I Setup Tor on My Home Server

What is Tor? #

Tor is a network you can access the Internet through with some level of safety that you cannot be tracked back to your computer. This is critical to dissidents and others in dangerous situations. So critical that it is worth those who choose to use it for evil instead of good. See Tor on Wikipedia for more info on good vs. bad.

Why I Setup Tor #

I believe that the world is safer for all when the option to remain anonymous is available. For many Tor is the only way they have to remain safe as reporters, dissidents, and whistle-blowers. Running a Tor relay is my way to help.

My Setup #

I have a Fedora 20 box that I use as a home server. It stores media that streams to my Roku box via Plex, remote access, backups, etc… Running a Tor Relay is easy and safe on this sort of setup. I also have fiber Internet here in the GigCity of Chattanooga.

The Short How To #

I followed the instructions on the Tor Project remembering to change out “DISTRIBUTION” in the rpm urls for “fc/20”. (Fedora Core 20).

sudo vim /etc/yum.repo.d/tor.repo

Pasted in the data from the instructions, and saved (:wq)

sudo yum update

sudo yum install tor

You should now have Tor installed, but you still need to configure it as a relay.

Relay Configuration #

There are three types of setups that Tor can run as. I will only be doing a simple relay which is what I suggest most people do who want to help without needing to know lots of stuff.

sudo vim /etc/tor/torrc

This is mostly self explanatory, but you likely want to make sure that you uncomment the “no exit” line.

Once that is saved restart it:
sudo service tor restart

Router Config #

Now if you uncommented the lines for the relay ports you should be able to run

sudo journalctl -xn

And see:

Opening OR listener on
Opening Directory listener on

So we now need to make sure that these ports are being forwarded on your router. Usually you can find this under “Virtual Server” or “Port Forwarding” and just forward these two ports to your server.

Testing #

I suggest tailing the log sudo tail -f /var/log/tor/tor.log until you see lines like:

Bootstrapped 100%: Done.
Self-testing indicates your ORPort is reachable from the outside. Excellent.

Then you should also be able to find your node name on https://atlas.torproject.org or https://globe.torproject.org however that might take a while to show up.

Congratulations! #

You are now helping many people around the world use the Internet safe from prying eyes.


Now read this

Problem Whiteboard Count

So problems are simple, you are figure them out in your head. Other problems require a place to offload some of the information so you can solve it. Some problems can be solved on the back of an envelope, and others requiring a lot more.... Continue →