked by government-enforced firewalls.
This article describes how to install the Tor web browser on Ubuntu 20.04. The same instructions apply for other Debian based distributions.
Installing the Tor Browser Launcher
The easiest way to install the Tor browser on Ubuntu Linux is to use the Tor browser launcher script. This script downloads and automatically installs the latest version of the Tor browser and adds an app launcher icon.
The “torbrowser-launcher” package is included in the default Ubuntu repositories, but may not always be the latest version. We will install the packages from the project manager repository.
Run the following command as a user with sudo permissions:
- Add the Tor browser launcher PPA repository:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:micahflee/ppa
- Install the Tor browser launcher package:
sudo apt update sudo apt install torbrowser-launcher
Using the Tor Browser
The Tor browser can be launched either from the command line by typing torbrowser-launcher or by clicking on the Tor Browser Launcher icon (Activity -> Tor Browser).
When you start the launcher for the first time, it will download the Tor browser and all other dependencies.
Once the browser is downloaded, you will be presented with the Tor Network Settings window.
The default configuration is sufficient for most users. If your ISP censors Tor, you can find information on how to configure the network.
Once you click the “Connect” button, the browser will establish a connection to the Tor network and launch it.
The default browser installation is bundled with a few security extensions such as HTTPS Everywhere and NoScript, and doesn’t save any browsing history. It is highly recommended not to install any additional add-ons or plugins as they could bypass Tor or compromise your privacy.
The Tor browser will automatically update itself when a new version is released.
Uninstalling Tor Browser
If you want to uninstall the Tor browser, remove the installed package with the following command:
sudo apt remove torbrowser-launcher
We’ve shown you how to install the Tor browser on your Ubuntu 20.04 desktop. You can now surf the web safely and privately, and access sites that your local internet service provider may have blocked.
If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.