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Portable versions of Tor and Vidalia

ryan- - July 8, 2007 - 10:38am
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I compiled Tor and Vidalia (GNU GPL) on a Linux (Ubuntu 7.04) system and the binaries seem to be pretty portable. The run off of a USB key with no issues.

This site has a precompiled win32 version that works as a portable app

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I don`t suggest using

I don`t suggest using that.

People are using tor because them have needs of security (/are paranoid). The offical tor website and their pgp keys have a level of trust. Although your builds are hosted at and source can be downloaded the binarys could be still hacked. Nothing personal against you...

But at, enter tor, you will find instructions to make a portable version of tor. Or John T. Haller could host that here because he could have a level of trust too.

I think you have gotten

I think you have gotten something quite wrong here.

1. This actually is the Request App forum.

2. If you would have followed the sourceforge link you'd might have discovered the PortableTor project page. The PortableTor file on sourceforge has been compiled by some silivrenion - not ryan.

And another hint before you might become paranoid (or at least suspicious of sourceforge) Eye-wink : there is a link on the project page that leads to another description of how to build your own PortableTor. And hey, this page is part of the Wiki-Tor. Now guess who the author is?

Ok, trying again :-)

I didn't compile/support/write PortableTor, although I can see how my post was confusing.

I meant to say: I'd like to see a trusted portable version of portable tor/vidalia offered by

The regular tor package works pretty well on a USB key ( but some optimizations could be made (see the sourceforge portable tor project).

I did compile tor/vidalia for Linux, but only to see how portable they were (they do work on a USB key).

Authenticity and User Comments

Hello, I am Silivrenion, author of PortableTor. I see comments on the authenticity of PortableTor versus trusted sites. In your opinion, how can I better make my software trustable? What kinds of things do you look for in choosing software as far as legitimacy and trustworthyness?

The instructions on the Wiki for building PortableTor were old, and a lot of improvements have been made that I just haven't gotten around to updating there. Maybe I will soon. Smiling

The entire program, PortableTor, is exactly the same to the downloadable install version's output, except paths are changed and executables are packed with upx. Aside from some minor configuration changes to get it to work, the only program I added was the launcher, PortableTor.exe. This file has source available, but is really a converted .bat file that launches the two elements of the software. I wanted to try to find a way to authenticate this software after finding several virus scanners false positive it. (they came back to email me that it was a false positive, and some of them removed it.)

Anyway, what kinds of things would you like to see for this software, authenticity wise or otherwise?

Well, please update the

Well, please update the instructions to make tor/videla/privoxy portable.

Then create a beta version and post in beta forum. We hope john will host it on this site.

TorPortable changes

Hi again. I sent you an email sometime back with some suggestions/changes for your project. I was just wondering if you still had that and just haven't updated your site, or if I should try to dig it up again? It was mostly changes to paths and some configuration changes.

Hello, I suggest you take


I suggest you take look at this site that have PortableTOR regular update ( last version is dated 05th August 2007 ) as :

PortableTor changes

Hi! Yes, your changes were used in the then-next build of portabletor from that date. Thanks again!

In other response, I haven't been releasing PortableTor beta builds because I don't know how often they are released. If there's one every night, I'd have to be compiling every night, and I am in college. I don't know how much time I have really, and the occasional official build is fine. I'll look into it though.

I will update the instructions on the wiki to fully explain the process though. Documentation is a nice thing to have!

As for John putting it on this site, do I need to make a version with a different path structure or something? Or submit as-is? What are the guidelines for that?

Questions/Comments can be made on the support forums at .

Steve Morley

If you wanna put it here

it has to comply to the paf format specs.
Thats a certain folder structure so it works with the menu-integrated backup feature.
But the paf specs are changing atm cause of a new version of the menu being developped.
“I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong.” - Richard P. Feynman

"What about Love?" - "Overrated. Biochemically no different than eating large quantities of chocolate." - Al Pacino in The Devils Advocate


I see my changes made it in, very cool. I haven't checked the manual install page in a while. There's one more bug fix for it though. For the batch file commands, they need to be in the form -

start "" /b /min 'privoxy stuff'
start "" /b 'vidalia stuff'

You need the "" or it won't work right. The start command expects a "title" declaration as the first parameter.

