Tor Browser is a customized version of Firefox that routes the web traffic through the Tor network, making it private and anonymous.
When you browse the Internet with the Tor Browser, the connection to the website you are viewing is encrypted and protected from network surveillance and traffic analysis. However, using Tor Browser comes with few drawbacks. Browsing the web over Tor is slower than a regular Internet connection, and some major web sites block Tor users. Also, in some countries, Tor is illegal or blocked by the government-enforced firewall.
This article describes how to install the Tor web browser on Ubuntu 20.04. The same instructions apply for any other Debian-based distribution.
Installing Tor Browser Launcher
The easiest way to install the Tor browser on Ubuntu Linux is by using the Tor browser Launcher script. This script downloads and automatically installs the most recent version of the Tor browser and adds the application launcher icon.
The “torbrowser-launcher” package is included in the default Ubuntu repositories, but it may not always be the latest version. We’ll install the package from the project maintainer repository.
Run the following commands 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 (Activities -> 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 is censoring Tor, you can find information about how to configure the network here .
Once you click on the “Connect” button, the browser will establish a connection to the Tor network and start.
The default browser installation comes bundled with several security extensions such as HTTPS Everywhere and NoScript, and does not keep any browsing history. It is highly recommended not to install any additional add-ons or plugins as it may 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 Tor browser on your Ubuntu 20.04 desktop. You can now browse the web securely and privately, and access sites your local internet service provider may have blocked.
If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment.