[Tor-BSD] How to get Vidalia running under FreeBSD 9.1

Fabian Keil freebsd-listen at fabiankeil.de
Wed Apr 10 06:07:08 EDT 2013

Richard Childers <fscked at sbcglobal.net> wrote:

> In my last message I complained that
> (a) Vidalia did not install Tor or mention that it needed to be 
> installed separately,

Vidalia doesn't need Tor running on the same system
as it can talk to it through the network.

The FreeBSD port used to have an optional dependency on Tor, but as Tor
had an optional dependency on Vidalia this caused circular dependencies.
Thus the optional dependency was removed until the ports framework can
deal with it (it still can't).

For details see:

> (b) Tor was not available as a package, though evidence indicated it had 
> been, recently

I don't use third-party packages and can't comment on this.

> (c) Vidalia did not work and did not report on why it was not working.

Vidalia works for other people and so far you didn't provide any
information that could be used to figure out why it didn't "work"
for you.

> Here's the workaround. Note that Vidalia requires an X Window manager as 
> a prerequisite; installation and configuration of X Window managers is 
> outside the scope of this document.
> (1) Install Tor as a port.
> (2) Do NOT set tor_enable="YES" in /etc/rc.conf
> (3) Install Vidalia as a package.
> (4) Copy /usr/local/etc/tor/torrc to ~/.vidalia/torrc
> (5) Edit ~/.vidalia/torrc, if desired.
> (6) Start the Vidalia X client from the command line, running in the 
> background:

This causes Tor to run with the privileges of the user running Vidalia
which doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

It's usually done this way on other platforms, but as far as I know that's
mainly because the user isn't expected to be able to let Tor run as "service".

On FreeBSD, my recommendation is to install Tor in a jail and Vidalia on
the host (or on a different system with the traffic tunnelled through ssh).

Starting Tor through Vidalia isn't necessary and this way you can run Tor
all the time while only running Vidalia when you actually want to use it.

Fabian (net-mgmt/vidalia maintainer)
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