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Having a nightmare with this. Windows 10 laptop running Lubuntu 17.10 in VirtualBox.

I downloaded the file tor-browser-linux64-7.5.3_en-US.tar.xz from the website, it went into my Downloads folder.

I opened the terminal and ran the following command, but it failed:

tar -xvJf tor-browser-linux64-7.5.3_en-US.tar.xz

The error message was:

No such file or directory

So I right-clicked the file and extracted all contents to a folder on Desktop called 'tor. I open that folder and there's an icon called 'Tor Browser Setup', but nothing happens when I double click this.

I tried an alternative method using terminal to but it failed due to a known bug where there is no version file.

3 different ways to install Tor - none of them work!

marked as duplicate by karel, Fabby, Eric Carvalho, Eliah Kagan, Zanna Apr 11 '18 at 7:07

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 1
    I managed to open it by browsing into the folder and clicking the shell script start-tor-browser – Ben Hamilton Apr 10 '18 at 16:56
  • 1
    Excellent. The answer I posted covers how to extract and run it and put it in your menus from the command line, but on most desktop environments it can be done without using the command line, as you've found. I think my answer may still help some people. (In particular, it may help them add the launcher to their desktop environment's menus.) But I encourage you to post your own answer describing what you did; this can help others. In 2 days, the system even allows you to accept your own answer. – Eliah Kagan Apr 10 '18 at 17:17
  • Thanks for your thorough answer. I ended up extracting to desktop and then running from there. I noticed the broswer is also in my apps folder but the icons there don’t work. I think that is perhaps a different corrupted installation using terminal apt-get – Ben Hamilton Apr 11 '18 at 19:45

Extracting the Tor Browser Bundle

You downloaded the file to your Downloads directory, which is a subdirectory of your home directory. When you open a terminal, you would not normally be in your Downloads directory. You would normally be in your home directory.

To change directory into your Downloads directory, use the cd command:

cd Downloads

That works if you're in your home directory already, which you probably are when you open a terminal window. However, you can also put ~/ in front of Downloads. The ~/ gets expanded into the full path to your home directory.

So this works from anywhere:

cd ~/Downloads

If you ever want or need to, you can return to your home directory simply with cd, though cd ~ or cd ~/ would also work.

If you actually want to extract the archive in your Downloads folder, you can then do so with the command you ran (assuming the filename is correct for what you downloaded). However, the Tor Browser Bundle doesn't really install--it unpacks to a directory full of files, and you just run it from there. So I suggest unpacking it somewhere more suitable. I would probably put it straight in my home directory:

tar xf Downloads/tor-browser-linux64-7.5.3_en-US.tar.xz

(Future readers will want to use the latest available Tor Browser Bundle, whose filename will eventually be different at least in its version number. It is extremely important to avoid using an old version because security vulnerabilities--including vulnerabilities of the sort that could compromise your privacy--are discovered from time to time, and then new versions are released that fix those bugs. The linux64 part may also be different if you're running the 32-bit version of Ubuntu and thus downloaded the 32-bit version of the Tor browser bundle.)

You don't have to use that exact command. I omitted the v because I didn't feel the need to see a list of all the files being extracted. I omitted the J because, for many years now, tar has automatically detected what type of compression is used.

That extracts the contents of the archive into your home directory. Currently this consists of a single directory called tor-browser_en-US. Inside that directory is a file called start-tor-browser.desktop, which works as a launcher for starting the program graphically, and a subdirectory Browser which contains everything else.

The suggested way to set up the Tor Browser to be run easily is to execute that outer start-tor-browser.desktop file. The rest of this answer is about how to do that as well as what, exactly, that does the first time you do it.

Launching the Tor Browser Bundle for the First Time

After you run that tar command shown above, I recommend that you change into the tor-browser_en-US directory that it created:

cd tor-browser_en-US

And then look at the contents of that outer .desktop file, which explains what to do:

cat start-tor-browser.desktop

Even though I'm giving instructions here, I still recommend you read that file. Part of what that file currently tells you is:

# This file is a self-modifying .desktop file that can be run from the shell.
# It preserves arguments and environment for the start-tor-browser script.
# Run './start-tor-browser.desktop --help' to display the full set of options.
# When invoked from the shell, this file must always be in a Tor Browser root
# directory. When run from the file manager or desktop GUI, it is relocatable.
# After first invocation, it will update itself with the absolute path to the
# current TBB location, to support relocation of this .desktop file for GUI
# invocation. You can also add Tor Browser to your desktop's application menu
# by running './start-tor-browser.desktop --register-app'

So I suggest you run:


Then you can copy that outer .desktop file wherever you like and it will still work as a launcher for the Tor Browser.

You may also, or alternatively, want to put it in your desktop environment's menus. As explained in the excerpted text above, running this command (still from within the extracted tor-browser_en-US directory) should do that:

./start-tor-browser.desktop --register-app
  • Thanks for this. I have not run your command line options yet, I was going in and clicking the .desktop file so far. What does the "./" mean in your last two command line suggestions? I notice I already have Tor icons in the Lubuntu menu (presumably from the failed installation via apt-get) but when clicked, nothing happens. Perhaps I have duplicated copies? I have the folder on my desktop (extracted from the archive I downloaded through Mozilla), which I am using, but am unsure what the other icons on the app menu refer to, or why they do not work. – Ben Hamilton Apr 12 '18 at 13:10
  • @BenHamilton About ./, see this and that. For the launchers currently in your menus, I don't know. You may want to post a separate question about that. If you do, you can link to this question to help give context, and feel free to comment if you want me to take a look. If you can, you should give details about what you did before they appeared, but people can request specific information that should help explain it. If you haven't examined your LXDE menus' contents you may want to do that (you can search for info on that). – Eliah Kagan Apr 12 '18 at 13:30

You can install it using the following commands in your terminal:

sudo -i 

then enter your password and run:

apt-get install torbrowser-launcher -y

I believe that the preferred way of installing tor in Ubuntu since 16.04 is

sudo apt-get install torbrowser-launcher

Launcher checks for latest tor version and downloads automatically.

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