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

George Rosamond george at ceetonetechnology.com
Wed Apr 10 20:20:58 EDT 2013

Fabian Keil:
> 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:
> http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=ports/150078
> http://www.freebsd.org/cgi/query-pr.cgi?pr=ports/150774
>> (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.


So the issue is this from what I understand:

Tor encourages people to use TBB, not Vidalia + Tor + Default Firefox.
Personally I use Tor + My own hacked Firefox which includes a bunch of
extras in about:config, plus JS disabled, etc.

Vidalia will likely not be around in the future.  A UX dev and I worked
on a project to critique and redesign the UX, and I know others are
working on doing the actual dev work at this point.  Partially motivated
by integrating Vidalia's functions into the browser, and partially
driven by the size of the TBB package, which can't exceed 5M.  This is
because much of the TBB distribution is over email, and gmail restricts
attachments to 5M.

So we should be seeing a TBB that is essentially Tor + Firefox + maybe a
Firefox Tor add-on.  It's still an open question, but it's the likely
direction from what I know.

Therefore, porting TBB to FBSD, for instance, is something of a fading need.


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