Nice job, seems like you've been busy.

Really? I never encountered

Really? I never encountered any problems running it without the "". Don't forget, there is no visible console with the launcher... its all encrypted in the .exe. I'll take a look at it and see what I can find out.

That may be the case with

That may be the case with the launcher (I haven't used it), but I was referring to the "Build PortableTor Yourself" instructions page where you specify the commands for the BAT file. If you run the 'start' command without "" from a BAT file, it won't work right. Basically it'll take the first non-switch parameter after 'start', which in your case is '.\PortableTor\Privoxy\privoxy.exe' as the console window title parameter, and then shift everything after it to the left.

For example if you run your privoxy start command from a BAT file as it's written, it'll open the config.txt file for editing Eye-wink

Nice catch!

Nice catch!

Some useful torrc settings

I found a few useful settings (at least for myself) in the torrc documentation.

Here is one you might consider at least mentioning on your project page. I use tor here at work for things like messaging programs that are otherwise blocked. I know that our firewall only allows HTTP traffic, so this setting speeds things up tremendously and doesn't hammer the firewall on ports that are blocked (possibly alerting someone to some strange traffic). It can of course be configured to your needs. It tells tor to what addresses and ports it can connect for directory information and entry nodes, in this case using only HTTP and HTTPS ports to any address.

ReachableAddresses *:80, *:443

New vidalia.conf settings

New vidalia.conf settings for tor, relative to BAT file of course. These were implemented in the new version of Vidalia I think. I can't remember what the old ones were, but here's what it is now (a little different) -

ControlPassword=(created by tor, do not edit)

I believe the DataDirectory setting here supercedes the one in the torrc file, so it does not need to exist there anymore.

I'm trying to use Tor from

I'm trying to use Tor from behind my university's firewall etc. I don't seem to be able to get it set up right. It works fine from home (so I know it works in general), but not at uni.

When I use a browser from the uni network I have to set it to use an automatic proxy configuration. I downloaded the file and this is what it looks like:

function FindProxyForURL(url, host)
if (isPlainHostName(host)) return "DIRECT";
  else if (shExpMatch(url,"https*")) return "DIRECT";
  else if (shExpMatch(url,"ftp*")) return "DIRECT";
  else if (shExpMatch(host,"*")) return "DIRECT";
  else if (isInNet(host,"","")) return "DIRECT";
  else if (isInNet(host,"","")) return "DIRECT";
  else if (isInNet(myIpAddress(), "", "")) return "PROXY; DIRECT";
  else if (shExpMatch(host,"*")) return "DIRECT";
  else return "PROXY; DIRECT";

and I edited my torrc file to be:

AvoidDiskWrites 1
ControlPort 9051
DataDirectory .\PortableTor\Tor\DataDirectory
Log notice stdout

ReachableAddresses *:80, *:443
HttpProxyAuthenticator login:password

But it didn't work. Any ideas on how I can get this working?

What browser are you using?

You still have to tell your browser to use your Tor proxy for connections. If it is using the auto config and you can't change it, then you can't set the browser to use Tor.

On the other hand, if you're using something like FFPortable, then just make sure you have the proxy settings correct (localhost:9050).

Ummm, you might want to try adding your proxy address to your list of reachable addys too Eye-wink (probably try this first)

I'm using PFF. I got it

I'm using PFF. I got it working at home (tested using one of the Tor test pages) and I use the FF extension to turn Tor on and off, so I don't think it was a browser problem.

What do you mean mean by adding the proxy address? Where should I add that?

Thanks for your help - I appreciate it!!

In the ReachableAddresses setting

I mean here -

ReachableAddresses *:80, *:443,

You have to add it because before, you were restricting access to ports 80 and 443 ONLY, effectively blocking your proxy server at port 8080. Allowing that through should solve your problem.

Ahhh, thanks. I'll give it a

Ahhh, thanks. I'll give it a go on Mon. Do I need to add in my login and password somewhere for that as well??

That was it. I have it

That was it. I have it working now. Thanks for your help, wraithdu, I appreciate it.

... have been updated to Tor

... have been updated to Tor v...17 and Vidalia v...14!

Portable Tor